So...I've never done a blog post before and I figured, what better time to start than on the 2 year anniversary of Room for You, right? But then I thought...it's more than the anniversary of Room for You. It's kind of the anniversary of the day my new life started.
The life I'd always dreamed about. (<-- Cheesy, but true.)
Let's go back a few years...30 or so to be exact. (No I'm not 30 but let's pretend I am). Growing up, I was book obsessed. Shocking, right? I got lost in them...the words, the pictures, the smell of the pages... I loved all of it. Still do. From a very early age, I wanted to write children's books. Well, life had different plans. A couple of babies by the time I turned 21 and suddenly my focus shifted from what I wanted to be when I grew up to "Oh, crap. These kids need food and health insurance," so off to work I went. After a couple more years, my husband and I made the collective decision for me to be a stay-at-home mom. Soon my days were filled with laundry, pancakes, dishes, nursery rhymes, vacuuming and sticky toddler kisses. Being a mom was the HARDEST, and most rewarding, thing I've done to date, but it was also exhausting. Beyond exhausting. I pretty much tucked the kids into their beds and then headed straight for my own. Who am I kidding? Most times they'd ask me to "lay with them" and my husband would wake me twenty minutes later when they wandered into the family room to complain to him that I was snoring. Anyway, I focused on my family and my household for a solid 12 years, and added 2 more kids to my homemade gang in the process.
(Shameless family pic because I think they're cute...)
But after awhile...I wanted more. It's not that being a stay-at-home mom wasn't enough because it was. but something felt missing. I felt like I didn't know who I was anymore and I was desperate to find out again. I returned to my love of books, but this time, instead of reading The Babysitter's Club, I was gobbling up contemporary romance as fast as I could get my hands on it. Laundry had piled up in the hallways and I was on a first name basis with the pizza man, but thankfully I have a very patient husband who'd grown used to hearing, "Just one more chapter..." instead of Good Night when he turned out the light on his nightstand. Eventually, reading books wasn't enough anymore either. Imaginary people living inside my head starting talking to me like never before so I either needed to start writing about them or check myself into a mental hospital. I figured the hospital thing is always going to be an option, so why not take a leap of faith and jot down some words.
Every day for the next 6 months, I wrote down a few words, and then a few more, and a few more after that. I was thinking about my story all the time. In the shower, in the car, zoning out at parent/teacher conferences...I was consumed. Then, it happened.
I wrote The End.
Holy shit. I wrote a book. What the hell was I supposed to do now?
Thankfully I have been very blessed with some AMAZING author friends (I'm looking at you Melissa Brown, Tara Sivec and Tina Reber...) who were immensely helpful and supportive. So, I did all the behind-the-scenes work you're supposed to do, got my little book ready and hit that pretty yellow "Publish" button on Amazon. You can prepare yourself for a lot of things in life, but the nausea that comes along with publishing your first book (or second, or third, or fourth...) is not one of those things. I sat in the corner, rocking back and forth, and within just a couple of hours Room for You was live! My little baby was out in the world and I no longer had control. I had zero expectations of how it would do and if it was the only book I ever published, I was fine with that because a bucket list item had been fulfilled. Next up? Skydiving!
But...that wasn't it. Thanks to some fantastic bloggers and friends, the link was passed around a bunch of times and my inbox was flooded with people congratulating me. I went to bed feeling better than I ever had in my whole life. The morning after I published, I woke up early. Everyone was still asleep so I tiptoed quietly to the family room and looked Room for You up on Amazon.
When I saw #333 on the screen, I got light-headed. I literally thought I was going to pass out from shock. Happy, euphoric, overwhelmingly amazing shock! I screamed, scared the crap out of my husband who came running into the room half asleep, carrying a weapon of some sort. He looked around the room for an intruder, rat or gigantic spider, and when he didn't see anything, he frowned at me. All I could do was show him the screen and cry. He had no idea what it meant, but he was happy for me anyway.
Fast forward two years and here I am. I have four books under my belt that I'm damn proud of, I have a reader group that is insanely supportive and makes me smile every single day, I've been to some spectacular book events and met SO MANY wonderful people. I've been blessed beyond anything I could have ever imagined and I'm so so thankful.
Thankful to every single person that took a chance on a new author, who in place of any formal writing training, had a big, fat dream...and a bucket list. (I'm also thankful I didn't have to move on to skydiving.)
Here's to the two most incredible 2 years ever, and with any luck...the 20 after that!