The photograph of us was liked by 17 people on Facebook. We were out to celebrate the completion of Amy’s manuscript. I'd printed it out that day and wrapped all 360 pages in craft paper. It stayed warm for an hour and I held it close, because the book reminded me that a feat like this could be accomplished and it had been.
We took the book to a bar in a strip mall bar to see some acquaintances play their guitars. It was smoky and the waitresses brought trays of popcorn to the table. “Let’s toast to the book,” one of us said. “Let’s pray over it first,” another one said. (It was hard to remember who said what because we all believe prayers and toasts.)
We closed our eyes and laid hands on the book, with the sound of pool balls colliding behind us. Then we raised their glasses and toasted Amy for having poured her heart into the work in front of us.
Many of us, especially us writers, incessantly talk about our books. Amy took a year and wrote hers, despite of and because that it was about the most traumatic thing in her life. Now she's working tirelessly to get it published despite he fact that agents and publishers have told her her story, though brilliantly written, tackles a subject that some in the publishing world say people "aren't ready for." Surviving a loved one's suicide, and doing it with humor and grace, while raising two children.
The world is ready for this.
What can you do to help? Read her blog, where she's chronicled her journey of writing and getting the book published. (Along with other stuff about books and pop culture and parenting and an abiding love for George Clooney.) Pass it along to your friends. Especially ones who can help get it published. It really is that good.