Receiving the bound galleys of one's own book is usually a thrilling experience. It's when the book really feels like a book for the first time. When I received the galleys for Fruitflesh, my first published book, I was so overcome at the sight of my name on the cover, I thought I might pass out or throw up. This time is different.
I recently received the galleys for both My Life with the Lincolns, my YA novel coming out in March, and Delta Girls, my novel coming out in June (you can see the cover here, now that I have a digital copy.) Of course it was exciting when they each showed up on my doorstep, but it was also bittersweet. For those who haven't seen the posting on my other blog, my mom committed suicide six weeks ago, one week after my son Asher was born. I had dedicated Delta Girls to her but hadn't told her; I had wanted to surprise her with it when the galleys came out. Now I deeply regret not telling her, and not sharing the manuscript, which she had wanted to read, with her earlier. I see the simple dedication--"For my mom"--and it takes on a whole other meaning now, and it breaks my heart. I never imagined she wouldn't be here to see it, herself, or that it would become a memorial of sorts.
We never know how much time we have with our loved ones; it makes me want to pull all of them even closer now.