Tomorrow THE GOOD GIRL hits store shelves. I’ve been waiting for this day since I sold my novel to Harlequin MIRA on December 19, 2012 – 587 days ago. For 587 days, some portion of my mind has been asking the question: what will happen when THE GOOD GIRL goes on sale?

Will people like it?

Will it do well?

Me, 11 years old… the early years
I go to sleep tonight knowing that when I wake up in the morning, I will be a published author. I have dreamed of this day since I was eleven, maybe twelve years old. And now here it is, and I’m not quite sure what to do with it.

People often ask if I’m excited. Of course I’m excited! I’m thrilled, elated, happy and extremely proud of what THE GOOD GIRL has accomplished so far.

And yet… I’m scared at the same time.

I’m overcome with the same sensation I felt the night before I took my first born to preschool for the very first time, the awareness that I would soon place my child in the hands of a stranger for safekeeping, that what was once mine and only mine was now being shared with the world.

She was ready, of course; I’d prepared her for this.

And yet the greater question was: Was I?

How will I spend launch day? I suppose this, too, is similar to the way I spent my daughter’s first day of preschool: sitting in the preschool parking lot, wondering for the seemingly endless 2 ½ hours how she was, if she was okay, and whether or not she was having fun. I will drive from bookstore to bookstore, and scope out THE GOOD GIRL on store shelves.

The analogy seems entirely fitting seeing as how THE GOOD GIRL’s early life mimicked that of my own two kids. I don’t remember the day I sat down and began to spin the tale of Mia Dennett, but I remember the period of time. It was fall – as is the season when the novel begins – and my now 8-year-old daughter had just turned one. The office where I began the novel has since morphed into a playroom, and now a guest room. My son, who enters 1st grade in a matter of weeks, was only a dream – a hope for our future.

There are moments I remember from my early days of writing the novel: pushing my daughter around the block in her stroller and watching as neighborhood kids shook a tree so that the autumn leaves fell down upon them – a scene which found its way into the pages of the book. Or sitting crossed legged on the playroom floor, my infant son bolstered by a Boppy pillow, my daughter playing, and me – laptop spread across my legs trying desperately to steal any spare moment to write.

And then of course there is my fondest memory, my Maggie, the petite orange tabby cat who sat on my lap as I typed nearly the entire 350 pages of THE GOOD GIRL. Though I said goodbye to Maggie years ago, before acquiring an agent or selling my book to Harlequin, she’s still a tremendous part of the story to me, and I wonder sometimes if she hadn’t been on my lap, forcing me to be still, would I have spent those precious spare moments doing laundry or cleaning the house instead of plugging away on my work-in-progress.

I don’t know.

But perhaps the most important memory of all is an email I received from a lovely lady who would soon become my literary agent – one of the first hurdles of getting a book published. It was 2012. After almost two years…she said…your story still resonates with me.

She wondered: Did I have an agent? Had I sold my book?

This was the moment I knew becoming a published author was no longer just a dream.

Mary Kubica and Rachael Dillon Fried
Mary Kubica and Rachael Dillon Fried
When THE GOOD GIRL hits store shelves tomorrow, there’s only one name on the cover, but publishing a book is not a one-person task. If we could squeeze all the names on there, we’d have to include my agent Rachael Dillon Fried, editor Erika Imranyi, publicist Emer Flounders and all the other wonderful folks at Harlequin Books and Sanford Greenburger Associates.

Erika Imranyi and Mary Kubica
Erika Imranyi and Mary Kubica
Also my family and friends who have shared in every single up and down of the last 587 days (of which there were many) – watching over my family and home so I could attend conferences and tours, picking up my slack and excusing me for my various states of disarray (of which, again, there were many!), and sharing in all the joy and excitement of THE GOOD GIRL.

And then, of course, there are the incredible, supportive authors I’ve met these past few months, and the booksellers and librarians who will place THE GOOD GIRL on their shelves tomorrow and suggest that others read it, check it out or buy it – as well as the outstanding readers and bloggers who have read THE GOOD GIRL and enthusiastically recommended it to their followers and friends. Their passionate reviews are often the highlight of my day.

How will I spend launch day? Though there’s a small part of me that wants to celebrate the day in solitude with a copy of my beloved novel, I will take a deep breath, instead, and pass along THE GOOD GIRL – from my hands and into the hands of strangers for safekeeping.

After 587 days, the time has come.

To all of those wonderful readers out there in the world, those I know and those I don’t know, who will see my book on store shelves, at the library, or somewhere online, and decide to give it a try, thank you.

I hope you like it.