There is also a gap between the official "release day" for a book, and a much more momentous occasion for an author: The day that an author hears for the first time that his or her book has reached a reader. Not as in dropped onto a doorstep by a UPS driver, or onto a Kindle via magic tech wand waving, but as in REACHED a reader. Found her. Got inside him. Came to life in a reader's imagination.
Here's a thing about publishing books: When you finish one that you wrote with a built in deadline, there is no time for putting it away for a while in order to have some marginally (if deluded!) better sense of whether the whole dang thing hangs together or is likely to mean anything, or carry anyone anywhere, once it goes out into the world.
Nope. It goes out into the world and there's this yawning water torture chasm of time between the moment the book is available to readers, and the moment anyone actually responds to the book, let alone shares the nature of the response.
And when you've written a book for kids, you are specifically if subconsciously waiting for A KID to respond. For a kid to be sucked in, and feel for your characters, to laugh and go bug-eyed and gasp in all the right places. It's that first kid who reads with gusto and love that turns your wooden puppet into a real boy (or girl in the updated version!) And it's on the day you've heard that it's happened, that your book feels truly born.
I'm so grateful to this reader for taking the time to tabout her own and her daughter's response to SWORD IN THE STACKS a few days ago. Thank you. Yeah, I cried. https://noranydroptoread.com/…/reviews-with-lilah-the-ninj…/