Stand-alone, or part of a bigger story?
Tomorrow is the publication day for Keeper of Secrets, so here's a magical snowy video by the endlessly talented Becka Moor at Firefly Press (featuring the cover by Becky Thorns) to mesmerise you for 51 seconds :
Keeper of Secrets is a stand-alone novel, meaning that it's not part of a series with the same characters; it's complete on its own. But the same cannot be said of an author.
Many authors dream of publication, perhaps as validation for all the solitary hours, days, months or even years spent writing. Possibly a few want to be published for fame or money, but if you want those, there are much more reliable ways to find them. But most simply want their story to be read, for readers to enjoy reading it as much as they enjoyed writing it. When a reader lets you know how much they loved your story, how it moved them, how they read the whole thing in one sitting, it's a bonding experience, much like when you give someone a present. You choose something you think they will like; you wrap it carefully in so they will enjoy the whole experience; you imagine their (hopefully delighted) response when they open it.
People talk about a book, share their favourite bits, urge a friend to read it, both online and in the real world. Sometimes they disagree about it, but still they talk and it brings them together.
It creates community.
In the same way, all the characters in Keeper of Secrets live in the same village. They disagree strongly about some things, but ultimately they all come together because there's something they feel strongly about. They need each other.
And so do we.
Writers need readers. Writers need other writers to help, advise, support and encourage; writers need teams of skilled people in the publishing world - agents, illustrators, editors, proof readers, designers, publicists, marketers, bloggers, reviewers, booksellers. All working towards getting a story out where it can be read and enjoyed.
Tomorrow is publication day, something I have dreamed of for years and years. What will it be like? What will change? Everything? Or nothing? Probably somewhere in between. But more than being a celebration of a book, it is a triumph of teamwork over a long period of time. So thank you to every single person who has been part of this journey, whether you were there at the beginning of have joined in recently.
And if you can make it, why not join me at the virtual launch for Keeper of Secrets at 7pm on Saturday 4th September? Click on the link below and you'll instantly be there! Then you'll be part of it too.
Because a book may be a standalone, but an author never is.