A Little Perspective

So, tomorrow is release day for The Hidden Icon.

I’ve had so many people, more than I deserve, offer their support and congratulations. I’ve been asked a lot as the day grows near, “Are you so excited?” And of course I am, absolutely. It’s all too unreal to me. I’ve held the paperback in my hands, opened it and recognized every single word I edited and agonized over (and over and over), scrawled my illegible signature in a couple of advance copies. But overwhelmingly, do you want to know what I’m feeling?

Fear.

I almost didn’t even want to write that word and I won’t tell you how long I waffled over posting this, but I feel like it’s important to be honest. I’m no Wesley Crusher but I do believe that Wil Wheaton provides humans an excellent standard to live by.

“Be honest. Be kind. Be honorable. Work hard. And always be awesome.”

This book, come tomorrow, it’s not mine anymore. Every word I’ve written becomes the province of the reader’s imagination. The shape of Eiren’s nose, the sound of Gannet’s voice, their smiles and scars and tracks in the sand will venture, with luck, very far away from me. And there’s nothing I can do to stop it (nor would I want to).  I don’t expect big or even little success, but I do expect that I will have to learn to share my secret friends, which is what these characters, this world, has been for me for years. I am elated to share them, of course, but I’m terrified, too. How could I not be?

Here’s what I hope for: a bigger, badder, grander version of the hyper-eager phone conversations I shared with my best friend when we were teenagers, when we called each other to read passages aloud from the things that we were working on and the the things we were reading, to talk about characters, about adventure, about love. What would send me absolutely over the moon is if we aren’t the only ones talking, this time.

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