They’re Here! But hives ruin the party

For months now people who have published books have described to me the sheer ecstasy of seeing their books for the first time and holding them in their hands like a precious carving hewn from sheer hard work and imagination. Alas, Laughed till they Cried arrived without ceremony and I wasn’t ready to give the books a proper welcome. When the phone rang one recent morning at 6:53 a.m. both my husband and I groaned. In our experience, good news arrives at civilized hours—bad news sneaks up when you least expect it. Our thoughts immediately raced to our children, grandchildren (particularly one precious young man driving to northern Alberta to pursue his career), and wonderful family and friends suffering various illnesses or problems. The caller turned out to be the dispatcher at a distribution center in Napanee. He had a pile of books to deliver from a Montreal printing house. Laughed till they Cried arrived mid day. Unfortunately, I had come down with one helluva case of hives. For several days I was covered from head to toe in big red welts and my face had swollen to the point that I was barely recognizable and my eyes were reduced to mere slits. In that condition I lurched to the garage in my old flannelettes ( did I mention the cold chills?) and surveyed the precious cargo wrapped in plain brown paper and stacked against the wall. My husband tore off the wrapping, exposed the beautiful, long-awaited product and handed me a book. Groggy and wobbly on my feet from days of heavy doses of anti-histamines, I shuffled back to bed clutching a brand new hot-off-the-press copy of Laughed till they Cried. And immediately fell fast asleep for three hours. I am now fully recovered from the mysterious ailment that was probably stress-related and gradually it is sinking in that the some 100,000 words and a cast of unruly characters who took off in all directions like stubborn teenagers now comprise a novel inserted within two beautifully designed covers. All that is left is to celebrate and promote the book and hope that its characters provide the same emotions I experienced in creating them and sharing my life with them these past many months. I miss them all ! I have had to let them go. But I take pleasure in knowing they are safe and will hopefully bring pleasure to those who read the book. I invite readers to share their thoughts with me. Enjoy ! NB: You are all invited to the book’s coming out party when we launch Laughed till they Cried at a gathering at the Seniors Center in Kingston on October 15 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. See the events page for further information.

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