There was joy and jubilation in the Haye Household this week as my book baby headed off into the big, wide world. Given my long, long journey to publication, and given how much easier it would have been to give up many times along the way, the virtues of perseverance have been uppermost in my mind lately.
However, since I’ve already blogged about how I became a writer and gave an indication of how (very) long it took, I’m not going to re-hash that now.
Instead, let’s talk about perseverance in reading.
I will freely admit that I am (probably) the world’s most impatient reader. Never mind the first chapter, if I’m not hooked by the first paragraph I’ve left the book behind and moved on to the next. I love the “preview” and “look inside” features with ebooks because they’ve saved me a fortune by not buying books I would (I strongly suspect) only have thrown down in despair on page 3.
But very occasionally I’ve got it wrong.
A while ago on Twitter, several people I knew and trusted raved about Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma and, uncharacteristically, I bought it without reading a bit first. They raved, and they were people whose judgement I trusted, so I bought it blind. It arrived and I opened the book eagerly, read the first couple of paragraphs … and set it aside with a ‘what the heck is that supposed to be’ pulled face. A boy looking at dead flies on a windowsill? Really? I don’t think so…
Reader, how very wrong I was (it does happen). I probably left it a year, and maybe someone else mentioned it, or I noticed it on my shelves while dusting (that’s not very likely, actually), but it caught my eye again and I decided to give it another go.
Oh my, what a book! Read it. Beg, borrow or buy a copy and read it. I ached and I wept. Forbidden is the kind of amazing book that will make you a different person once you’ve read it. It will rip your heart out and return it back a slightly different shape. It’s not a light or easy read, probably best not to read it if you’re feeling fragile, but it is utterly wonderful – never mind 5 stars, it deserves its own galaxy.
I hope I have learned my lesson. I still use “look inside” and I’m still impatient – there always are too many books and too little time, but I’m a little more open-minded than I was. Sometimes, perseverance is very, very worth it.