That's right, everybody. After seven-and-a-half years, eight drafts, countless revisions, and a title change, my first novel is now published and available.
Don't take this as bragging on my part (I didn't design the cover, after all) but...isn't it gorgeous? And really, I don't just mean the cover art. I mean the whole thing--the fact that it's finally--finally!--after all these years, 100% complete and out there on the market for real.
I've had the goal of becoming a published novelist since I was fourteen years old. Twelve years of struggling and striving. One hour ago, my book went live and that goal was achieved. Just like that I passed an incredible milestone and entered a whole new chapter of this wildly amazing adventure that God has dragged me along on.
And He's the reason for it all. Without Him, I never would have been able to see this novel through to the end. He is the One who gave me the endurance I needed, the One who held me up when I wanted to fall, the One who saw fit to plant a tiny little seed of an idea in my imagination, when He could so easily have chosen someone else, and so patiently helped me nurture and raise it into the amazing story it is today. I can say that without bragging too, because in a lot of ways I don't feel like I wrote this story at all. It was all God, and I was just the pen He chose to use.
I'm not a perfect pen; I know that I've made mistakes along the way, and that the book isn't perfect in all the ways it could be; but I can still say with absolute confidence that this is God's story. I have witnessed the transformation He has performed, from "tiny story seed", through "Mary's rather shallow interpretation thereof", to the story it is today. I know what God has used this story to teach me about Himself, and that is what gives me the assurance that He can use it to bless the lives of others as well, whether that blessing comes in the form of challenging someone to think about honor and loyalty and forgiveness in new and deeper ways, giving someone a new perspective of God's sovereignty, or simply letting someone enjoy an adventure.
I'm a writer; it's my job to tell a great story that readers will love. My livelihood depends on people buying and enjoying my book, so naturally I have to encourage you to hop on over and order your copy of Song of the Wren-Falcon. I want you to read it, love it, post reviews, put it in your local library, keep it on your bookshelf, share it, and recommend it. I want to hear your feedback and learn what you thought of it. I want you to be blessed by it.
But more importantly, I would love for each and every one of you to join me in thanking and praising God. Thank Him for allowing me to write this story. Thank Him for helping me see it through. Praise Him for the awesome aspects of His character that shine through this story. Thank Him for letting me achieve the dream He gave me twelve years ago.
Meanwhile, I'll be thanking Him for those same things, and also for all of you who have been so encouraging and inspiring to me. I'll be thanking Him for the wonderful adventure that my writing journey has been so far, and looking forward to following Him through this brand-new chapter that He opened up in my life when one little book popped up and went live online.
I know I've said it before--it seems like I've been saying it a lot lately--but God is good, my friends. That's just all there is to it.