I just received an announcement from MOM’s Choice Awards that Quincy Moves to the Desert has been chosen a Gold Award Winner for 2011! I am totally excited. This is the first feedback we have gotten after the recent release of the title which is the second in the Quincy the Horse Books series. What a great start for what Michelle and I hope will be a well-loved sequel to Quincy Finds A New Home.
Those in the Quincy the Horse family know that Quincy Moves to the Desert has had a long and at times stressful birth. Sometimes it seemed like it would never become a book. It was in the final stages of being illustrated when I moved from New Mexico. It was so hard to go off and not be able to see many of the paintings in their finished form. Then, the photographer who made the digital photos of Michelle’s incredible oil paintings had major software problems which distorted the images. Michelle and I spent a month sending each other digital images and hard copy photos on paper trying to sort out what was going on. At one point we seriously considered having her ship all the actual oil paintings to me in my new home in Pennsylvania.
Somehow that got resolved and the book went to the designer. Just as it arrived on his desk, he announced that he had to travel to New Zealand for a month. Finally, when I thought we were at the finish line and the newly printed books arrived; I opened the first box only to discover that the cover had the wrong finish – glossy not matte – as had been ordered. Unbelievably, the books had to be reprinted.
Michelle and I have had one philosophy throughout our collaboration. We believe that everything happens for a reason. It is awfully hard to deal with the unexpected and the adverse, especially when it is not yet clear what that reason is; but whenever we are faced with a problematic situation, we wonder what we are going to learn or what unexpected good result may ultimately follow.
Sometimes I am still not sure what I was supposed to learn from going through all the trials it took to bring Quincy Moves to the Desert to life. It certainly taught me that the ease of publishing the first book was major beginner’s luck. It stretched my trust in other people who just did not seem to do what we asked and what they promised to do. It brought me many chances to deal with feeling helpless and uncertain.
Today with the news about the MOM’s Choice Gold, I wonder whether the lesson is that no matter how hard things are or how bad they feel, it is important to keep your view on the distant goal. One would hope to always be able to see the forest as well as the trees, but sometimes it can get pretty dark in the forest. It helps to have a collaborator who always has some wisdom and support to share and good members of your team to keep morale up.
Anyway, fall is in the air and I am looking forward to months filled with fun times promoting the Quincy the Horse Books. What a great end to the dog days of summer.
If you have not seen Quincy Moves to the Desert yet, here is the book trailer.