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Writing doesn’t include those lunches, or Diane Keaton’s XL cottage on the beach, but it does include a lot of great things I hadn’t counted on.
Until I published my first book there is no way I could have understood the high that comes from connecting with a reader. When someone loves your characters and your story as much as you do … there is a magical feeling that comes close to hanging with a best friend, sipping cocktails, sharing memories. Every good review (and even some of the mediocre ones) gives you this high. I can float around for at least two, maybe three days, on that connection.
Then there’s Kristen. She got me, she really, really got me. But let me back up, because before she connected with me through my novel, she had to be one of the brave, kind souls who agreed to give a first-time Indie author a chance. I sent out over a hundred review requests and I only sent those to the reviewers who welcomed Indie published books. Indie is a growing trend, but not everyone is on board yet. Kristen is out in front of the pack, not only giving Indie authors a chance, but also really getting behind the Indie movement and helping to promote self-publishers in any way she can. (I was one of her first Pretty Little Indies to be interviewed – a squeee-with-delight thrill if there ever was one.)
I am so grateful there is a Kristen. I’m grateful there is someone who not only likes my writing but supports the fledgling, frenetically-changing industry I work in.
I’m writing my second novel now. Some days (like today) I sail through writing a chapter then read it back to myself and fist pump the air because I feel like I nailed it. On days like today I can’t wait to share this novel with Kristen and the others I’ve connected with. Other days, I when I read back what I have written it sounds more like a jumble of disconnected sentence fragments. It would be easy to get discouraged and throw in the towel when that happens. But I don’t, because those same reviewers have told me, over and over, that they want to read this story, the sequel to my first one. So I go back and rewrite, refocus, rework the weak parts because I don’t want to let them down.
There’s a little Indie bookstore where I live in Memphis, TN. It’s called Burke’s Books. It’s a place where mega-selling author John Grisham does a book signing for every book he releases. Because when he released his first one, and no one had heard of him, they gave him a chance.
I still dream of being a writer – specifically a successful writer. I dream of book signings and large cottages by the sea financed with my books sales. And I dream of reviews of my newest mega-seller on Pretty Little Pages that start with … “I’ve supported this author from the beginning.”
She currently resides in Olive Branch, MS (formerly Cow Pen) on the outskirts of Memphis, TN with her 2.5 super-smart kids, and an amazingly-funny, cute, geeky husband.
When not writing, she is a stay-at-home mom (chick in charge) and part-time teacher. Any down time is spent reading, catching up with friends and obsessively worrying about every little thing.
Burnouts, Geeks and Jesus Freaks: a love story is her debut novel. She is now frantically trying to recall her college years to write the sequel, Popstars, Friends and Lovers.