I have the pleasure of being a part of THE SOUND OF LETTING GO blog tour (on publication day!) by Stasia Ward Kehoe. This lyrical novel told in verse, blew me away. The beauty of Stasia's writing seeps from page to page, eloquently telling the story of what it means to really listen to what it is that you want, and how to let go of the things you don't. Today Stasia has stopped by to share some of her thoughts on writing, and how all those thoughts culminate on publication day. Please welcome her!
Thanks so much to Ginger for hosting me here at GReads on the day my second novel, THE SOUND OF LETTING GO, hits bookshelves.
Pub day is a strange day. Yes, you celebrate the culmination of years of hard work on your story. But you also lament because the novel is no longer yours alone. From concept to submission, from writing to revision, from design to marketing to release, you have lived and breathed your book, agonizing over every choice from character names to cover fonts. Now, there’s nothing you can change.
The publication of a book is not unlike the experience of sending a child off to college, which I did this August. I put my eldest onto an airplane and watched him soar out in the world. Now, he must find his own path and I can only hope that the choices I made in raising him help him discover places that are beautiful and fulfilling and populated with people who care about him.
As I write this post, trying not to get readers too down but wanting to be honest about this weird, emotional thing called a writing life, it dawns on me that my novel is about this concept, too.
THE SOUND OF LETTING GO is about the things we create, with all their imperfections and uncertainties.
In the novel, Daisy is a teen trumpet prodigy, trying to figure out the role music will play in her life. Her parents, Ted and Alice, have “created” her as well as her brother, Steven, an autistic boy whose sounds come mostly via acts of frustration and violence. Her parents are both amazed and terrified at the prospect of watching these two children grow. Daisy’s childhood love, Dave, is struggling to recreate connections lost when his family was divided by divorce. Her bandmate, Irish exchange student Cal, bears the weight of being responsible for the possible destruction of his own family’s dreams.
Love and friendship, talent and ambition, hope and despair…the ways we hold onto or let go of all of these things is at the core of my novel. It can be awesome, or painful, or bittersweet or, sometimes, beautiful.
I believe that these feelings, like the ones I have today, knowing that THE SOUND OF LETTING GO is out in the world without my loving hand any longer at its proverbial back, speak to the essence of what makes us human, what makes us individual.
So, today, I will push away the bitter and embrace the sweet. I will celebrate the work I have done and try not to be too frightened of tomorrow. I will look at my favorite page of the novel—the dedication page—on which I let go of this book with words of love for my best creations, my four sons, and for the wonderful man who helps me live this dream and, more importantly, is their dad.
Want to hear the sound track to which I listened when I wrote this post? It’s here: http://thesoundoflettinggopubdayblues.blogspot.com/
About the Book: For sixteen years, Daisy has been good. A good daughter, helping out with her autistic younger brother uncomplainingly. A good friend, even when her best friend makes her feel like a third wheel. When her parents announce they’re sending her brother to an institution—without consulting her—Daisy’s furious, and decides the best way to be a good sister is to start being bad. She quits jazz band and orchestra, slacks in school, and falls for bad-boy Dave.
But one person won’t let Daisy forget who she used to be: Irish exchange student and brilliant musician Cal. Does she want the bad boy or the prodigy? Should she side with her parents or protect her brother? How can she know when to hold on and when—and how—to let go?
About the Author: Stasia Ward Kehoe grew up dancing and performing on stages from New Hampshire to Washington, DC. She now writes books for young adults and choreographs the occasional musical.
Since it is pub day, Stasia Ward Kehoe is hiding in her house listening to show tunes and trying unsuccessfully to stay off the internet. So, you can be pretty sure she’ll reply if you tweet her @swkehoe!
ENTER TO WIN…a signed first edition of THE SOUND OF LETTING GO, one of four different TsoLG Swag Packs, or a pair of author-designed custom Keds sneakers (size 8)a Rafflecopter giveaway