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Worth the Wait – blog by Shelley A. Leedahl

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Shelley A. Leedahl and Peter Carver, Toronto, 2019This photo—taken minutes before the Toronto launch of The Moon Watched It All in March 2019—is significant to me for a few reasons. Firstly, the man to my left is Red Deer Press editor extraordinaire Peter Carver, whom I’ve had a professional relationship with since he edited my first illustrated book, The Bone Talker, in 1999. Peter and I had never met in person before my Toronto launch this spring, and it was delightful to sit across the table from him in a little Greek restaurant near Mabel’s Fables (bookstore) in the hour before my launch, and just chat. What a sense of humour the man has! And my nervousness re: the launch dissipated.

I’d come a terribly long way to celebrate the release of this book, and I’d waited nearly a decade for it to happen. The story was written in 2009 during a particularly lonely stretch in my life, post-marriage break-up. I was living quietly and alone (well, I did have a redbone coonhound) in the village of Middle Lake, SK. The manuscript was accepted for publication while I was living and working in Edmonton: I received the acceptance call in 2010 while at my desk in the rock and roll radio station I wrote commercials for.

Then the calendar years kept turning … 2012 … 2014 … 2018. Would this book ever actually be published? I had a contract, but seriously wondered.

By spring 2019 I’d already been living on Vancouver Island for five years, and the book was, at last, released. (And it’s a beauty! Thanks, illustrator Aino Anto). The Moon Watched It All - cover

I’ve often remarked about how slowly the wheels of professional publishing turn, but Folks, nine years is a new record for me. I’m so glad it was worth the wait.

Shelley will combine poetic storytelling and a poignant song at the Story and Song event at the Whistler Public Library Saturday, October 19, 10-10:45 a.m. Get your free ticket here.