I’ve read The Last Night well over 20 times by now — from first blush, through the editing process, and now, one last time for pleasure.
I’m excited to finally release the book that has meant so much to me, but at the same time, this milestone evokes sadness as well.
Like the closing night of a play, my cast and I are taking our final bows before our work is done. As of Thursday, the book is no longer just mine. It’s everyone’s.
Everyone’s to read and love. Or read and hate.
Everyone’s to discuss with their friends.
Everyone’s to experience for the first time. (I definitely envy you that. I’ll never know what it’s like to be introduced to the story since it has evolved so much over the years in my head as well as on the page.)
And it’s everyone’s to claim as their own — hopefully to some positive effect.
The only components that I’ll be able to keep for a while are the scenes that didn’t make the final edit: the various ways in which our protagonists Alex Evergreen and Ed Cohen first met; the more detailed sequence of how Alex met is wife; the feel of the story told from Alex’s POV. (Ed eventually became our narrator, by the way.) These scenes, while interesting, didn’t advance the plot enough in its final form. The manuscript is better for their exclusion, but I can still remember what it was like to discover those wonderful moments.
For the next couple days, however, the story is still mine before I finally let it go. And I’ll be happy to do just that right after I improve this one sentence…