Today, June 27th of 2012, will forever live in my heart, much like March 1st of this same year.
After a whirlwind of emotions, long hours at the keyboard, and despite a full time job that demands I work different shifts each week, I can now look at the fruit of my labors and sigh with utter contentment. Today I dare call myself an author, a novelist, a writer. I now have the audacity of thinking myself a real writer for the first time since a day back in 2000 when I entertained the idea of composing a story.
This endeavor I titled THE NEXT CHAPTER, a sequel to The Gaze, is now reality, and I've allowed myself an entire night of reflection on everything that has changed since writing a character named Lewis Jonathan Bettford as Samantha Reddick's best friend in THE GAZE.
I'd love to be poetic enough to compose something profound about the way I feel at this very moment, but I can't be anyone else but who I am, so... I CAN'T BELIEVE I WROTE TWO BOOKS WOO HOO!!!
But what's even more unbelievable is that, unlike GAZE, this new epic already has readers, some eagerly wating for it. It's so surreal knowing that there are people out there who may still wonder how to pronounce my name, but who easily associate it to THE GAZE, that book with the intense-looking young lady on the cover.
THE NEXT CHAPTER has an audience, it's by no means huge, but for the first time since writing my first, I now believe, a little more than just hope, that it may just be a matter of time before I'm flooded with questions and comments about this little universe of mine.
I never thought I'd be in this position...
Yesterday, I worked until 6am, came home to sleep a few hours, and then rushed to the florist. The owner of the flower shop was beyond flattered that I chose them to make the bouquet. Linda, the owner of Smiths - The Main St. Florist, even bought a copy of THE GAZE right on the spot. She took the copy I was supposed to show Bob, the photographer, but I was honored and thrilled to sign the book and let her have it.
My little girls and I took the bouquet and this resplendent tangerine fabric to Bob, who quickly set his lights and propped the fabric with a critical eye. It only took about fifty shots before we agreed on The One. It was not easy, and it may have been impossible without the help of my Sheri, who's got far better color vision than I do. Ocular migraines have taken a toll on my color vision over the years, and it makes for some hilarious choices on my part. I'm all about white t-shirts and blue jeans because of that.
Sheri gave her blessing to the image and later my very talented father worked his magic on the lettering. The former technical draftsman employed his innate artistic talents to complete the image, and soon the cover was done. In order to maintain the old adage that nothing is perfect, Sheri and Dad insisted on blemishing a perfectly good cover with my likeness on the back. Reluctantly, I agreed, but only because I'm confident that after reading Christina Fifield-Winn's kick-butt blurb, readers will immediately return to the front cover to immerse themselves in the story, forgetting all about the author's picture.
I'm now contemplating all the things I could've written differently, along with everything I've learned throughout the experience of bringing THE NEXT CHAPTER to fruition.
Much like THE GAZE, this sequel has been a great help in making me understand certain enigmas in my own life that have kept me up at nights. I look forward to divulging just what this novel has done for me as its author, but I can't spoil the plot. I pray, I hope, it manages to connect with readers much like GAZE has done, much to my complete awe. I hope they find the comfort, the joy, and all the emotion I found in the mind of Lewis, for we are always destined to write the next chapter in our own lives.
Javier A. Robayo