The Islands at the End of the World launches today!

It’s launch day for THE ISLANDS AT THE END OF THE WORLD! Sightings from the wild are already coming in! Reviews are flying around Goodreads and Amazon! Twitter is abuzz! I suppose I should write something on this blog to commemorate the occasion.

I don’t like writing–nor blogging, especially–when it’s preceded by a sense of obligation (hence my relatively infrequent posts). I may not have written anything today, actually, except that several things have occurred to me throughout the day as I’ve sat back and watched so many friends and family have fun with receiving the novel in the mail and going out to bookstores to hunt it down in its natural habitat.

I’m a little teary-eyed, to be honest with you. These thoughts are going to be hard to organize in short order, but I’ll do my best. I never would have thought to anticipate this groundswell of excitement and enthusiasm from so many people that I deeply care about and respect. Isn’t everyone sick of hearing about this damn book, already? The truth is, even I recognize that all this book-talk has gone on for waaay too long. I simply published a book. It’s something that lots of people do. It’s no more noteworthy than the great works that so many people accomplish in their personal and professional lives. I’m not sure why book publishing is allowed so much more pomp and circumstance than hundreds of other tireless and thankless but invaluable pursuits I can think of and that I see people around me doing every day.

Partly, I think the role of storyteller in our modern society is more important than people think to admit aloud. It’s something that’s easily seen but rarely discussed. We love stories. We crave them. It’s so hard to find a new story out there, something that can still surprise us. The people who can make that work are freely awarded kudos by the masses in so many different ways. It’s astounding. It’s also mind blowing to be sitting here and thinking, for the first time (honestly!), that I suddenly occupy that role in a small way.

Largely, though, I think what I’m experiencing today is simply the love and affection and warmth of so many people who care about me, who I’ve managed to touch in some way, who have touched me. It’s pretty overwhelming. I don’t deserve this kind of attention and some might be a little surprised to hear me admit that it actually makes me feel uncomfortable. But people from every chapter in my life are pouring it on, anyway.

I can’t thank you all enough for your support and your excitement. It means so much to me.

I was expecting today to be rather anticlimactic. There’s not much I can physically DO today to mark the occasion. Momentum for this book will (hopefully) not reach its apex on opening day. I figured I’d watch some bar graphs and rankings go up and down now and then, maybe check twitter a couple times. But I’m finding–to my genuine surprise–that today does have the feeling of a singular moment in time. It’s a day I’ll always remember, after all.

Because it’s been filled with people, not charts.

And I’m reminded, too, of why I always wanted to write. I saw myself as a storyteller. I wanted to tell stories. But it’s pretty obvious that a storyteller is dead in the water without an audience. I really can’t put into words the feeling that I have knowing that my story is finally out there. That people from all over the country (and beyond!) are cracking open the book today. They’ll read page after page, have silent conversations with themselves about what they’re reading, and in some small way, I’m there with them.

It’s completely surreal and inexplicable.

Just like this whole day, turns out.

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It’s just like Darth Vader once said! “This will be a day long remembered.”

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2 Responses to “The Islands at the End of the World launches today!”

  1. Cheryl Weaver Says:

    Hi – just finished the Kindle version of Islands at the End of the World – loved it! But I see there’s a sequel. Can you tell me what the title is and how I can obtain a copy?

    • Austin Aslan Says:

      Hi, Cheryl, So glad you liked it! Please spread the word. The sequel will come out next August, in one year, and it’s called THE GIRL AT THE CENTER OF THE WORLD. Best -Austin

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