You may remember back in January of this year when I wrote about a writer-friend who was on the brink of having her first novel published. Helping her to reach this milestone has been particularly gratifying because of the story involved. She wrote her book about 20 years ago. Over time, it was accepted by two different traditional publishers, but each time the deal fell through. The first publisher went under and the second reconsidered based on some issues of religious content. I don't know how many other queries she might have sent out, how many rejections she may have received, but all writers know the doldrums that settle in during that time of no forward movement. It becomes a quagmire of depressing self-talk, low self-confidence and hopelessness. It becomes less painful to shove the manuscript into a drawer than it does to continue the quest.
Luckily, her family refused to accept defeat. That's when I was brought in to push things along. I did some light editing, formatted the book for CreateSpace, designed a simple cover with their template and the book was born. Unbeknownst to the author, proof copies were ordered and a surprise party was organized.
Lured to the party location under the guise of celebrating a totally separate accomplishment by someone else, she had no idea of what was to come. I understand that when "the bomb" was dropped, she was completely stunned. She laughed, she cried, wiped her eyes, shook her head, looked at her book again and cried some more.
I envy her that feeling. I envy her seeing her own words on paper, bound, for the first time. But I don't envy her the wait she has gone through. This was, quite literally, the culmination of a life's work. She is 83 now; certainly there were times when she thought she would never see this day.
But the day has come. And it was love at first sight.