A writer’s journey is marked with milestones, substantial and ephemeral. There are concrete things like contracts and books, and there are fleeting moments to enjoy, insights to ponder. Today I enjoyed the latter, a little thrill of seeing Boogie Woogie Bird ‘in the wild’ for the first time.
Imagine my delight when I discovered my local bookshop had given Boogie Woogie Bird prime real estate in their front window! Several shiny copies sat on the shelf, all proudly perched with outward facing covers, like eager puppies in a pet store window waiting for little hands to pick them up, snuffle them, and take them home. It was a sweet moment to savour. I only wish I could have shared it with my mother.
While I was there, I went to the middle grade section to peruse the titles and survey the comfy but decidedly empty space between Springer (Enola Holmes) and Stewart (The Mysterious Benedict Society). About a year from now, the gap will be filled with Stegert (The Remarkables). It will boast a glorious cover, and on the spine right below my name, there’ll be a tiny Chicken House logo. How nice my next book will have such respectable neighbours.
While I was daydreaming about future milestones on the middle-grade side of the shelf, two lovely booksellers worked on the YA side, talking as they filled an order for the Starlight Foundation. A young cancer patient had made a wish to meet her favourite author, the YA mega-star, Lynette Noni. One of the booksellers mused, “Imagine being an author and learning that a reader’s biggest wish—out of all the things they could ask for—is to meet you. It must make it all worthwhile.”
Okay, I admit it: I choked back a sob. Yes! A thousand times YES! How amazing to learn your books had given someone not only joy but also comfort when they needed it most—and that meeting you would make them happier than anything else! It would be more than thrilling; it would be a career highlight, something that would keep a bounce in my step and a buzz in my head for weeks! Months!
Life-affirming milestones are wa-a-a-ay down the path for me. For now, I’m revelling in these glimmering, pixie-dusted moments—a copy of Boogie Woogie Bird spotted in the wild, a display of artwork at one library and books at another, and soon, the joy of reading my story to children at the official Disco Party Launch and other upcoming events.
Over to You
What about you? Do you have a favourite author milestone you’ve experienced or you’re looking forward to? How do you savour the moments? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.