Just a thought… When something scares you, it means it’s worth it. [author unknown]
On the road again…and a ferry…and off we go to the mainland! Tonight marks sort of a quiet “coming out” party as the Vancouver Writers’ Festival continues. Rob and I have been invited to a little soirée that HarperCollins is throwing and we decided that we’d just dive right in. I’m not going to know a soul there except for the VP of Publishing (my guardian angel through all of this) but we’ll give it a go.
Not being big fans of the busy-ness and traffic of Vancouver when we’d rather just cocoon here on the Saanich Peninsula on the island, we’re only going to the big city for one night, but we’ll combine it with a visit with my sister and her fiancé, who happen to be in town for a gemmology event. Nice coincidence!
This is a good time to update you on what’s happening with Mourning Has Broken as this vision of a book becomes a reality. I got the uncorrected printed version a few weeks ago – sent out to reviewers and for editors’ use – and the experience of opening that mailer envelope and holding my own book in my hands was one I will never forget. You might think it would be satisfaction or joy. Nope, not for me: it was terrifying.
I’ve still only read about one-third of it, caught between wanting to make little changes here and there, remembering other things I could have added (just tiny additions and not ones that would matter to anyone but me) and wondering how people are going to receive the book. Knowing that the baby has been born and that I have to send it out into the world, hoping we’ll all be safe and happy when we do.
Copies have been sent to reviewers and to those who I hope will write a little blurb for the cover, front or back. I think I can let the cat out of the bag and tell you that Jann Arden has kindly agreed to write a foreword to Mourning Has Broken, and that Amy Sky and Olivia Newton-John’s words about the book will also be included.
I haven’t given it to any family member except our daughter-in-law Brooke; there’s nothing that she and Phil can change about the contents now, but I wanted them to have read it before it comes out in just four months’ time. My sister Leslie, whose story factors into this book, read the chapters about herself when she was here. (I couldn’t let my copies out of my hands when she went home, but she’s made me promise I’ll give her one when it’s out.)
So now what, you ask? Good question! I’ve been in talks with the publicist handling this book and getting the word out around its February 26th release to television, radio, print and digital. So far, I know there’s a book tour that will start here in Victoria, go on to Vancouver, then include Toronto and wind up in Ottawa. That takes just a few weeks, but hopefully I will be returning to various cities (especially Toronto) for book signings and events, like public speaking and keynote addresses, in future. I expect 2019 to include a lot of flight time and that’s why we’re taking a winter in the sun just to charge batteries before it all gets rolling.
So the tour is being put together. I don’t know which stores and when yet; I’ll be sure to let you know here on my journal site. I’ve asked about advanced book sales (in case you want to ask for it for Christmas, if I may be so bold to suggest) so we’ll see how that works out. There are many irons in the fire and I’m so excited to see just how everything unfolds. I have every bit of faith in the folks at HarperCollins to see this through, just as they have from the moment I was approached to write it.
I have to tell you a funny little story from something that happened last week when I was on the plane from Winnipeg to Calgary. The woman next to me looked up from her book to see me reading. Actually, pen in hand, I was making changes and corrections that I want to run by the editors to ensure they caught the odd redundant word, etc.; I’m sure it looked rather strange.
“Good book?” she asked.
“I think so,” I said, “but I wrote it.” I showed her the photo on the back and held it up to my smiling face. I passed her the book and she read the summary on the back.
I realized it might make for awkward conversation but she looked up, her eyes a little misty and said, “This happened to you?” I said yes. Then she asked the question that I’m going to get 1,028 times in the year to come. Was it cathartic to write?
The answer to that will definitely surprise you and I’ll share it with you here next week. In the meantime, with sunshine and 14 in the forecast, we take down the top and point the MINI towards Vancouver today. Have a great weekend and I’ll be back with you on Monday.