How to even start this post; the book went live at 8.02 a.m. Pacific Standard Time. Last night I spent the second half of the abysmal 49ers-Seahawks debacle giving the manuscript another peek. We shan’t speak any more of football. Let’s talk about Alvin’s Farm…
Specifically this last book of the series; I wrote this novel for NaNo 2010, with the full awareness it was The End. When I wrote the last sentence, which never did change from the initial draft, I wept, in part from the sentiment of those final words, and that the whole kit’n’kaboodle was done! And what a series; six novels of plentiful love and heaps of angst set in Western Oregon. I loved writing these books, really loved writing them. Publishing the last one feels so good.
It’s like saying goodbye to beloved friends whom I really can see anytime; just open the book and read. As this last one ties up many loose ends, there is plenty to peruse. Having never previously attempted a series, plotting this last installment was tricky. And when one character muscled her way into the action, well, I knew better than to halt the flow of progress. Pru Castle made her wishes known; I just typed the words.
To fully express all that sits in my head at this very moment would take a book; the Liner Notes at this novel’s conclusion go some ways in explaining this story’s meaning. At this time of year, with so much expectation afoot, patience is indeed a virtue. Christmas Eve, even for big kids, is awash in great hope for very good things; presents come in all shapes and sizes, what Jenny tries to tell her son Eric. This novel is a lot about Eric Cassel, who is more like his father than anyone realizes.
It’s also about Eric’s cousin Tanner, who is a lot like my brother Joe, which I didn’t accept until several edits into the process. It’s about seeing what is right under our noses as blessings, sometimes attractive, occasionally not so much. It’s about love’s healing power trumping all evils, even if love seems vary far away.
Which at this time of year, a baby nearly born, seems like an apropos analogy.
This book wouldn’t be released if not for many people, why self-publishing is such a misnomer. Julie K. Rose designed the gorgeous cover and provided vital editorial expertise. My family proffered their support, and readers of the previous novels have lifted my heart; many thanks to all these folks. My husband needs a huge hug for putting up with me (and the Cassels and Smiths) since I started this series in spring of 2009. Last, but not least, I give all credit to God, without whom I wouldn’t even be writing this post. This novel is my personal favourite, but I didn’t write it alone; divine inspiration lies at the heart of all my books, this one especially.
Closing this post, I just want to note what an incredible experience crafting and releasing this book, and the other five, has been. Until I wrote Alvin’s Farm, I never saw myself as a serial author, but there is a lovely charm (and certain ease) in dealing with one cast. Unwinding so many lives provided me with untold opportunities to explore my own path, which is why I write. The Timeless Nature of Patience brought out the best of my writing to date, which was also exhilarating. There is just so darn much I like about this book, which now I can share with those who are called to it. Happy Christmas to all (even my vexing San Francisco 49ers), and to all a good read!