So, Black Magic Bayou has been out a little over a week now (do you have your copy yet?), and I’ve been thinking a lot about traditions.
After over twenty book releases you might think I’ve gotten over the thrill of seeing one of my books go out into the world for people to read, but nothing could be further from the truth. There’s always a little leap of excitement, a shudder of nerves. Will people like it? Will this creature born in the dark parts of my brain someday be someone’s favourite book? Have I done these characters justice and told their story right? It’s a lot of pressure, letting go of a book.
And with that in mind, I started a little tradition. It goes back to the 2011 release of A Bloody Good Secret, when I decided I wanted to do something special to commemorate the release, but nothing huge. It was my third release by then and I couldn’t expect friends and family to throw me a party every time. (As nice as it might be). So I went over to my then-boyfriend’s place and we shared wine and cupcakes. That was all it took, the birth of a tradition. Now, whether I’m celebrating with friends, or on my own, I make sure I have a bottle of wine and at least two delicious cupcakes ready for me on release day. It’s a simple thing, but it feels like such a triumph in a way. I love knowing that “wine and cupcake” day is coming, because I know I’ve accomplished something worth celebrating on that day.
I know some other authors will have a dinner out with family, or celebrate in their own specific way. Others have traditions for when a book is finished, rather than released. I like to set a “gift” goal for myself. For my most recent book I promised myself as soon as the first draft was complete I would buy myself a copy of the Hamilton book. It was a $30 reward that absolutely enticed me to get to “The End” faster.
Traditions are fun. They’re small things, that from the outside might look silly or insignificant, but can actually mean the world. I have friends who are now so familiar with my custom that on release day they ask “Did you get my cupcakes?” or they’ll treat me to a nice bottle (or two) of wine. And in a way, maybe that’s better than having a big party every time.