I'm not a big fan of "year in review" shows or articles...for some reason they make me sad...
I can NOT however enter 2014 without acknowledging 2013 for what it was and what it has meant to me.
It was the year that my life changed forever!
I can't believe that I just sent off my fourth book to my wonderful formatter and that it will be live in less than three weeks! I am floored and honored every time I see a list of authors or books and my name is among the ranks of authors I both admire and idolize. I am humbled when I go to a signing and I look up and see a line of people waiting to see -- ME? I am honored when I receive messages from readers who are touched by the words in my books, when they tell me stories of their life struggles and how Tony and Claire have helped them.
To be honest, I feel like I'm living someone else's life...I feel like this can't be real. I mean, how did this happen to me?
Consequences was released in August of 2011. During its first year of publication, it sold 536 copies! That is NOT the building block for a Trilogy...much less one that will hit both the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling lists.
Truth was released in October of 2012. With that, my world began to change.
Whether you were one of the first 536 readers (and if you were, I'm pretty sure my mom told you to read) or if you found me in late 2012 or into 2013...I can't express in words my gratitude for your devotion.
The wonderful world of book blogs...mostly Romance Book Blogs...found me. With that discovery...you changed my life. I'll never forget a "live chat" with Debra from the Book Enthusiast where I was asked if I would be in Boston for a signing. I didn't know anything about book signings and I had not been invited. My husband and I decided to just "go" and "see".
That decision was MONUMENTAL!
Readers learned that I planned to attend the signing and Trish Brinkley, signing planner extraordinaire, helped me to arrange a separate signing. It was my first author event and with that 2013 took me to a dozen different venues!
Thank you Boston, Massachusetts - Bradenton, Florida - Columbus, Ohio - Orlando, Florida - Atlanta, Georgia - San Francisco, California - Las Vegas, Nevada - Phoenix, Arizona - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - Toronto, Canada - New Haven, Connecticut - and Richmond, Virginia! You were all amazing!!!
During 2013 I became PAN "Published Author Network" in RWA. Consequences and Truth both reached bestseller status on Amazon, B&N, and Kobo...and the achievement that made me breakdown in tears at a local restaurant, Convicted hit New York Times bestseller.
As I closed one chapter on my life, working as a dental hygienist, I was warmed by the reception I received entering the world of a full-time author. The friendships that have developed with other authors and with readers and bloggers have broadened my world beyond the confines of my new office in Greenwood, Indiana. I KNOW that I have friends ALL OVER who would be there for me, as I would be for them. The support, pictures, collages, and videos that have been made for me...the word of mouth recommendations...I hope you all know...I am so grateful!
I recently had someone say to me, "Aren't you glad you decided to write a book? I mean, it seems like such an easy gig. You write a book and smile nicely at people. Who wouldn't want your job?"
lol! Well, let me just say...despite common belief, it isn't quite that easy. That person forgot one VERY important element to the equation. First you write a book and then...PEOPLE must READ it!
When I sum up my feelings toward the monumental milestones of 2013 I have to say, "THANK YOU FOR READING! THANK YOU FOR BUYING! THANK YOU FOR SHARING AND TELLING OTHERS!" One does not simply write a book and smile...writing takes long hours, sweat, and tears! There are many more of those than there are smiles. It also takes support.
"THANK YOU FOR GIVING ME THAT SUPPORT!"
I can only hope that 2014 continues this amazing journey! I can't wait to see what is in store!
To all my readers...HAPPY NEW YEAR! MAY YOUR 2014 BE EVERYTHING MY 2013 WAS AND MORE!!!!