In exactly one week, the date I've been writing in my email signature for the last year, been waiting for with pounding heart, looking forward to all my life will finally be here, officially (even though the book has been making its way into readers' hands for some weeks now). I've read reviews from bloggers and industry sources -- some lovely and positive like Kirkus, PW, and Booklist, and others not so much.
I know not everyone will love it, and that is okay. Some will find its flaws and overlook them, others will find its flaws and broadcast them. Some will react to something deep inside and push it away; others will react to something deep inside and pull it close.
And, as always, when I compare the delivery of this novel to the birth and delivery of my first child, I remember that these firsts can be messy, painful, s-l-o-w, and bumpy. My first child was difficult to bring into this world, but now she dances with abandon, sings unabashed, and carries her own beautifully imperfect tune.
That is my only wish for SHINE. That it go out there into the world and sing its own imperfect and beautiful tune, and touch the people it shares its story with.