I sent my newest young adult novel Brother, Brother out into the world today, or rather my publisher did. I delivered the manuscript nearly a year ago and uncorrected review copies have been circulating for months, but like the robin fledging that left its nest outside my studio over a week ago, my book’s truly soloing today, completely on its own.
Delivered is the verb publishers use for the successful hand off of finished manuscripts from author to editor, as for the birth of a baby. Book gestation takes time (think elephant gestation in my case), but the similarities mostly end there. When I’m writing or illustrating a book, my real work—the multitude of changes, the sleepless nights, the awkward phases—takes place well before the book is, as publishers so unmaternally say, launched. (Mix those metaphors in your mind.)
So really, Brother, Brother’s long delivered, fledged, gone. Except for email confabs with Birgitt Kollmann, who’s translating Brother into German, I haven’t looked at the complete text in months. I’ve been flirting with a new book and characters and creating new art for my November open studio. And yet. But still. The new art, below, speaks volumes.
Like the robin fledging that flitted back through the yard yesterday, both my new book and the one yet to be delivered are clearly much on my mind.
Clay Carmichael is a Writer & Illustrator who lives in Carrboro, NC. To find out more about Clay, see her website.