The universe is made up of stories, not of atoms. - Muriel Rukeyser
Good children's literature appeals not only to the child in the adult, but to the adult in the child.
It's a stomach-lifting thrill to finish writing a novel. And that's because it sneaks up on you. When you sat down to work that morning, you knew you were near the end of it, but of a sudden, there it is. There is no place left to take your characters. The plot line has lived itself out, the arc completed, the denoument drawn out and sewn up neatly.
So you sit there and let the shocks of the thrill wash over you, one after another. It's done, over. It's like graduating from college or winning a prize. And it's a rare enough delight to cause you to get up and bother your wife and call your daughter with the news and plan a small celebration of some sort involving champagne and a good meal.
A feeling of loss? I've heard of that before and I've experienced that before, too. You will miss the adventures your characters have taken you on, the vicarious wonders you were experiencing sitting in your writing room alone all these months---no, make that two years on this one.
But still, there is a lot to be done. The first draft is such a rough-cut creation. I need to expand some scenes, add even more action, make sure the characters are complete and true to themselves. In other words, I've got a couple of months of re-writes ahead of me and then a trip to Guam and have the book read by my friend, the master traditional navigator from Puluwat. And then another re-write and then, maybe, a professioinal editor will give it a go-over. Then, maybe next winter, say sometime in February, it will go out and find a publisher.
But the essentiality of it is done. I've written another book. Imagine that.