Last week several friends read Immaculate Heart and reached out by email, text, and social media to tell me just how much it affected them. (This is in addition to my sister and her in-laws forming a four-person book club on vacation!) I have wonderfully supportive family and friends, but I don’t remember anyone calling me a “genius” before. Maybe this novel really is my best yet.
— McCormick Templeman (@mtSpaceFace) April 1, 2016
I’m not posting the praise here to toot my own horn—I just want to acknowledge how much it all means to me, especially when there hasn’t been much in terms of reviews or “buzz.” I have smart friends and I value their opinions, and those opinions will continue to hearten me on days when I wonder how I can continue to make a sort-of-living in publishing.
How is the operative word, though—not if.
I can either reach for hitherto-unrecognized opportunities—making my own opportunities—logging even more time at the Writers’ Room than I already do (and loving every minute), or I can think and act as if my disappointing sales figures will dictate my future career.
Of all the gorgeous heartfelt praise I received last week, there was one piece I most needed to hear. My friend Keith texted me on Wednesday afternoon as soon as he finished the book, asking me to call him as soon as possible. We talked about who (plural) inspired my narrator, why I’d made certain narrative decisions, and his actual physical reactions as he read the closing pages. Keith said, I hope you know your own power.
And I got goosebumps.
So thank you, my friends—thank you Ailbhe, thank you Angela, thank you McCormick, thank you Susan, thank you Mackenzi, thank you Keith. Thank you, everyone, for buying my books, reading them, and talking them up to anyone who will listen. The writing may be its own reward, but the icing is the most delicious part of the cake.