My husband recently asked me if book release day had become “old hat” at this point.  My fifth book came out on Valentine’s Day, and in many ways, it was just another day.  I’m still in awe with every book I write and put out into the world, but in some ways he wasn’t wrong.  

When I wrote my first book (The Guilt of a Sparrow), I still hadn’t told people I was writing.  I joined NaNoWriMo, and worked diligently, but I was secretive and more than a little terrified.  Writing was something I did for me, and I didn’t quite dare to think my work could be published.  I met a couple people online, on the NaNoWriMo forums, and began discussing writing with them.  It was through them I gained the bravery to share my work for the first time.  We swapped what we’d written, and all the sudden I was a writer.  

From there, I got the courage to share with a couple in-real-life friends.  I did multiple rewrites until I felt I couldn’t do any more with the book.  Then I started submitting to agents and publishers.  Rejections were par for the course, and oddly not all the disappointing, because I never expected to be published.  I found my book home with an indie publisher, who helped me along, encouraged me to keep writing, and taught me how to take the reins.

Now, everyone knows I’m a writer, and I’m always working on at least two or three projects at once.  My last book (The Chapel) was sent to beta readers early on, and I was happy to get the much needed feedback.  I have an editor I trust and love working with.  I collaborate with an artist for my book covers.  I know how to format my books for ebook and print.

A couple years ago, creating a website and managing social media seemed difficult.  There was a learning curve to being an author where the marketing and promotion were concerned.  Back then I would never have considered self-publishing.  Too daunting.  Too scary.  Too many what-ifs.  Now I put my own books out with pride in my work.  I learned by doing, from asking questions, and by befriending other authors.  

One of the biggest changes from book one to book five is me.  

Did you know there was a time I was embarrassed by reading romance?  Yeah, that was before I started writing it!  I loved the books, and my ereader reflected this, but I never wanted to admit it to anyone.  Then I realized everything I wrote turned into a love story, and I had to embrace the fact I LOVE romance.  Reading it.  Writing it.  Now, supporting and promoting it.  We’re a strong group of (mostly) women, and there’s nothing to be ashamed of!  

I went from someone hiding the fact I even tried my hand at writing, to someone active in the writing community.  I learned to brave the critics and put my work out there, because it’s worth it when someone finds a connection to my stories.  I started out wondering if I could ever finish another book, to planning dozens more!  

Helpful links:  

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo):  https://nanowrimo.org 

My editor:  https://mybrotherseditor.net 

How I format my books:  https://reedsy.com 

     

     

     

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