The past month has been a blur, to say the least.  The week Sisterwives launched, I spoke at four events.  So many discussions, and questions. Such responses: queries and curiosity, and warm congratulations.  I felt so stimulated and gratified by it all.

And then there was a holiday. Time for sunshine and lazy indulgence, and a chance to read for pleasure.  Time for reflection, too.

One of the most frequent questions I’ve been asked since the book came out is how it feels to be a published novelist.  In the time Before Publication (BP) I remember thinking that I’d give my eye teeth to be in print, to have that recognition and validation.  I’d look at ‘proper’ authors and feel that ache of wanting the same thing; despair, sometimes, as to whether I might make it at all.

Now that I’m here, it does feel different.  Of course it does.  I feel grateful, for one thing, to have crossed a line.  Whatever happens, I’ll always be the author of a published novel, no matter how small the readership.  But the main – unexpected – thing is that it’s reignited my passion for the book.  After months of planning, of close editing, tracking changes and scrutinising commas, I’ve finally come back to what the book means.  Those words written in the dark, alone, in what often felt like blind faith, now have a context and readership.  I love the q & a part of events, because it makes possible dialogue and the exchange of ideas. The events have made me revisit why I wanted to write Sisterwives in the first place.

In many ways, nothing much has changed.  I’m still very much in public mode, for one thing, event organising, liaising with bookshop owners about signings, planning a creative writing workshop later this month.  The next novel, in a raw and undernourished state, languishes on my hard drive.  Part of me longs to get back to it.  And I know that, when I do, publication or no publication there’ll still be the same relationship with words as in the time BP.  There’ll still be that pushing through fear and the doubt; the divining in the dark, the worry about whether it will ever be written and whether it will ever be good enough.

May it always be so.  The path is a long one, a lifetime one.  More than anything, what I hope is to savour the experience of getting there.