Blogger: Wendy Lawton
On our blog we’ve talked about many a milestone– finding an agent and receiving “the call,” selling the manuscript to a publisher, hosting a launch party, and many other unforgettable moments. Today I want to talk about another milestone– the birthday of a book. The pub day is always a day to celebrate. It’s the day the book is actually ready to order online and the day it’s available in bookstores across the country.
I have more than one client whose books share the same April 1st birthday but I decided to follow one book, When the Morning Glory Blooms by Cynthia Ruchti. Yesterday was its official birthday. Here’s what the book is about: Becky rocks a baby that rocked her world. Sixty years earlier, with her fiancé Drew in the middle of the Korean Conflict, Ivy throws herself into her work at a nursing home to keep her sanity and provide for the child Drew doesn’t know is coming. Ivy cares for Anna, an elderly patient who taxes Ivy’s listening ear until the day she suspects Anna’s tall tales are not just idle ramblings. They’re Anna’s disjointed memories of a remarkable life. Finding a faint thread of hope she can’t resist tugging, Ivy records Anna’s memoir, scribbling furiously after hours to keep up with the woman’s emotion-packed grace-hemmed stories. Is Ivy’s answer buried in Anna’s past? And what connects them to Becky? Becky, Ivy, Anna–three women fight a tangled vine of deception in search of the blossoming simplicity of truth.
What to expect when you’re expecting: Cynthia’s gestation period for this new baby was no picnic. The book was written and edited in the middle of chaos, including an extensive kitchen fire, her husband Bill’s fall which netted him a broken leg, broken back, surgery and physical therapy. Cynthia, of course, became a 24/7 caregiver, relieved only by her own emergency gall bladder surgery. And those were just a few of the challenges. But here’s what Cynthia, past president of American Christian Fiction Writers, wrote on the ACFW loop this weekend. . . on the eve of the book’s birth: “Right now, I’m just hours away from a newborn novel. In 2008, my then unpublished first novel was a Genesis finalist. In 2011, that same novel–They Almost Always Come Home–was a Carol Award finalist. So it’s only appropriate to let my ACFW friends know that tomorrow’s dawn will see the birth, the official launch, of another novel–When the Morning Glory Blooms. Please join me in praying for the impact of this book. In its embryo stage, it received its first encouragement at the ACFW conference in…get this…2005! Don’t give up, dear friends. The gestation period for some novels is longer than for others.”
On the very day: On the Christian Authors Network blog yesterday, Cynthia wrote: “And today, I held it in my arms, looked into its soft face, and said, ‘It’s a book!’ So how am I spending my first day with this new baby? On my knees. The labor isn’t over, of course. Marketing, publicity, speaking related to the book, articles related to the book, author events, blog visits, the wonder of interacting with readers. I’m spreading the cover before me, laying one hand on the cover and one hand on my Bible and praying, ‘Lord, I know how these two books are connected. Please help readers see the link, too.’ I’m turning to the title page and praying for my publishing house, editor, publicist, marketing manager, sales team, publisher… I’m opening to the dedication page and praying for those for whom the book was written. I’m asking the Lord to breathe life into the pages, to touch them so that those who pick up the book sense something that can only be Him. I can’t wait to introduce this ‘baby’ to the wonderful world of my reader and writer friends!” In a phone call today Cynthia told me that her husband, Bill, set aside time to pray with her for this book.
Birthday Presents: Cynthia’s received many exciting gifts for her new baby including 4.5 stars from Romantic Times and an RT Top Pick! The endorsements were welcome gifts from Deb Raney, Tricia Goyer, Susan Meissner and several others. Plus the “baby” has received many a stellar review. (And what makes a parent happier than hearing how wonderful her baby is.)
Birthday wishes: As the candles are blown out, we’re always reminded to make a wish. In the RT Reviews Daily Blog yesterday, Cynthia talked about some of her wishes for her book: “I dreamed about her again last night. The mom who will be handedWhen the Morning Glory Blooms for Mother’s Day along with a note that says, ‘Thank you for loving me … even then.’
“The high school student hoping to graduate before her due date. She opens her backpack to find a ribbon-wrapped, morning glory-splashed novel and a note from her broken-hearted mother. ‘I’m here. Lean on me’.”
“The seventy-year-old woman who will read When the Morning Glory Blooms and embrace the grace reserved for her, the one she’s resisted because of her past.”
For a book about babies it is fitting that Cynthia closed that article with these words, “As I sat with my fingers poised over the keyboard, grace and hope showed up on the pages, changing everything with a baby’s first sweet breath. ”
How about you? What was your book’s birthday like? Did you celebrate? If you’ve not yet seen that book published what would your ideal book birthday include? Hopefully seeing just one birthday celebration will help you picture your day.
Follow one book’s journey from a glint in the creator’s eye to a fully birthed book. Click to Tweet
Celebrate! Take time to savor your book’s birthday. Click to Tweet
Happy Birthday, Book! Click to Tweet