The Floater is two months old today. I would have likened the release of my latest book to pushing a baby bird out of the nest. Perhaps in the best of worlds, this would be true—I’d give it a little shove, and it would fly away on ever-strengthening wings. (Unless it’s weak or ill-conceived, in which case, I’d watch in horror as it floundered, then crashed to the ground.)

But I now see why launching a book is often compared to the birth of a baby. You force this thing—this newly liberated being—out into the world while it is still entirely dependent on the tireless commitment of its creator for survival. Hopefully, after about a year or so, it begins to totter on its own wobbly legs. (Unless it is defective, in which sad case that “baby” might never walk on its own.) If a particular story strikes a well-balanced chord, it will resonate and find a new place in the world. Eventually, this thing becomes an independent entity that takes off in directions of its own making.

But like a child, a novel is molded and influenced by those who interact with it along the way. Publishing a book is only the beginning—like sending your little one off to school. It is the reviewers, bloggers and media who essentially define what a book is (and isn’t). Although for better or worse, my words are now imprinted on 356 pages of text, my story is anything but stagnant. In a very real sense, it is a living, breathing entity that will take on the energies and opinions of those who bother to read and remark on it. Each time a reviewer focuses on a particular angle or espouses a unique viewpoint, The Floater becomes a bit of that thing. And just like a child in school, positive comments reinforce her ability to flourish in the universe, whereas negative ones (think of the kid who is labeled “slow” or “stupid”) will cause her to flounder. It is a fascinating, painstaking, and unpredictable maturation process that is now largely out of my hands.

As I watch my baby float toward earth with furiously flapping wings, I pray she lands safely on two feet, and not with a splat. (And I hope it doesn’t take her twenty-some-odd years to get there!) For assisting The Floater on her journey toward solid ground, I owe a world of thanks to Dawn Paul of Houston Style Magazine ( for her wonderful article and keen positioning (“Attorney and Author Puts a Different Spin on the Legal Fictional Novel”); to Elizabeth and Shannon, the first bloggers to post their perspectives in Don’t Take My Books Away http://donttakemybooksaway.wordpress.... and Giraffe Days (; and to Hispanically Speaking News (http://www.hispanicallyspeakingnews.c...) for its early coverage. Special thanks go to my publicist, Lauren Covello of Smith Publicity, without whose insights and efforts this media attention would not have happened. And most importantly, here's wishing my girl, Norma, a happy birthday!