One year ago today, Interlopers: A Shifters Novel hit the shelves, becoming available for purchase by a wider audience. What a year it has been. It is such an exciting thing, as a writer, to see your words and stories in print. It is an even more exciting thing to get to travel around and introduce that book to audiences nationwide–which is what I have been doing for the past year.
It really is like a birthday. As most writers know,writing any sort of piece is like giving birth (except the anguish is psychological and not so much physical). Our writing is a part of us, a little piece of our soul that we offer out into the world. And while I first began writing Interlopers in March of 2009, October of 2010 is when it made its way into the world and I became a proud, published author.
In the year’s time since my little bundle of joy has entered the world, I have had a variety of authorly firsts. I have had my first ficiton reading in front of audience in Chicago, IL. I have signed my first copies. I have received my first gratifying positive reviews, and I have also received some more lukewarm responses. Being a proud, published author, I have ushered my new creation through the world, introducing it as far and wide as I can.
Of course I love to hear from readers who have bought and love the book. I love to hear those four little words “Can’t wait for the sequel”. But there have been other moments, moments that I never anticipated at the outset of this process, that have stayed with me too.
Some of the best moments so far in my authorly journey include meeting with the students of Hampton High, New Heights, and Inglewood. I have not often gotten to do school visits in my travels but I love these opportunities to meet with young people whether they have read my book or not. I love the opportunity to see what they are capable of: the Hampton High students put on a mini poetry reading in celebration of my visit, and there were some wonderful burgeoning poets among them; the students at Inglewood asked such wonder and thought-provoking questions that made me think about my book in ways that I have not before; the New Heights students were so enthusiastic, and I hope I inspired them to read more.
Also, unexpected, some of my other most memorable moments have been meeting other authors out on the book fair/festival circuit. I have met Emma Michaels, Amanda Havard, T. K. Richardson, Jo Whittemore, Tayari Jones, and many others. Charles Frazier was signing books down the aisle from me this weekend at Southern Festival of the Book. Whether from big publisher or small,whether up-and-coming or well-established, what I have found to be constant is the wonderful support of this community of wordsmiths. It is a beautiful thing.
So here’s to one year as a published author. What a ride! And, guess what ?…
Interlopers won’t be an only child for long.
Book 2 of the Shifters Novel Series is due out next spring!