There are butterflies, of course. I am told that anyone who appears in public feels nervous and experiences butterflies. And mine are preparing for a mass migration as they swoop and swirl inside me, making me nervous and excited at the same time.
Why are they there? Because tomorrow I launch Disciples, my fourth book, to the world. You would think, now that I am doing this for the fourth time, that I would be used to it by now. But it never changes. Each book is unique in its own way and each one will be received differently by those who read it.
A couple of people have read this one. They know me well, but they are honest enough to make constructive comments that are not always easy to hear. That’s fine. That’s why I have given them early copies of the manuscript so that I can tweak and polish the words to make sense to those who are not inside my head.
Sometimes it’s hard to change part of the story or remove a character completely. Sometimes it hurts. Having spent a year or so with the people in the book, who end up telling their own stories, it is as if I have to say goodbye to them when I need to remove them from the action.
Cutting, trimming, leaving out that little bit I found so amusing but which is not understood in its context is like surgery. The people who have grown in my mind are friends. Maybe they will appear in another book, with another name, in a new place. But I will know them when they do and they will recognize me.
Sometimes, characters tell their own stories and take me to places I had no intention of visiting. On occasion, I have to pull them back and re-direct them, but at other times I let them run to see where we will go. Often then, the story ends in a way that I had not imagined when I put the first words down on paper.
So for a year, I have poured heart and soul into Disciples. It has become part of me. And tomorrow I will share it with the world. I hope to have it available on Facebook tomorrow too, but there have been one or two delays so it may only be in a few days time. But when you read it, or any of my other books, please know that the book you hold, physically or on an electronic device, contains part of my heart and soul; who I am.
As I think of tomorrow the butterflies rise and flutter again. But my heart also soars – in praise of my Creator God, who gave me the gift of writing and the love for words that enable me to write my stories for Him. May you be aware of His influence as you read.
To God be the glory!