New York, New York!

Catharsis. The journey has begun - literally. I am to travel to New York City next month to accompany my book to the Book Expo of America, as a guest of the She Writes Press author table. I never thought this would happen!

No matter what happens with the book - or doesn't happen - this trip is a reward in itself. It's exactly the scenario I would have dreamed up for myself if I were dreaming really big - it's a scenario I have dreamed for myself, but never thought it would be a reality. In fact, it's kind of like those dreams I still have about going back to camp, or travelling again as a student. Those years of my life were such fun, and I didn't know it then but rare - experiences where everything is new, fresh, exciting, and you have a group to take care of you and tell you where to go. I miss those trips we'd take on a bus all together, to some beautiful chateau where we'd take a tour and then have sandwiches on the gravel drive, laughing and having the time of our lives. I often dream of running off to Paris and enrolling as an older student at the Sorbonne. I'd find student housing and the closet marche and send for Greg to join me. I haven't done it yet, but this trip is a good stop gap until I do. I feel like I'm gong to publishing camp, in New York City! Neat!

 I have women to thank for this extraordinary experience - first and foremost, my mother. She is my patron, my support, my benefactor, and it was my mother who met the amazing publisher Brooke Warner in the first place! At a retreat! The universe really does seem to line things up for us, if the timing is right. From there I was encouraged to submit my manuscript to She Writes Press, it was accepted, and for the next year I worked with one of the nicest, smartest editors in the world Annie Tucker, who guided me through the tome I'd written - originally it was 160,000 words long - and helped me decide to make it into two books, then helped me whittle it further into the snappy - though detailed - adventure it is today. And the team of brilliant women at She Writes Press and BookSparks Press, as well as my fellow sister authors in the SWP community. We are strong! xo

Now I'm approving the final page design. The icing on the cake. The vegan frosting with a cherry on top. This process has been truly cathartic, as well as a huge education. It's been an immense amount of work, both physically and emotionally - there is so much ego-releasing to do because in order to improve it you've got to kill some of it off and that's haaard, and very scary - but there were a lot of breakthroughs, too. Enough to keep going. So, I lurched ahead week by week, sometimes writing smooth as silk, sometimes deleting madly and cursing through a hot flash - it's been a wild writing ride, I can tell you.

And now here we are: off to New York City.

I won't have the final book with me there as it isn't published until August 15th, but we will have the gallies, or the Advanced Readers Copies, and they look incredible. I am over the moon about how the final page design looks. It is delicious. Delightful. A dream-come-true for me. As a girl I hung upon every illustration, every tiny graphic, every scripty font - it's all part of the emotional impact of a book as you turn page after page, chapter after chapter. The surprises as well as the consistent elements are what soothe you and delight you as you follow the characters through their story. And my pages look - sniff - amazing!

I didn't know if it was possible, but I did ask for an over-sized, scripty-fabulous letter at the beginning of each chapter (I've always loved those), and I got it. Those letters are in perhaps the most beautiful font I've ever seen in a book! The typeface is elegant, and easy to read, and the illustrations are perfectly set against it - simple, clean, and very sweet. Speaking of sweet - there is even a graceful arch of tiny leaves over each chapter head that just charms me to death. The style of the writing - or so I'd like to believe - is also somewhat classic - I mean, I'm no Dickens heaven knows, but I've read SO much English literature that well let's put it this way - I do like details - my point being that the type face speaks to that. A perfect marriage.

As the real world-building for Bridge of the Gods begins, I am transported along with the rest of you. This world has been in my head for so long, it's just incredible to see it come to life, and be able to share it. The memes that my publicity team has created - for social media and the press - using the amazing blurbs my dear friends Gayle Forman and Bill Zeman wrote for me, as well as fantastic, mystical forests and that glorious rearing horse - are exactly what I would have dreamed up - wait, isn't this where we started?

The dreams are coming true. The adventures are beginning. Join me - the horse can take two - and we'll be off to New York together, to - as the bear who went over the mountain said - see what we can see.

xoxoxoxo Diane