Wow. I think this past weekend ranks up there with my wedding and childbirth (post-labor, that is)!
I am overwhelmed and grateful for the amount of support from all of you! This has been such a rewarding experience.
When I began this project about four years back, it was pure passion. It was on my heart and I wanted more than anything, to give the story justice, accuracy and honor those who lived through it. My biggest worry was that I couldn’t effectively articulate or move people through the words I was writing. Sometimes, I really wish I could put little inserts on the pages to move people emotionally, like: “insert dramatic violins playing here to add suspense/tension” or “read this part in slow-mo.” I always tell the kids during scary movies, take out the music, imagine the actors eating cheeseburgers on break in costume and by the way, how talented are these makeup artists & costume designers?
So, I never in my wildest dreams imagined the book would reach where it has. The book is an underdog in the publishing world of big players & big agencies, despite having the best editors ever, who have worked with many of those players in the past.
But, the greatest joy that fills every space of my heart is when people tell me they caught their teen reading the book or that they themselves really love the characters. To see my (very picky) teenage daughter stay up until one am reading and she tells me she can’t put it down (hopefully it’s not just sheer flattery), that is a greater and more important thing than any list. That is what I envisioned and hoped for and dreamed of with every word, every edit and every two am revision.
So, a million thank yous! This has been an amazing experience mostly because I get to connect with you in a way I never imagined. I hope I can honor the story and that the overlying themes of love, having pride in one’s heritage and forgiveness is evident (as symbolized by the birds) and more than anything, I hope it shines God’s love through its pages.