I got a little picture in my email today from my editor. She snapped a photo she thought I might want to see.
My book is hot off the presses, ready for advanced readers and reviews. I sat at my computer and looked at those hardcover books and I was happy, of course, but my main emotion was something bigger and deeper than happy.
It was gratitude.
I thought of all the friends and people who cheered me on. I thought of the complete strangers who read and reviewed it and contacted me. I especially thought of every test reader who agreed to inspect my first stab at a novel, the good, the bad and the ugly, and give me honest criticism and just as important, honest praise.
You are the ones who built a little fire of determination under me that kept my candle burning late into the nights. You are the ones who made me want to improve and try again. You are the ones who filled that box with hardcovers.
And then someone printed my name on it. That feels like a typo to me. I want you to know that I don't see my name on the front. I see all of our names. And I hope this feels like a joint accomplishment to you, too, because it certainly does to me. If you ever gave me one ounce of support (and you know who you are, and I know who you are) then I hope if you ever see this book on a shelf you stop and touch the cover and think, "I helped write that."
In this month of giving thanks, I am.