The final draft of my poetry collection, Fireflies at Absolute Zero, was sent off to Hiraeth Press this past week, while I was buried under the unusually heavy snowfall here in the Pacific Northwest. It was a lovely way to spend a couple of snowed-in days, which I otherwise would not have enjoyed very much. I don't care for the snow, which is one of the reasons why I live on the Salish Sea and not in the Berkshires where I grew up.
I was asked for a short description of the book, an author bio, and a photo, all of which I also sent along. Hiraeth will be updating their website sometime later this year with an announcement about the book. They currently have notices about projects up to August of this year on their news page. Tentative release is set for the last half of October or possibly November 1st of 2012.
To say I'm excited about the book is an understatement. I am, however, also nervous about the whole thing. I think most authors are at this point in the process. Most of my pre-print work is done. Now I have to wait on back cover blurbs, reviews, cover art, and all the rest of the things that go along with getting the book into print and ready for distribution. Once the book actually comes out, I'll need to do readings and signings and such. If you're interested in having me come to your area for a reading and signing (not just for this book, but with others as well), please let me know and we'll see what we can arrange.
Jason and Leslie at Hiraeth have been absolutely wonderful so far. I have great faith in them to make the best possible book from the manuscript I've sent them. I can't wait to see what they come up with for cover art - the cover is such an important aspect of the book. You may not be able to judge a book by its cover, but I have certainly been turned off by cover art and prejudiced against the content of a book by a bad cover. To me, a bad cover speaks of carelessness from the press or incompetence in an independent author. A good cover can intrigue and excite a potential reader, and it may turn the tide between picking the book up off the shelf and not doing so. The covers I've seen on Hiraeth's volumes are beautiful and definitely catch the eye.
Poetry is always such a personal genre of writing. Whether or not one likes it is a matter of deeply personal taste. Something that thrills one reader will bore another to tears. I think the best any of us can do as poets is to speak from our hearts about things that matter to us and to do so in the most honest way possible. To do so with eloquence and power is the essence of poetic art. I hope that I have done this and that my work will appeal not just to the Pagan community of which I am a part, but to the wider world as well.