Three weeks to go! You’d think after publishing 12 other books, the novelty would have worn off. But no – I’m still excited. I’ve just done the final editing, approved the beautiful cover, written the dedication and acknowledgments, so the foetus is about to be born. Like children, you don’t have a favorite but somehow your heart expands to love the new one as much as the others.
This book almost didn’t get finished. Half-way through I got stuck and just put it aside for a few months. Then, when we went to stay with my daughter Elana, her daughter Naomi (my grand-daughter) saw the exercise book and asked me to read it to her. She understands English, but as a native Hebrew speaker (we all live in Israel), she finds it a bit difficult to read. So I started to read it to her, and her enthusiasm and wanting to know all the time “what happens next?” gave me the impetus to continue with it, so each time we went to visit, I would read her another chapter – all the way to the end. It was a special kind of bonding that developed, and because I didn’t want to disappoint her, I made sure I had another chapter ready.
When you hold your published book in your hands, it is the most amazing feeling. I had an e-book published by Prism in USA, titled “Autumn Blessing” but it’s not the same thrill. You can give copies to people you care about; and sign others for faithful readers who buy all your books over the years. You can place a copy in your bookshelves next to your other books and feel that you’ve achieved something. I was in a bookshop today buying some books by my presently favorite novelist Jojo Moyes, when the saleslady told me that by coincidence she’d just had a call from someone wanting my first book “The Pomegranate Pendant” and she’d put it away for her. It’s a special kind of feeling to know that strangers value your words enough to want to buy your books … somehow it validates all the years you have spent creating them.
Now, at my age I probably have no more books in me, but I am so grateful that I have been writing all my life. At age 7, I had my first poem published in a children’s paper in Australia, and told my mother I was going to be a writer. And I have tried to live by this quotation: “Every work of art is a self-portrait. Autograph your work with excellence.”