I admit that I had forgotten about this book, published in the ‘80s by Westminster Press and then by NAL, until that e-mail from a grandmother who explained that her grandson was doing a book review on The Lake Is On Fire. “He needs to have a song that goes with the book,” she wrote. “Can you suggest one?”
So I sat down and read my book again after many long years. It was a good read, with a story about an angry, recently blinded boy and a suspicious, maltreated dog caught together in a forest fire. It was about danger and the redemptive force of gained trust, courage and love. It deserved to come out of retirement. So… perhaps as an e-book?
Immediately, my Practical Self sent out shrieks of protest.
Practical Self: Have you gone totally nuts? There are a hundred thousand e-books out there. Who would ever pay attention to yours?
Me: It’s a good book. Every time I read it, I cry. People have told me that they cried when they read it, and I remember the editor who told me: ‘When you make me cry, you make me buy.”
PS: You cry too easily. You’ll definitely weep when you find out how much it cost to get a book on line. It’s a book for young people, for Pete’s sake. It couldn’t compete on the market.
Me: Adults have enjoyed this book! My colleague in the English department read it on the subway going home one day and got so involved that he missed his station—twice! And just the other day, I read the last two chapters to a number of English teachers who were spellbound.
Me: I believe in this book. Both protagonists are angry, hurt, and they dislike each other. When they are forced to rely on each other, trust begins. The song I suggested to the grandmother via e-mail was “Stand By Me.”
After silencing my voice of reason, I sought the help of Kristine Goad, herself an author. My kind friend offered invaluable advice about the mysterious ways in which a real life book could be converted into one that sprints through the airways into kindles and nooks, tablets and computers! Then it was a matter of researching various companies and—after much hesitation, a myriad e-mails, phone calls, night sweats and palpitations— the deed was done.
So with fear and trembling I have sent my long neglected story into the world again to be found now on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CS7DZJG/ref=rdr_kindle_ext_tmb _ and soon to be available on such sites as ibooks, Barnes and Noble, The Sony Reader Store, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker&Taylor,Ebook Pie, Scribd and eSentral. All of which are beyond my comprehension and all of which sound very much like black magic.
Venturing even further into black-magic territory, I’ve created a one-day event on Facebook and am offering a giveaway: anyone who downloads Lake and sends me an e-mail receipt will be entered into a drawing. Five kind souls will receive a copy of one of my (hard copy) YA books or a regency romance I wrote back in the day. Their choice!
All this is fun. But like any parent standing on a distant shore and watching her child make its way into the world, all I can do is wish it Godspeed.
Written long ago
I find the words still carry
A part of my soul.