The Box

The postman dropped off a box last week. You know how they all look – ubiquitous dirt brown bound in shiny plastic tape. Ordinary. Mundane. God knows I’ve received enough of them in the mail.

Yet this one’s arrival filled me with equal parts suspense and glee. Why? The return address belonged to my publisher, Draumr. I instantly knew what sat inside the package. The first two production copies of The Gospel of Matthias Kent.

I stopped breathing for a moment as I held this all-too-ordinary carton in my hands. Every cell in my body tingled. I couldn’t stand the anticipation any longer and ran a knife carefully along the tape. The books lay inside, cradled in a protective film of plastic.

There’s always a bit of trepidation when you see your book in print. It’s tangible. It’s real. It exists. And the cover has your name stamped on it. All praise and/or blame is now squarely yours.

I plunged into it, fanning the pages, and seeing all the nouns and verbs fly by. My eyes came to rest on a bit of dialog between my protagonist and a supporting character. They walked in a bleak forest. I listened in on them like the eavesdropper I felt I was when I wrote those words. And, then closed the book.

Questions overcame me. Would readers take the journey with Matthias? Would they hear him the same way I did, and still do? That’s where the suspense, the fear, comes in – that stepping away from the creation of a story to letting it find its mark with the true judges of the written word – readers. I guess that’s the blessing and the curse of being a writer.

For now, I’ll bask in the blessing of opening a simple cardboard box and delighting with what I found inside.