Tomorrow’s the day!

I’ve been staring at the screen for the better part of an hour. I’m not sure where to start. Heck, I don’t even know what to say.

To be honest, my mind hasn’t really been on TAKEN for awhile now. Promotion of it, yes, but not the actual writing. When it comes to manuscripts, my efforts are currently focused on TAKEN’s sequel (the final touches) and book three (initial drafting). I think the last time I actively worked on TAKEN was over a year ago, and even then it was merely fine-tuning comma placement and grammatical issues. But now, nearly three years after I first drafted the novel, it is finally making its way into the hands of readers.

While a little bit terrifying, this is also the most exciting part. At least for me. See, I’ve always thought that readers are what make stories magical. Without a reader a book is just a bound collection of black words upon white pages. It’s readers who give books shape and meaning. They build the world up in their own unique way, no two renderings of the characters or settings exactly a like. They interpret things, read between the lines, theorize on future installments. They make fiction real within the confines of their own imaginations. Every person’s experience with a book will be different, personal and intimate to the reader, and yet each will be perfect in its own way.

This is the magic of books.

I’ve been regarding release day–tomorrow–with cautious astonishment. It’s really here. Finally. After months and years of counting down the days, it’s happening. I think the most liberating realization I’ve had, is that I feel no different. I am the same person. I’m still a sister, daughter, wife, friend, lover of stories. I’m still the biggest Harry Potter nerd around. I still geek out over good design and stunning type. Truly, the only thing changing is who this story belongs to.

It used to be just mine. And tomorrow, TAKEN will belong to the readers.

I just…I can’t. I can’t comprehend this. Tomorrow, any reader who might want to read my little book, meet these fictional characters that emerged like smoke signals in my head, can simply walk into a bookstore and buy it. Or order it online. Or download it to their e-reader.

This is what makes it so special, guys. You. Readers.

None of this could have happened without readers.

I’m now inclined to continue thanking everyone who made this book possible, but that’s what my acknowledgements section is for. Still, I hold a special place for internet friends, and since you’re likely the ones reading this post, let me take an extra moment to say… Readers of this blog and twitter-acquaintances: your comments and @ messages never fail to make me smile. My fellow debuts I met through The Luckies and the Thirteeners: it was an honor navigating these tumultuous debut waters with you. The sharp, brilliant, gorgeous gals of Pub(lishing) Crawl: you are all amazing and I can’t imagine having done this without your support and endless enthusiasm.

Thank you! Thank you, thank you, thank you. To readers, to friends, to lovers of stories.

I’ll chat with y’all on the flip side…

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