How it Feels to Hold My Book for the First Time
Yesterday, a box came in the mail from our publisher, Avery Publishing with Penguin Random House. I stared at the box on my doorstep, and a jolt of electric excitement shot up from my gut. It’s HERE!! Oh my God. My book is here!
Of course, when I say “my book,” I mean “our book,” as I wrote it with co-author, Denna Babul and we are equally as elated, in shock, excited, nervous and coming-out-of-our-Jimmy-Choos with anticipation for the June 7th release of our book, The Fatherless Daughter Project: Understanding Our Losses and Reclaiming Our Lives. After writing the book for years, starting our non-profit, and traveling back and forth to New York, we thought this day would never come . . .
And the feeling is completely surreal . . . like, my-teeth-went-numb, surreal.
Placing the box with a thud on my kitchen counter, I took a deep breath, knowing I was about to hold our baby for the first time. I had to step over my dog to grab a knife to open the box, as he jumped around at my feet, hoping that I had just opened the front door to take him for a walk. Laughing, I patted him on the head, “You’ll have to wait, Tucker, I’ve got to get into this box!”
Taking the knife down the tape line and opening the 4 flaps one by one, I finally laid by eyes on two neat stacks of books with our gorgeous cover staring up at me like an eager child. “I’m HEEEEERE!!!”
Oh my God, I thought, these are being shipped to bookstores NOW, and THIS is what women all over the country will see on their store’s bookshelves.
Holy crapola! I am so excited! But . . . (looking around) I am here alone (except this crazy dog) . . . and I just want to scream and do a happy dance!! So I did . . . and then I took a deep breath and grabbed a book, and flipped to the back flap to see if I was really there . . . Oh my God! There I am!! An author! I’m an author! Tears drowned out my vision.
I held the book closed in both hands for several moments, just taking it in. I felt a rush of joy flood over me, finally wrapping my fingers over the binding of a book that we had worked for years to get just right. The book felt solid, sturdy and worthwhile in my hand.
I flipped it open, pretending I was a reader doing the same, seeing what haphazard words I would read first if I was thumbing through it in a book aisle.
I opened directly to p. 138, which talked about fatherless daughters’ in relationships. I flashed back to the days Denna & I sat writing in my office, kids crawling underfoot, reflecting on our interviews, coming up with the categories that we had seen fatherless women fall into while looking for love: “the Clinger, Attracted to Daddy Imposters, the Relationship Hoarder, the Commitment-Phobe.”
Wow, I thought, we’re good. This is dead on. And I smirked, knowing that at one point, I had been all four myself.
I looked at the next page where I created the “20 Steps to a Healthy Break-Up,” realizing that I wrote the guidelines I wished I had followed in my single years, but honestly never mastered. I looked up and out the window in my kitchen as a cardinal landed on the tree in front of me, and knew this was a sign that God’s work was being done here.
I was imperfect in my own journey, but this book was from a very deep and perfect calling. We were going to try to help girls and women do better than we did. We wanted to help them GET IT RIGHT.
And it felt SO right. This book, this baby, here in my hands, on this sunny Wednesday in May, awaiting its debut on June 7th. She is beautiful. She is solid. And while she is ours now, she is about to be the world’s. My soul swelled with overwhelming excitement, as I knew that there was more at work here than this physical book and the words we filled it with.
There was also the work of God, our spiritual guides, and the voices of the thousands of fatherless daughters that helped us create a path to deeper awareness and healing for the women who were going to be led to open its cover.
Now as I await the book’s launch, I carry it with me everywhere I go. Just an hour ago, a women in the nail salon getting a pedicure next to me cried as she told me her story. Her children marrying and leaving home had triggered her immense fear of abandonment, that she still, at the age of 61, was triggered by because of her father’s desertion.
Each time we talk about the book, women open their hearts and share from a place that has usually been long hidden. I am always deeply humbled. I said a silent prayer of gratitude with the book in my lap, knowing that I am here as a conduit to help people understand and heal their emotional scars. This book is about our calling to guide people down the path toward emotional and spiritual restoration.
As I sat watching the nail tech paint a flower on my lavender toenail, I smiled with unexplainable peace, fully ready for what was about to happen on this next leg of this journey.
The Fatherless Daughter Project can be ordered HERE.
We can be found HERE.
Our Atlanta Book release & signing: