3 days until I turn 43.
And 3 days until my first novel, One Starry Knight, is released and I can finally make that leap from aspiring author to author.
So in honor of it’s upcoming release, I thought I’d share a few things about the journey—both the journey of One Starry Knight and my journey as an author.
1. One Starry Knight is neither the first book, nor the last book I’ve written, but it’s the book of my heart. It’s the book I really learned to stretch and grow as a writer, the book that gave me courage and confidence. The book that helped me find my voice. It may not be the best book I’ve written (and I really hope not because I hope to continue growing as a writer), but it will always be special. And that’s one reason I knew it had to be my first.
2. I started writing One Starry Knight in late 2009 and finished the first draft in March of 2010. I spent the next year and a half revising it before sending out my very first query in July of 2011. I would go on to send well over one hundred queries over the next two years, riding the highs and lows of requests and rejections. I also gained critique partners, got involved with various writing groups, took dozens of classes, and had the opportunity to learn so much from other writers, agents and editors.
3. In 2013, as the self-publishing opportunties began to explode, I made the decision to switch from pursuing traditional publication to going indie. So many of my writing friends had made the same choice and after seeing the differences between the two routes, being an indie author matched up with what I wanted my career to look like. So I switched tactics, made one last huge revision of One Starry Knight and planned to publish in February of 2014. But late in 2013, several things happened in both my writing life and my non-writing life, that stole the wind from the sails and knocked me down. I lost my confidence, my courage, and my voice.
4. For the next few years I didn’t write. I didn’t read. I could barely look at a book. The stories and characters that lived in my head disappeared. During this time, thanks to a great friend, I discovered quilting. It was (and still is) healing. Stitch by stitch, I managed to sew myself and my dreams back together.
5. In the spring of 2017, I was gifted an amazing opportunity thanks to the generosity of author, Susanna Kearsley. I attened the Romantic Times Convention in Atlanta, Georgia. However going to the conference meant flying alone. Like my character Sage in One Starry Knight, I have a fear of flying. So much so, that I avoid it whenever possible. And I had never done it alone. I had every intention of turning down that opportunity. But thankfully, my husband talked me into going. RT was awesome and by the time I got back from Georgia, I had not only conquered that flying fear, but I had overcome the pain that had been holding me back from my writing over the past few years.
6. After coming home from RT in 2017, although I didn’t jump right back into the writing, I did start reading again. Lots. Since May of 2017, I’ve read over 300 books. Naturally the reading lead back to the writing and last summer I got serious about the publishing thing again. Which lead to another revision of One Starry Knight, more edits, a final draft, formatting, a cover, and finally clicking that publish button.
7. I’ve also written the sequel to One Starry Knight and am currently revising. I also have written the first two drafts of a sweet romance series called True Love Lodge that I can’t wait to share. And I’m currently working on a contemporary young adult series called Harmony High.
8. While I’ve lost count of the number of revisions One Starry Knight has been through, it’s had two title changes and four different book covers. Although it’s not the final book cover, the picture below is my favorite book cover. My youngest daughter Hailey designed it several years ago when she was barely in elementary school. She starts high school this fall.
9. One Starry Knight is the first book of a trilogy. The second and third books will be out soon. If you haven’t already, please be sure to subscribe to my newsletter in the menu above for more details about those books.
3 more days…