It’s the 1-year anniversary of the publication of my first book, SEEKER! Happy Anniversary to ME!
It’s still FREE on amazon, so before you read any farther, you should def skip on over and download it. Who says no to FREE???
So, what have I learned over the past year about writing and publishing? Well, it’s a fascinating tale, so sit back and relax.
I wrote the first draft of Seeker in November 2013—yes, all 74K or so words in 30 days. It was my first NaNoWriMo and I was all in! I was doing it as a project along with my senior English students, so I had to finish. How would it look if the teacher failed to complete 50K words? Now, I had never in my life written a full-on novel, so I was completely clueless. I’m really embarrassed about it now. Plus, I had spent the weeks leading up to Nov. 1 helping prepare my students to write their novels and hadn’t actually given much thought or planning to my own. On Nov. 1, I got the whole class quietly launched on their writing and then sat down in front of my computer. And stared at a blank GoogleDoc. And thought, “Crap. What am I going to write about?” I continued in this vein for about 30 minutes. The mad clicking of computer keys all around me didn’t help at all. Just before utter panic set in, I started thinking about what kind of person I would like to write about. That’s how Jack Ruiz came into being. It’s funny that the entire series (with the small exception of a short scene in book 2) is told from Ally Moran’s point of view, when I actually created Jack first. Once I got started, the book actually flowed pretty fast and I discovered I REALLY LOVE writing. I didn’t know if I would. I mean, how many people think, “I should write a book some day.”? Lots. How many actually DO it? Not as many. And I didn’t know if it would be like so many of my other hobbies (knitting, cross-stitch, stamping, sewing) where I start a lot of projects and get bored and never finish. I shudder to think how many half-finished scarves are lurking around my house, just waiting for someone to come along and breathe life into them. Maybe my mom will finish them for me. Love you, Mommy.
I finished Seeker and promptly started nagging my friends and family to read it. I put it up on SwoonReads and got a few reads. Most importantly, I began the arduous process of revision. I took out some truly cheese-in-a-can scenes and replaced them with some good old-fashioned violence. I went to a writer’s conference and talked to a couple agents. Then I began the looong process of querying my manuscript. My baby, this piece of my soul I had committed to virtual paper. I sent it out into the world. And the rejections started rolling in. Yay! But I kept revising and polishing, even as I started on Book 2.
I eventually got a bit discouraged and decided to self-publish. I changed the title to one I thought was clever and oh-so literary: The Stern and Wild Ones. I decided to title each book in the series using a reference to the literary work that was featured in it. Book 1 featured The Scarlet Letter, hence the lovely title. Book 2 became The Charge of a Star because it was based on King Lear. Book 3 was slotted to become A Spirit Too Delicate (The Tempest). I can’t remember what I was thinking for book 4.
One thing you can say for me: I don’t give up easily. I still kept querying publishers and agents. Imagine my complete and total surprise when, as I was working on book 3, a desktop notification popped up from Limitless Publishing. I opened it, fully expecting yet another politely worded rejection, but saw the magic words: We want to offer you a contract. OMG. I handed the computer to my husband and asked him to read it just to be sure I wasn’t hallucinating. Nope. They actually wanted to publish my book. They offered me a contract for the entire 4-book series!!! Book 4 didn’t even exist yet! They did make it contingent on a change of title, however. I pitched them my original titles: Seeker, Dreamer, Seer, and Oracle. Boom. They liked them and we signed all the paperwork. The next few months were a flurry of revision, editing, blurbs, and cover design. I discovered I love working with an editor—who knew? I didn’t have to do anything with the blurbs or covers except give feedback.
Then on April 28, 2015, my very first book baby was born.
So, here it is: 1 year later. I have published 5 books with Limitless: the 4 in The Seeker Series and a stand-alone YA romantic suspense titled The Way to Her Heart. I have a featured story on Wattpad called Like Wildfire and a work-in-progress called So They Loved, my first foray into adult contemporary romance. It’s picking up some nice steam on Wattpad, so give it a try and let me know what you think!
I’ve learned a TON this last year about writing, revising, editing, and marketing. And I have so much more to learn! But it’s a great journey and I love it! I have so many fun story ideas rattling around in my brain, so stay with me, people!
To celebrate my anniversary, I will pick 1 lucky reader who comments on this post or on my Facebook page to win a FREE ebook of The Way to Her Heart OR your choice of Book 2, 3, or 4 in The Seeker Series (since Seeker is FREE—did I mention that?)
I’ll pick a winner
May 5 2016.
Thanks SO MUCH for all your amazing support and encouragement this year! You guys ROCK!!!