I have a lot to celebrate today. It's May 19th, the date of Tidewater's re-launch under Lake Union's imprint.
The day Jodi, my editor at LU, contacted me to see if she could talk me into partnering with Lake Union, was a big milestone in my career. (And Jodi was brave to try it, because I've been very frank on the internet about my reluctance to work with traditional publishers.) I was cautious about signing that contract, but once I committed to it, I've been anticipating today eagerly.
Twelve days from this date, it will also be the one-year anniversary of the date when I left the "day job" world permanently and took up writing as my full-time occupation. There have been ups and downs since then, as there are with all start-up businesses, but with today's re-launch of Tidewater, I feel very secure and enthusiastic about the next few years of my writing career.
So how does Libbie Hawker celebrate when she REALLY wants to have a good time?
I love cookies. I'm not supposed to indulge in them often, as all their delicious carbohydrates cause me all kinds of annoying health problems. But I still love cookies with a white-hot passion, and I can't give them up entirely. I trot them out for special occasions, though I usually end up giving them to other people and only eat one or two myself.
Decorating fancy sugar cookies is one of my favorite hobbies. I often make intricate, detailed, and (I think) very pretty cookies as gifts for friends and family, especially during the Holidays.
Last Christmas, I didn't have much money to buy presents for anybody, so I spent a couple of weeks baking and then icing a huge collection of cookies no one would ever forget: The Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies. Everybody got a large gift bag, and inside each bag were a dozen smaller bags, and in each smaller bag was a different, super-fancy cookie--different combinations of dough and icing flavors, each one iced intricately to reflect the lyrics of the famous Christmas song. I was so tired by the end of that bake-a-thon that I didn't take any pictures of those cookies. I know, crazy, right? But they're burned into my memory and everybody else's, so that's okay.
Well, today since I'm celebrating my own successes, these cookies are a gift to me! Okay, I also made some for the Lake Union team, and I will be running them over to their offices soon. It's fitting that we should all celebrate together. Everybody at LU worked very hard, preparing Tidewater for its re-release, and I am grateful for their efforts.
I only wish I'd had a bit more time to make these cookies even fancier! They're a bit low-key for my tastes, but still quite fun. And I'm really too busy this month for baking and icing, as I am putting the finishing touches on House of Rejoicing for its June publication and preparing for the Historical Novel Society conference, which is only a few weeks away!!
Obviously I based the cookie design on the cover art, created by Lane Brown (who is also doing the cover art for all three books in the Book of Coming Forth by Day series, coming this summer for all you Egypt fans out there). I'm so glad Lake Union was able to use the original artwork for their edition's cover! I think it's so striking and emotional...and now, in cookie form, it looks very tasty, too.
My second novel from Lake Union, Daughter of Sand and Stone, comes out on December 1 of this year. I don't know what the cover will look like yet, but I'm looking forward to thinking up a good cookie design to match it. :) DOSAS is about Empress Zenobia, maybe the most badass lady who ever flipped the bird in Rome's direction. It's a bit of a departure from most of my books, as it's packed with romance, high-stakes adventure (no fewer than three high-speed camel chases, in fact) and at least one instance of smizing. It never lets up, and it's got one tough lady at the center. It's kind of the Mad Max: Fury Road of historical fiction (though I admit it doesn't have any fire tornadoes in it). Dramatically different from most of my others, but OMGSOFUN! I'm very excited to see what Lake Union does with DOSAS and Tidewater, and hope we'll continue working together on many more books to come...so I can turn them all into cookies.
Well, I'm off to have a cookie with my next cup of tea. May you have a day worth celebrating, and may you do it with cookies!
(Want to check out Tidewater for yourself? Linky-loo.)