Today, my latest novel arrived online and in bookstores. I’ll Be Seeing You is my 86th release. (To learn more about the story, visit the book page.)
As the title of this post says, every book has its own journey. The journey of I’ll Be Seeing You was bumpy, the kind of journey that can leave a writer feeling “less than.”
The lockdowns of 2020 had a starring role in some important miscommunication, and when I turned in the novel in early 2021, it wasn’t what my editor had expected. She loved the story I’d written, but… I won’t go into the reasons this was a problem. Suffice to say, if I wanted to keep the story I’d written, I needed to make some changes to deliver on expectations. And all because some communication wires got crossed.
I felt like a failure. I felt stupid.
I learned about the problem on a Friday afternoon. Over the weekend, I realized exactly what I should add to deliver the book my editor wanted. Not only that, I had a deep sense that this was what God had intended from the beginning. That didn’t remove my sense of failure, but it did give me hope.
Soon after, I happened into an audio chat in a social media app with some other authors. Someone asked what I was working on. I hemmed and hawed, not wanting to admit how I’d failed, but finally I shared what was going on. After I shared, one of the authors said (paraphrased), “Robin, that’s almost exactly what happened to me.” She shared the title of her book and her own unique circumstances. The book she named just so happened to be my favorite book of hers. To know that she’d been in a similar spot with that book and had turned it into a favorite book gave me even more hope and a boost in confidence as well.
It was like God gave me a hug, saying, “Stop feeling like a failure. I’ll get you through this.”
It took me a couple of months to revise the manuscript. Then, just as I was ready to turn it in, my editor left the publishing house and I was assigned a new editor. The bad news: My new editor was juggling a lot and couldn’t get to my book for a couple of months. The good news: When she was able to get to it, she loved it.
Since I’m exposing a bit of my soul here, I’ll tell you that I am always filled with doubt during the months a book goes through copy edits and page proofs, etc. By that time in the publishing process, I’ve read a book over and over. There are no surprises. I know every character and every paragraph and every twist and turn. Thus, the doubts creep in. For a book like I’ll Be Seeing You, those doubts were magnified because of the bumpy journey we’d been on together.
I think you can appreciate how happy I was when the early reviews began to come in and readers were loving I’ll Be Seeing You. More than one has called it their favorite book of mine. Music to my ears.
Here are clips from just a few advance reviews:
- “I’ll Be Seeing You by Robin Lee Hatcher is a fantastic read. This is a must!!!” — Jaime on Goodreads, 5🌟
- “Five stars, two thumbs up, and an A on your history project.” — Becky on Goodreads, 5🌟
- “This story simply blew me away! What an amazing tale of love, family, faith and forgiveness! Oh and we can’t leave redemption out. All of these things wrapped into one made a wonderful novel.” — Lori on Goodreads, 5🌟
- “Robin Lee Hatcher’s writing is seamless and intriguing. I was drawn in to the story from the start.” — Jocelyn on Goodreads, 5🌟
- “The consequences of a long-ago romantic tryst come to light in this enjoyable historical by Hatcher … [The author] skillfully illustrates her message that God transforms bad into good for those with faith. WWII-era inspirational fans will relish this tale.” — Publishers Weekly
Here’s another confession: In a few more months, I will start feeling as if this book was a dream to write and revise and that nothing bad or difficult happened along the way. My brain will know the truth, but my feelings will win the day. Such will be the rest of the journey for I’ll Be Seeing You.