So I wrote the letter which became the book. Having published a family history a few years ago, I kind of sort of knew the process involved in turning a story on my computer into a book that I am proud to show my friends and family.
I would be lying to state that I would not be thrilled to have the book become a best seller and then the best seller become a film directed by Spielberg or Ron Howard or Ben Affleck. As proof of this, I already have the music for the closing credits chosen. (We’ll Meet Again)
What is most important to me is having my father’s story read, so I sent a copy to the historical society in the small New Jersey town where my father’s life began and the library in the town where it ended.
I spent many happy hours in that tiny library, particularly during the year when my dad built a tree platform—not a treehouse. That summer, I tried to build up my frequent reader points starting with authors whose names began with the letter “A”, trying to see how many books I could read before Labor Day. Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre were read on that platform in my backyard. (“B” for Bronte) When I moved to the “C” authors, I fell in love with Agatha Christie’s detective novels, so I did not get much further down the alphabet.
When someone in my hometown—someone I had babysat for many, many years ago—learned of my book, she told me about the local author’s corner. I contacted the library and offered to send them a copy.
I tracked the shipment of the book, so I knew when it had been delivered. However, I got no official verification from a living, breathing person. Would they just catalog it and put it on the shelf, or would it quietly disappear if they did not feel it was worthy to share a room with the Bronte sisters and Ms. Christie? (I have doubts regarding my writing, which is why I joined the Insecure Writer’s Support Group)
I stalked the library’s online catalog and was recently rewarded when my book appeared. My daughter lives nearby, so I sent her on a field trip to take a photo of my book at my childhood reading stomping ground. (Geeky I know, but very cool to me.)
Oh no! It was not there, she informed me! I knew it! It’s not good enough! Wait, she told me! It was not there because someone had already found it and checked it out. This is even more exciting because I had told no one, which may mean that it is being read by a stranger—even better. What is even more encouraging is that there is already a hold on my book. A second person wants to read it. Hip, Hip Hooray!!
I never dreamed I would write a book, so having someone up there choosing my book to read really made my day. Thank you mystery person in Boonton, New Jersey!