I can’t even begin to express how much of a blessing the last few days have been. Although they were extremely hectic days, there was a constant and surreal excitement that remain with me the entire time. I couldn’t wipe the firmly planted smile from my face. On the day of my book launch, all my family and friends gathered to wish me the best and purchase my book.
You’ve got understand that this has been a dream of mine since I was 11! When I didn’t own a typewriter, I would write my poetry and stories out by hand to the point I had a permanent dent along my middle finger from pressing my ink pen or pencil too hard. There were so many excuses that deferred my dream: college, the military, marriage, children, life in general. But if I’m to be honest, I would say the biggest reason was fear. I was afraid that I wasn’t good enough and I feared judgement and possibly ridicule of some sort.
Around my late thirties, I decided I wanted to go back to school to earn my graduate degree and discovered a wonderful program at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, PA where I could learn the vital mechanics of writing and finish a work in progress. I submitted my ten sample pages and was accepted. In Seton Hill’s program, I began to shed off the weight of fear. Through their writing workshops, I began to look at criticism as a means to become a better writer. I spent hours hacking and revising my manuscript until it became a thesis that would pass industry-standard muster. I’m so thankful for the professors, my mentors, critique partners and the host of friends (all phenomenal writers in their own rite). I made it through that program. The experience gave me the confidence I needed in my middle age to go after a dream I’ve had for more than three decades.
Unfortunately, afterwards, life threw well-placed punches and tribulations, and I placed my cap and gown, stole, diploma and completed manuscript away, and forgot about my dream once again. It wasn’t until life hit me below the belt, I shook off the fog of depression and regained hold of my dream and queried my novel to publishers. I was determined not to allow anything keep me from going after what the Lord had clearly gifted me. Two months later, I received not one, but two offers for my manuscript! They weren’t from the big publishers we’re all familiar with, but they both were willing to give me an opportunity to publish my book.
And now here I am, a year later, with my debut novel published through The Wild Rose Press. To God be ALL the glory for making this possible, and to you all for your support. I may need plastic surgery to take this smile off of my face. 😀