Now that the holidays are over and I’m settling back into my routine of writing, I wanted to take the time to do something that is LONG overdue:
Yes, you! My readers. My reason for turning on my computer and typing away new stories every day. My followers and retweeters, bookworms and bibliophiles.
When I decided almost a year ago to embark on this journey to publish a novel, I had no clue what I was in for. Naively, I thought, It can’t be that hard. Just write, publish, BOOM, insta-love. Ha! I was soooo wrong. The writing part alone was incredibly difficult. But that wasn’t what kept me awake at night. No, my biggest fear – and I think it’s a fear all writers have – was that I’m not good enough to be a novelist. I mean, I think I’m creative, I think I’m inventive, but am I really?
I learned a lot about myself through writing those six, seven, or eight drafts (I don’t even remember at this point) and the biggest thing I learned is that I’m scared of the public. Does that sound weird? I’m usually that woman who doesn’t give two hoots about anyone’s opinion about me – until I started writing a book. Then suddenly, EVERYONE’S OPINION MATTERS! The fear of failure is real and I almost gave up (quite a few times). I almost didn’t publish Finding Paradise because I was scared that my writing style was terrible, the book would flop, and I’d get horrific Goodreads reviews. I didn’t even think about sales at that point. I was just scared what my readers would think.
But you’ve all embraced my debut novel. While it is a short novel in comparison to the novel I’m working on now, Finding Paradise has gotten so many great reviews that it fills my heart with every single piece of feedback that I read. You have no idea what your reviews, kind words, and excitement for my next novel mean to me. It’s a dream come true to have strangers read my book and love it. I wish I could express in words the bubbly feeling it gives me, like when you’ve had too much champagne, but even the strongest writer could never describe this. It’s an amazing feeling and I have all of you to thank for it.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you for picking up Finding Paradise, whether you won it in a giveaway, got it as an ARC or Blind Date book, or paid your own hard-earned money for it. Thank you for cracking it open and transporting yourself into Mila’s story of love, heartbreak, and growth. Thank you for laughing at the parts where I was hoping you’d laugh, cry when I was hoping for tears, and smiling when I was hoping for happiness. Thank you for your gold stars, online reviews, and private messages. Thank you for entertaining my weird Tweets and lame Instagram pictures.
Most of all, thank you for giving me a chance. The book world is so vast and I am just a tiny fish navigating my way through the ocean. I’m like Dory, but only 1/4 as funny. But with every person that reads Finding Paradise, I gain the strength to keep writing for your reading pleasure. I keep swimming.
On that note, I’d like to update you about my next novel. I’m keeping the title under wraps until the cover reveal in March. Sadly, I know many of you were hoping for Baylee’s story, but this next novel will not be about Baylee (though she will have her time in the spotlight soon – I promise!). This novel will follow the world of Talia, a woman with a dark past who finds solace in a dangerous way. I will warn you: this novel is a bit darker and more sensual than Finding Paradise. No, it’s not erotica because frankly, I’m not good at putting that stuff down on paper (much love to the authors who can, but I can’t make the word “penis” sound like anything except a medical term). But it will hopefully make you feel all the feels, even the dirty ones. Stay tuned in February during my book tour (watch for a post on the tour dates and stops coming soon!) for a few hints and teasers before the cover reveal!
Again, from the bottom of my heart, thank you to all my readers. You are all fantastic little humans and I appreciate every single one of you. I would say that I love you all, but that would be weird since we haven’t been on a real date yet and you don’t even know my favorite color.