Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Dream Incarnate

The book arrived yesterday. Mr. U.P.S. and I pulled up to my driveway at the same serendipitous moment, and I had to wait until he'd dropped his offering on my porch and driven off before I could pull in. I wasn't expecting a package, but packages have a way of showing up unannounced these days.

It was my book. Shiny jacket, hard red cover, and pages of beautifully formatted story that I'd written.

In hallucinations I'd imagined this would be an ecsatatic moment, where I'd weep, suck in an enraptured breath, and, in an instant, all my life's woes and inadequacies would be swallowed up and disintegrate. Voila! Fulfillment and bliss. There's my name on a book.

It was nothing like that. More of a "Hm. Whaddya know."

This dream, like most, unfolded in so many gradual stages, there were dozens of incremental steps toward it. Before I saw the book, I saw the cover. Before the cover, the final art. Before the final art, the mockup. Before the cover, the formatted pages, in several rounds. Before that, manuscript after manuscript. The contract. Draft upon draft upon draft. The agent, the pitch. It wasn't one moment of explosive creation, a Big Bang Birth of Julie Berry's dreams. I arrived there before I knew it, and the transformation, if there was one, was quiet.

I still have all my weird hangups. I double-checked. They're alive and kicking.

The pleasure, I discover, comes not from realizing the hope of holding my book in my hands, but from the hope that someday, you will hold it in yours.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Welcome to The Book Gargoyle, blogger home of Julie Berry, children's book author

Welcome to The Book Gargoyle, the official blog of Julie Berry, children's book author. My debut novel, The Amaranth Enchantment, releases March 3, 2009 from Bloomsbury Children's Books, with much fanfare and frivolity -- at least in the Berry home.
In the meantime, meet Priscilla, the gargoyle for whom this blog is named. She's the one with the book.

She's illustrated by my inimitable sister, Sally Faye. She lives on a bookmark, of which I've just ordered a squijillion copies, and as soon as I get my P.O. box figured out, anyone in the universe may have one for the asking -- autographed, even! -- if they'll send me a S.A.S.E. (That's a self-addressed stamped envelope, for anyone who's forgotten what stamps are for...)