I have a finished hardcover of Shades of Milk and Honey

Share photos on twitter with TwitpicI have a copy of Shades of Milk and Honey. An actual, physical copy of the finished hardcover.

Of course, my phone chose this evening to have a card failure so I can’t actually take pictures with it, but Jim Freund snapped this one in the bar to prove that it exists. The reason I am blurry is that I am bouncing with glee.

So, yesterday around 4:30, I got a message from Cassandra Ammerman, my publicist, which covered a lot of other things but included this line, “Finished copies of SHADES just came in (so pretty!)…”

I have no idea what the rest of the email said.

The way the trains work, there was no way I could get to Tor before she left for the day, so I asked Liz, my editor, if she could bring me a copy at Readercon, which she promptly agreed to do.

Then this morning as I was waiting for the subway, I heard this woman say, “Mary?”

And yes, that would by Cassie, who lives two blocks from the friends that I’m staying with. If only I had known! Cruel fates. I could have had a copy last night.

But… I’m a big girl.

However, this led to me spending the entire day at Readercon, looking distractedly over people’s shoulders in case Liz walked by. Distractedly. Very, distracted.

Around 10pm or so, I’m sitting in the bar surrounded by friends and someone says, “There’s Liz!”

One person ran out to stop her as we all sort of scrambled around as I clambered out of the booth. You know how there’s that deep corner where EVERYONE has to move to get one person out? Yeah, that’s the corner I’d wound up in.

I ran down the hall as she pulled it out of her suitcase.

Let me tell you, “words fail me” is not a cliche.  I became speechless. The thought of trying to string sentences together, in that moment, to describe the glee, the enormity, the disbelief and the tactile pleasure of holding my novel…

I mean, I’ve loved books all my life. And not just the words, but the physical artifacts. And then… I wrote this. God. I can’t even believe it.

And folks, it is beautiful. You’ve seen the cover. What I can’t show you right now is the deckled edges of the paper, or how, when you peel the dustjacket off, there’s an embossed design on the cover, or the miniature on the back, or the way the headband complements the brown paper of the hardback.

It is beautifully crafted.

So thank you to Irene Gallo, Terry Rohrbach and Nicola Ferguson who created this beautiful artifact. I know it’s your job to design books, but you have made me indescribably happy.

Giddy.

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