It’s been a little while since I wrote a blog post that wasn’t a cover reveal, or release, or even a sale. But today is a special one. It’s a milestone I never thought I’d ever see. As I look back on the past three years. I hope you’ll bear with my ramblings because I’m slightly emotional. If you told me three years ago, on December 1st, 2015 that I’d publish a book, people would read it and ask for more, I would never have believed you. What started out as writing a fan fiction love triangle on Wattpad became my debut novel, Ace of Harts. Read on for more…
Most authors may say they always knew they would be doing this all their lives, but I didn’t. Yes, I’ve always wanted to write, and I’ve always loved creating worlds, characters, and emotional turmoil, but never once did I think that when I watched my debut novel Ace of Harts go live on Amazon, would I be here three years later.
It’s one of those things I told myself was something ‘fun’ to do. And even though I had ten pre-orders, and didn’t know any bloggers, readers, or anyone else in the book world, I loved knowing my words were out there. Granted, they weren’t as polished and beautiful as I would’ve like them to be, but they were mine. The story was something that came to be from writing fan fiction.
Slowly, over December 2015 I met bloggers on Instagram, and then found readers, they asked what I planned for my next book and I was flabbergasted. Next book? What were they talking about? That’s when I realized, this could perhaps be more than just fun.
That’s when Broken by Desire came along. The second full-length novel that earned me more readers, more bloggers, more followers. And as some might say, the rest is history, it wasn’t just that. No. It was so much more. There were people who actually wanted my words.
I was both humbled and shocked. But I couldn’t stop with the ladies messaging me asking for the next story, and that’s when the Backstage Series was born. My rockstars might have been a venture into a more contemporary genre, but they were loved. I knew there had to be three books, and as I wrote the first one, I found learned more about this world we call the ‘book community’. I met amazing women who loved romance, who loved happily ever after, and who enjoyed getting lost in worlds I created.
I was fueled. I wrote, and wrote, and wrote. Words poured from me. Months passed and with each new release, I was as nervous as the last, but I was still loving every moment. I met other authors, I found a world I never knew existed.
Each time I hit publish, watch the KDP dashboard to tell me when it’s live, I get that niggling feeling. It’s a mix of excitement, fear, and pure dread. I always wonder, will this be it, will this be the last one. But with each new release, I meet new readers, more bloggers, and make new author friends to add the ones already there. And as that happens, this circle of mine just grows into something akin to a family.
This is not an easy road at all. There’s no golden pathway that leads you to keep going. I’ve had many ups and downs, but all the moments that stick with me are those that made me smile. I’ve met a handful of people who were right there for a long while only to turn ugly, and I knew that as an adult, I had to move on. I had to make a choice–would they control the love I had for my words? Or would I be the one in control?
I stuck to my guns. I stood up for myself and I moved forward. And in doing that, I found that there are beautiful people out there. I’ve made so many incredible friends, ones I’ve met, some I haven’t… yet!
The community is strong, supportive, and have become a family. Over the past few years, I’ve found what everyone refers to as my tribe. It took time, it didn’t happen overnight, there were a few moments I thought I’d just journey on alone, but as I put myself out there, allowed myself to ask, to speak, to message others, it happened. That’s one thing I had to learn quickly, was to take the first step. Don’t be scared to ask. Don’t be fearful of others. The worst they can say is no.
As I’ve said, it’s lonely, and at times a rocky path. I’ve seen first hand how difficult this life can be. I’ve had friends who’ve given up. One in particular who started out the same time I did is no longer around. And that saddens me because she faltered by listening to what others said–hurtful comments and attacking reviews.
We’re always told to have a strong sense of self. To ignore the words, but often times it’s easier said than done. A word of advice to those starting out, don’t read too much into those negative reviews, or those hurtful comments, you can’t please everybody. Write what’s in your heart, what’s in your soul, and keep your head up.
Now, I look back and I’m still in awe of all that’s happened so far. I signed a contract with a small boutique publisher in December 2016. Then again in March 2017, I signed two novellas to Carina Press. It was in early 2018 that I hit International Bestselling Status across all Amazon stores with three of my books. I cried. I laughed. And I kept on going. And now as I end 2018, my third year in publishing, I end it on a BANG with my newest release hitting #1 new release on Amazon, as well as another bestseller flag.
Back to the topic at hand, this is my third year of publishing. Today, the anniversary of my debut novel going live on Amazon. And as each year passes, and I release another book, and another, I realize I’m doing what I love. I’ve found a passion that resonates so deep within me, that when I’m not writing, I get anxiety. All the characters that are floating around in my mind are wanting their story told. I can promise that they’ll get their book, and you’ll get more words.
Thank you for sticking around through my journey. Whether you’ve been here from the beginning, or if you’ve only just joined. I may at times jump into a different genre, perhaps a story that will push your limits, but I promise it will be worth it.
Here’s to another three, six, nine, twelve years… and the rest!
To my readers, thank you for all your support, your love, your faith that I’ll deliver a story that will take you through the wringer, but still give you the escape you need. Thank you for delving into all the genres with me, from contemporary to erotica, to BDSM, and even the darker, more intense stories, you haven’t left. Thank you!
To my fellow colleagues, and I have to name a few ladies because they’ve just been my rock, my support, and my tribe:
Jane Anthony, you are everything. A best friend, a colleague, and a wonderful word weaver yourself. I’ll always be in your corner, and don’t forget, I’ll never let you give up. Thank you for putting up with me and always rooting for me even when I’m not rooting for myself. Your friendship is special to me.
K Webster, you are one of the most amazing women I’ve come across. You’re strong, resilient, and you’re everything I want to be when I grow up. You’ve been in the deep end and you’ve come out swinging. You are my inspiration. Thank you for your friendship!
M Never, you lady are the reason I’m here and so in love with Kayne. Okay, wait, I got off track there… Your words inspired me. Your words captured me and I wanted to be able to weave words like you do. When you write, it’s not just a story, it’s something so special I’m always lost in your beautiful words. Thank you for your friendship!
To my author friends who’ve been there for me, and I know I’m going to fucking forget people, but I need to mention names–Jo-Anne Joseph, Yolanda Olson, Jennifer Bene, Giana Darling, Drew Sera, Anna Edwards, Claire Marta, Cora Kenborn, Cassie Chapman, India Adams, and the many others that have offered kind words, advice, and support. I’m sorry I can’t name everyone, or we’d be here all week. LOL! But know that you are all appreciated more than anything!
To my alpha readers,
Allyson, thank you for always being honest. Your brutal feedback is what I need to polish my stories perfectly. Thank you for always having my back and giving it to me like it is! You know I’m never letting you go right? 😉
Alicia, thank you for joining my team this year. Your friendship is nothing short of amazing! You never fail to offer feedback even when your own writing schedule is jam packed. Thank you!
My kittyCat, thank you so much for your love and support. You are just so unique, so special, so beautiful, I can’t wait to finally meet you because I may have to lock you in my dungeon. Thank you for your sweet, caring ways, your beautiful words, and your amazing teasers. And thank you for your support, because you’re just a light in the darkest of times.
To my editor, Candy for picking up the crazy of my stories and tweaking and polishing up my words as they need to be. You’ve saved me from ‘glistening’ stories, so thank you!
To the bloggers and readers, I can’t thank you enough, because the only reason I’m still here, three years later, is because of you! You mean so much to me and you humble me daily. Thank you!
To new authors out there, DO NOT GIVE UP! It’s not easy, it’s not a walk in the park, but the roller coaster is so worth every up and every down.
Keep going. Keep writing. And never stop believing.