Yesterday was a wonderful day for many reasons--and one of them came in padded manila envelope with an impressive Illinois return address: Tyndale House Publishers. In just moments, I caught my first glimpse of a finished copy of Disaster Status!
As usual, the Tyndale art department has done a stellar job: glossy, shiny, ember-warm colors of orange and yellow and sooty-black; perfect to set off the bold cover image of fire Captain Scott McKenna--so real, I could could almost smell the faint scent of smoke on my hero's skin.
Just holding the book in my hands made me giddy--I guess you can see that by the photo. And though this is actually the fifth time I've had this first-glimpse experience of a newly published novel, let me assure you: the thrill does not wane over time. That quick escape of breath, eye-darting perusal . . . sniffing of the pages (you doubt this?) happens, I'm told, to all authors--first book, fifth book, or fifty-fifth book. (Sans stretch marks and 2 AM feedings) welcoming a new book into the world is a lot like becoming a new parent. After long months of planning, preparing, and just plain labor, it's great to finally hold that much awaiting offspring in your hands. So, after cradling the new book, ogling its cover, sniffing the printed pages, what does a giddy author do next? Here's MY answer:
1) Read the cover quote (not included in any early images of the book's cover): "Candace Calvert has proven she knows her stuff on the ER stage." HANNAH ALEXANDER.
2) Check the back cover (in glorious orange): additional gracious endorsements by award-winning authors Hannah Alexander, Margaret Daley, and Diann Mills.
3) Check the dedication page: "For my amazing daughter, Brooklynn, who hikes to mountaintops, listens in pristine stillness . . . and knows her strength." (That's you, baby girl!)
4) Scan the Acknowledgements: agent Natasha Kern, Tyndale editors, my critique partner Nancy Herriman, generous resources, fellow medical folks, family, church, dear husband, Andy . . . all there, all so hugely important.
5) Blink, gasp in complete and delighted surprise at inside quotes (for Critical Care) from reviewers (some now dear friends), like: Relz Reviews, Mocha with Linda, Deena (a Peek at my Bookshelf), ChristianBookPreviews, Christian Retailing, Nora St. Laurent (Novel Reviews), and best-selling authors Susan May Warren, Colleen Coble, and Harry Kraus, MD.
6) Read the opening lines that I wrote, revised, agonized over for so many long months:
Fire captain Scott McKenna bolted through the doors of Pacific Mercy ER, his boots thudding and heart pounding as the unconscious child began to stiffen and jerk in his arms. He cradled her close as her small spine arched and her head thumped over and over against his chest. “Need help here. Seizure!” . . .
Yes, it's there. Just as I wrote it. And ready, now, to share with YOU. In hopes of entertaining, inspiring . . . touching your hearts.
I can hardly wait.
Fellow authors: How does it feel to hold that hot-off-the-press book in your hands?
Readers: How hard is it to wait for your favorite author's new book--do you look for authors with similar writing styles to fill that void? Where do you turn to "discover" new authors?
A big THANK YOU to Tyndale House (editors Jan Stob and Lorie Popp) for the awesome job they did in breathing life into Disaster Status. Along with massive kudos to cover designer Mark Anthony Lane II for his brilliant work--you "found" Scott McKenna. Way cool.
And now . . . back to sniffing those pages.
Disaster Status is on its way.