I’ve been writing since childhood. Everything from short stories, full length novels, screenplays and even dabbled at poetry. I wrote because I loved it and it was also a means of escaping. I was horribly, painfully introverted. My stories allowed me to be whoever I wanted to be.
My secret dream was to be an author, but I never thought it would be possible. I knew how hard it was to ‘get published’ so I didn’t even bother to submit any of my work to a traditional publishing house.
It was an accidental journey to becoming a full time, published author. I tell people that I didn’t do it on purpose, even though it was a lifelong dream.
It started out as a whim of sorts. I wanted to give my mother a Kindle for her birthday. I thought it would be a hoot if when she turned the Kindle on for the first time, the first book she saw would be something I had written. And so it began.
I would get up at 3:30 every morning just to write. At the time, we only had one computer in the house so very early morning hours were my only opportunity to write. My husband thought I was getting up early to play Farmville!
I shared a few chapters with a very dear friend of mine, thinking she’d say “Cute. But don’t give up your day job.” I was floored when she emailed me back and said, “Where is the rest of it?? I want to read more!” I thought she was just being nice.
Somewhere along the way, my husband had discovered my little book on the computer. I had to come clean and explain to him what I was doing. I also asked him for help. I’m not a technical person, but I figured there had to be a way to get my book onto Mamma’s Kindle. Now, anyone who knows my husband knows what a research nut he is. Give him the most obscure or offbeat or technical idea or question and he’ll research the heck out of it! I had explained to him that I had seen a link at Amazon that said “Publish Your Book To Kindle,” but that I hadn’t bothered with it. I was convinced that all I needed was a ‘cord’ of some sort to hook up between my computer and Mamma’s Kindle.
A few days later, my husband informed me that I couldn’t just put my book on mom’s Kindle. I had to actually publish it. I believed him. He’s smart, this husband of mine, and he’d never lied to me before.
I figured what the heck, go for it. What did I have to lose? No one would want to buy my book anyway. Now, deep down I had a secret desire to actually sell a copy, but I wouldn’t speak the words out loud. I thought it would be wonderful if I sold just ten little copies. In my lifetime. Ten. That was a good goal.
Without the aid of an editor or cover artist and not having a clue what I was doing, I decided to go for it. I figured that I didn’t want to wake up on my 60th birthday and wonder what if…. So In December of 2011 I published Laiden’s Daughter.
By February of 2012, it was number 2 on Amazon’s Top 100 Best Seller’s List! Blew. My. Mind. I thought it would take a lifetime to sell ten copies. I was certain it had to be a mistake of some kind. But when I started getting one message after another, one positive review after another, I realized it wasn’t a mistake….I was now an author.
I was selling more than 250 copies a day! I didn’t have a clue what that meant, if in fact it meant anything at all. All that I knew was that I was over-the-moon happy and people were asking for more!
I remember my first royalty check from Amazon/KDP. $78.69. I cried because I felt like I had arrived. By October of 2012, I was able to give up my day job (selling insurance) in order to write full time. That still blows my mind. I am able to do things now that would not have been possible prior to December of 2011. I have the most amazing life.
In all honesty, it has never been about the money; its always been about the writing. Are my books perfection personified? Hardly. But I do know that my writing gets better with each new book — and that is how it should be. I want to write stories that people will enjoy. I want to help people escape the ordinary, for just a little while.
Now, I have three editors, a very talented cover artist, a street team, beta readers and other indie authors who are very dear friends. I owe much of my success to my street team, Suzan’s Highland Lassies. This is a group of beautiful, sweet and smart women who I consider dear friends. I couldn’t get through a book launching without them!
I also believe I have the most beautiful readers anywhere. I know that I would not be where I am today if it were not for them.
So there you have it. I’m proof that dreams can come true and that happily-ever-afters are real.