The New Arrival

Yesterday I received copies of my 19th published work of fiction. It's the 20th book I've had published if you count the Promise Remains/The Watermark repackage. Temptation looks great.

I'll quote something Jerry Jenkins used to say when I was fortunate to be able to present him the very latest book in his Left Behind series: "It never gets old." And Jerry was right. It never gets old holding your new book in your hands.

I especially love The Solitary Tales and their packages. There are little things that go above and beyond in the printing. The photo on the back cover. The funny high school shot in the back of the book. The actual smooth feel of the book itself.

Thank you, David C. Cook, for another job well done.

There are differences, however, between receiving my latest book verses the time I received my very first novel. I think when I first held The Promise Remains, I kept looking at it as if it might start talking. As if it glowed. I read the words and wondered if I had actually written them. They weren't that good, but this was my first baby. It was beautiful. I couldn't stop looking at it and holding it.

I was holding a dream come true.

When dreams become reality, and when living the dream resembles running a never-ending-marathon where paydays feel like someone finally being merciful and giving you a cup of water, I guess a published book feels a little different. I am getting used to them. After all the hard work put in, I realize that it's just a book.

I also know that by now, my family and friends are over the excitement of me being an author. Some still love my books and can't wait to read them. But it's not like the first time when everybody showed their enthusiasm. It just works out that way. I know there are people who love me yet secretly roll their eyes when I say "my new book just came in!!" It's just life. I can accept that.

Another reality is sales. Especially when you have a series. When you know that this series hasn't become the next Twilight or Hunger Games, it's a bit ridiculous when you say "This could be the next Twilight or Hunger Games." You have to face reality.

Those chunks of reality--the busyness of being a writer and not being able to enjoy the moment--the fact that not everybody is necessarily enamored by your profession--the reality that your book might not be breaking sales records--well, all of those can dampen the mood if you let it.

But I don't let it.

Last night I held Temptation in my hands before I went to bed. I thumbed through it and remembered the story and why I wrote it. I thought of Lily and Brick. I thought of Chris and his journey. I could hear Adele singing as I worked on the story. Like every single one of those nineteen works I've had published, there was a reason I wrote this story. There are pieces of me inside it. And I'm proud of being able to display my brokenness on a regular basis.

Yeah, I'm busy, but I can still stop and soak in the moment.

Yeah, I'm a writer and I love being called a writer.

And yeah, I still believe The Solitary Tales can be the next Twilight or Hunger Games. It just might take a little longer.

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