I started cleaning up my home office today. I say started, because sadly it will take more than one day. Somehow I fell out of a very good habit. I would finish a novel, I mean finally, after the first draft and revisions. Then I'd clean up my office. Typically notes and references books would be scattered over every surface. General disorder would be the look. For some reason I don't do that anymore. Not sure why, but I'm trying to get back in that habit. Helps me to clear out my mind for a new book.
Anyway, tucked into a corner against a wall were large envelopes with these posters. Most are table top sizes. My former publishers, Kensington and HarperCollins, would send them once the cover of my book was final. I would use them at book signings and speaking events. Only two of these covers are still in use, the two books HC still won't give back to me (printing rights, I mean). The rest have new covers. I was about to toss them out. They were actually on the curb waiting for pick-up in the morning. Then after dinner I thought, "Hmm, maybe you'd better hold on to those because they represent more than just clutter." I was the new writer thrilled to be writing for NYC publishers when After All and Tender Touch came out! Then I was speechless that my then agent got me a contract with Avon Romance (which was gobbled up by HarperCollins within a few months of my signing with them). It was never easy to get a book contract, and certainly not for African-American authors. Maybe I shouldn't be so cavalier about throwing away a part of my history. These represent stages of my journey as an author. Still thinking about it.