I’ve Got a Secret

I’ve got a secret.

I got a book published.

Okay, so that’s not really a secret. I’ve mentioned that here, on my Twitter feed, on my Facebook page, at work (both to my colleagues and to my students), and pretty much to everyone I interact with on either a regular or infrequent basis.

Well, almost everyone. There are three extraordinarily special people who don’t yet know I published that book.

My daughters.

They know I wrote it. They know what it’s about. They had it read to them, a chapter a night, this past summer—it was wonderful father-daughters bonding time. When I first started reading it, they giggled a lot because there were characters named for them. As the summer went on and the story progressed, they really got into it. I end many chapters with cliffhangers to entice the reader to keep reading, and they hung on them. As the stakes in the story were raised, they worried if the main characters would get out of the tricky situations they were in. In short, they really enjoyed the story.

And then they asked, “Daddy, that was really good. Why doesn’t anyone want to publish it?”

I could have explained the business of publishing. Agents and publishing houses want books they think will make them money. I could have explained that for whatever reason, some agents felt that young adult fantasy—particularly stories about mermaids—were a tough sell to publishers. But I told them I didn’t know, but I was going to keep on querying and not give up hope.

I didn’t tell them that I was considering self-publishing the book, nor did I even try to explain what self-publishing meant. The book has been available for almost a month, and I haven’t told them that many people have bought it and enjoyed it. They haven’t mentioned it to me, so I’m assuming they haven’t stumbled upon it via an internet search.

That’s the big secret I’ve got, because I decided I wanted to surprise them. And what better time of year to surprise them than at Christmas?

So this Christmas, they will each be receiving a copy of the book, signed by Daddy. I wrote the book for them, and I can’t wait to give it to them. I can’t wait to see their faces when they see the cover and flip through the pages. I haven’t ordered those copies yet, so I should probably do that after I post this blog entry.

But in the meantime, if you see my kids, please don’t tell them what they’re getting for Christmas. It’s a secret.

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