This is the moment I've been waiting for since I was nine years old.
Soon my debut novel, All Because of Hannah, will be published. I dragged my feet a bit on this one, but I wanted to make sure it was the best that it could be. I hired editors, did tons of research with experts, had beta readers read through the manuscript at various times during the writing process. I set aside the project from time to time to let it rest. Sometimes for a few days. Sometimes a few months. It's been a long journey.
The story is loosely based on my life. I know all authors say that. But this is a story inspired by a profound turning point in my life that happened when I was 11. It is fiction, though. The characters are completely different, and some of plot elements that happened in the story did not happen to us in real life. Some, however, did. I remember the editors questioning the verisimilitude of certain scenes in the book until I assured them that they actually happened. We also experienced a lot of the same emotion, confusion, anger and uncertainty that the characters experience in the book. Writing it was cathartic in some ways. Frustrating in others.
I've heard a lot of writers say they're going to miss their characters after they finish writing the book. I won't. I was a little concerned about this at first. Is it because they're not likable enough? Developed enough? Real enough? I think it's because the story hits too close to home. It was difficult living through it, and it was difficult capturing it on the pages. The characters are sad and angry for most of the book. This could be another reason why I won't miss them. They are going through a traumatic event after all, so I can't blame them. But I won't miss them.
I'm both excited and nervous as this has been one of the only major goals in my life: to publish a book. Now it's close to becoming accomplished, and I'm not sure what to do with myself after it's achieved.