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WritingWordByWord

Beth Hautala is author of Waiting For Unicorns, and The Ostrich And Other Lost Things. She lives with her husband and four children in northern Minnesota where she strives to write stories that tie heart and imagination together. 

 

 

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Thursday
Jan222015

Book Release Day

I‘ve tried to write this post four times today. I keep trying to adequately formulate words to match the emotion that’s hovering over this day—the day my first book has come to life.
I work in words. Have done for most of my life, so you would think I could arrange a few in this regard.  . . .

I wanted to start out by trying to tell you how this book came together, but that doesn’t really seem relevant to today. And then I wanted to tell you about my writing process—talk about story arc and syntax, research, development, and editorial details. But sometimes that comes off sounding vain and slightly stuck-up, so I dead-ended there too. Then I imagined saying something witty and flattering about traditional publishing—but that’s all been said before, by people far more skilled with the written word than I.

So all I’m really left with, at least for now, is this giant overwhelming expression of gratitude. And that feels right. And perhaps I’ll come off sounding a bit overly earnest and a tiny bit too sincere, but this is a big day for me. So I trust you’ll forgive me.

Many people make a book. —Yes, the author writes it. No doubt there.
But before pen ever meets the page there are people who pour love and time and build memories so the story has some kind of foundation to stand on.
There are  people who give a writer the tools she needs to write. The people who teach her to read, who teach her to hold a pencil, who patiently read aloud to her until she falls in love with words. There are the professors and the critique partners, the counselors and the friends, the proofreaders and the editors, the bloggers and blog readers, and other authors who teach her what good writing looks like.
After that come people who gave her the story she finally tells—the ones on whom her characters and their experiences are loosely or emotionally based.
There are people who give her daily challenges and motivate her to press on, people  who encourage her, tell her it can be done, and some who tell her it can’t.
There are those who transform the story into an actual book. The people of red pen and grammar rules, the ones of ink and paper, editorial prowess and story-arc policing. The cover designers and ISBN number recorders, the filers and e-mailers, press-release senders, and galley-copy distributers, the sales team and book-shop owners. —And others, so many others I don’t have names for, who have ultimately left fingerprints in my life, and thus in every book I will ever write. Every story I will ever tell.

This post is for them. For you.

Please know that I have told my story—my first story—to the best of my ability. It is the best version of itself.
Thank you for giving me WAITING FOR UNICORNS. Today I give it back to you.
I hope you like it.

Reader Comments (2)

Every time I have tried to write about this beautiful story, I can't find the words either! This post was lovely, you found the right words, they are always there, and you know where to look. Thank you for sharing this book! xoxo

January 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJolene

My goodness, Beth. This is so beautiful and so eloquent. Love you dearly and can't wait to see you TOMORROW! :)

January 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLiz

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