Like main character Grandad Colin in 1943, How to be Brave is crossing the ocean today. I hope it fairs a bit better on its journey than he did. Right now, seventy-three years ago, he was about halfway through his lifeboat ordeal, with another month until rescue. Daffodils and lighter evenings were brightening home while he and his sea brothers drifted in unbearable heat. The book he inspired has a much shorter and easier trip to reach foreign shores.
On this wonderful spring day How to be Brave is officially released in America and Canada. I feel very distant from it in some ways but extremely close in others. Even though nothing will physically happen to me today, I feel like I’m standing on a pier waving off my baby, my debut, my book.
I love the US and have visited there numerous times over the years, most recently to New York last year. Apparently if you make it there you can make it anywhere. Does this go for books? We will see. I took my original very first copy of the novel there with me so she has had a little taster of far flung places already. Canada holds a special place in my heart too, even though I’ve not yet visited. My cousins are Canadian and my lovely publisher – Karen Sullivan who made my dream come true – hails from there also.
So How to be Brave is being shipped now farther afield, across water. Back when I was receiving rejection after rejection for the book my husband said quite profoundly to me, “That rejection wasn’t your ship. Your ship is still coming. I know it.” And just as it did for Colin after a long time on the ocean, it did for me after a long time on a sea of words, thanks to Orenda Books.
Now my book belongs to the world. Bon Voyage!