Reflecting back on the year, I realize there were a lot of cool moments. My favorite was the book launch party at a local book store. Family and friends from all over the country came to support me. I can honestly say, it was one of the best days of my life, which is funny considering in the weeks leading up to it, I dreaded it and tried to come up with ways to get out of it. Like many people, I have a fear of public speaking. I’ve had it since my speech class in high school when I stuttered every time I had to give a speech, and the doofus bully sitting in the front row would imitate me. I couldn’t imagine how I was going to stand up in front of a crowd, talk about my experience, read an excerpt and answer questions. My writing group coached me, and I practiced a lot. By the time the event came, I wasn’t nervous at all, and I enjoyed every single moment of it.
Another great thing that’s happened is that old friends with whom I had lost contact have emailed me after reading Waiting for Ethan to congratulate me. It’s been wonderful being able to catch up with them and find out what’s going on in their lives. I also love when co-workers at my day job as a marketing writer stop by my desk or email me to tell me they enjoyed the book. Their kind words help turn ordinary work days into exceptional ones.
Reading reviews has also been fun—well fun and scary. The good reviews always make me happy, but it’s the bad ones that stick with me. I recently received great advice from one of my favorite authors, who told me to check out the reviews for some of my favorite books because they would definitely have bad ones too. Of course she was right. In addition to my favorite books, I also checked out reviews for Adele because who doesn’t love Adele. Apparently, there are people who don’t. Somehow, this made me feel better. In my mind, she’s the best singer on the planet. If people can find something to criticize about her singing well of course they’re going to find lots of things to criticize about my writing. The important thing is that I’m happy with what I write.
Overall, the best thing that has happened on my path to publication is the supportive people I’ve met along the way, especially other writers in my novel writing workshops. When they share their work, I see how talented they are, and I realize how lucky I am that I was able to land an agent and find a publisher.
When I dreamed of getting published, I imagined my life would somehow change. It hasn’t. I still go to work and when I come home, I sit down in front of my computer and do what I love, write fiction. The only difference is that now instead of working on my first novel, I’m working on my third, and I have an agent and publisher who are already waiting to read it.