Monday, October 31, 2011

From Dark to Light In 30 Days

by Kate Collins

TO CATCH A LEAF comes out this Tuesday, November 1st, which, “coincidentally,” would have been my 14th wedding anniversary. I put that in quotes because I don’t really believe in coincidences any longer. Too many things have happened in the past year that were way too magical to have been sheer coincidence. Anyway, as appalling as it sounds, I was so focused on other things – promoting the new book and writing the next, mainly – that until a few weeks ago, the dual significance of that date totally slipped my mind. Horrible, isn’t it?

That aside, I’m ridiculously proud of this book. My grief counselor dubbed it, “the book of my depression,” although you would never know that now. I’d written a third of it when my husband passed away suddenly, and because of the approaching deadline, I had to finish it in a short amount of time. Somehow, I pushed through my grief and succeeded -- and thought I did a decent job of it – until it came back for revisions. Let me put it this way: My editor gently suggested that the story needed “a little lightening,” when in fact it needed a ginormous sunshine transfusion.

But how was I to do that in a few weeks time when I was still reeling? That was when something wondrous happened. My muse took over. She simply took over my fingers and the words flowed through the keypad and onto the screen. My humor came back. My sense of detail, my characters’ voices, my passion for justice, my love of the little flower shop named Bloomers – they all rushed into the dark void inside me. I can’t tell you exactly how it happened, only that I allowed myself to open up, to listen to an inner guidance that I call my muse, or my guardian angel, if you will. In fact, if you read it carefully, you’ll see a bit of magic she put in herself.

Still, I worried that this book would let down my readers, that the story wouldn’t be up to snuff. Then the first review came in, and I cried. Lori Boness Caswell, at Dollycas’s Thoughts blogsite, gave it five stars and said she wished she could give it ten. More reviews followed – Fresh Fiction, RT, Once Upon a Romance -- and they were all great! What a relief!

I’m really excited about this book, and I truly hope you like it. Tuesday would have been a sad day for me, but thanks to Providence, and my muse, I have reason to celebrate.