I realized quite soon after my first book, that the excitement around publication is short-lived. As my friend, Bob Stallworthy, has been known to tell writers with first books: Enjoy! Because strangely, the day after the launch, when you walk out onto your front step, the world will still be the same. The birds will not have fallen from the trees and the sun will come up and go down, same as always.
Unless a book wins major prizes and garners reviews in high places, chances are that in a matter of a few months it will quietly retreat to the stacks at the library (although some authors I know actually make a practice of slipping their titles onto the New and Notable tables) and even your favourite bookstore will have to order copies for the discussion group that comes late to the book.
All of this is why, no matter how stoic and pragmatic an attitude we adopt, reviews and shortlists do enhance the experience. At the end of March, I came home from a weekend of ogling the early spring on Vancouver Island to find an email from the Writers Guild of Alberta bringing the good news that Delivery, my novel of last fall, has been shortlisted for the George Bugnet fiction prize in the Alberta Literary Awards. Winners of the prizes to be revealed at a gala in Edmonton on May 14. My delight and pride in Delivery being included on this shortlist feels akin to having a child’s accomplishment honoured. I am thrilled for the book, because books do take on a life of their own once they are published. And I am so pleased that Oolichan Books will be acknowledged in this way, because ultimately it is the publisher who makes these things happen. The Alberta writing community is hugely blessed with talent and strong support. I’m looking forward to a celebration with so many good friends who are also on shortlists for their prizes. There will be nothing disappointing about that evening.
And another breath of life for Delivery comes from The Feminist Review
The latest novel from Canadian author Betty Jane Hegerat, Delivery is a story about the bonds that attach mother, daughter, and granddaughter. It’s about the stark choices that women have to make when facing an unanticipated pregnancy and an abrupt mid-life transition. It’s also a story about women learning what really matters to them…
Hegerat writes with fine and dazzling precision, a keen attention to language, and provides a beautiful rendering of both Lynn and Heather’s interior voices. She shifts easily from present to past and back to present, managing to show how the weight of previous experiences flicker into consciousness to inform and shape the current moments of her characters’ lives. She manages to give us real and very ordinary female characters who nevertheless shimmer on the page.
— Elaine Beale