Now that The Heart Thief has arrived, I’ve been thinking about the term Book Release. One could call it Book Publication Day. Or No More Rewriting Day. But Book Release Day is evocative in the way those other true but less stirring terms are not. Because publishing a book is a kind of letting go.
Writing starts out with a lost idea, tangled in a net by the side of the road. A passing author rescues it. The idea is dehydrated and stressed so it needs to be rehabilitated and made into a story before it can go into the wild. When the big day arrives, the author, handling the story gently, but wearing leather gloves in case it bites, transfers it to a small cage.
It’s a long drive to the release location and the author fastens the cage into the back seat with the seat belt. On the way, the story paces anxiously, turning from one set of bars to the other. It can scent freedom in the breeze that puffs through the car’s open windows. A small, select group of supporters have gathered on the mountain top to see it off.
The weather is clear and from the peak, one can see the village below. The buildings are distant but distinct. The story remains quiet, crouched near the door of its cage – ready but tentative. Perhaps this is a trick, it thinks.
But the author fiddles with the catch and the door swings open. The story pauses for a split second, still unsure and then it flies. It swoops up into the blue sky, glorying in the freedom to stretch and soar. And then it is gone – off to new adventures.
On the way back down the mountain, the author notices something caught in a bramble bush by the bridge. It’s a new idea, scratched and bruised, but with potential. The author puts it in the cage and brings it home. It will probably need some warm milk and a soft blanket. The author can hardly wait to see how this idea turns out.
It might take a few weeks, though. So, while you are waiting, check out The Heart Thief!