- Win WITH A NAME LIKE LOVE in the LDS Authors Giveaway Hop (Ends 5/18)
- Win an ARC of THE ROCK OF IVANORE in The Children's Books Giveaway Hop (Ends 5/13)
- Help me win free ad space in the LDS Books & Things Catalog
- My first book signings: A Report
- Book Review: Shadows In Flight by Orson Scott Card
The 15th is just around the corner. Hard to believe. I've waited six years for this day to come. That's right - on May 15th The Rock of Ivanore will be officially released into the world! For those of you who are new to this blog, you may not know how this all started. Well, it started with a bedtime story to my son, Marc, who was eight years old at the time. Once I decided to turn our bedtime tales into a novel, it took an entire year to write the first draft. Two years and 45 rejections later, Tanglewood Press emailed asking if the book was still available. That was three years ago.
1. NO WRITER WRITES ALONE
The first thing I did after writing that first draft so long ago was join SCBWI (The Society of Children's Books Writers & Illustrators.) Through SCBWI, I've met many, many wonderful writers and authors and it blows my mind how supportive the children's book community it. When one writer "makes it" she always reaches out to help others succeed, as well. The same holds true for the Apocalypsies, a group of 2012 debut YA & middle grade authors. I am so privileged to be included among such a tremendous group of people. Many have become my friends and colleagues. We all cheer each other on and help each other through the pitfalls of publishing our first books. I've never been alone through this entire process.
2. AS MUCH AS I'D LIKE TO, I CANNOT WRITE IN A CAVE
Most authors are introverts. I am no exception. I love hiding in my little "bubble" letting the world around me vanish. When I first got my publishing contract and was told I needed to promote myself via social media, I was like "What's social media?" With the help of my sister-in-law and youtube, I managed to create a blog, design a website, establish author pages on Facebook, Amazon, Goodreads, etc., and become a presence on the web. Believe me, no one is more shocked at my success in this area than I am.
3. AN AUTHOR'S LIFE IS A BALANCING ACT
I could easily write all day or all night long and love every minute of it, but I've never had more than a few hours a week to write because I am a full time mom of five kids. Now, adding promotion and marketing to my schedule, I have less time for everything else. I've had to learn how to compartmentalize my day and my psyche. When I'm writing, I'm writing. When I'm promoting, I'm promoting. When I'm doing housework, or schoolwork, or laundry or dishes - I have to think only about what I'm doing right then. Otherwise my brain suffers from traffic congestion. I find that not only am I more efficient at the task at hand, but I also don't feel all the guilt about all the other things I'm not getting done.
4. LIFE IS MEANT TO BE FUN
All of this is adventure. An experience. I try not to take myself or anything else too seriously. I do get frustrated when I walk through my messy livingroom knowing I can't stop to clean it right this moment, but for the most part, I try to put a smile on my face, eat some chocolate, try not to have a complete meltdown, and just keep going. I think that's my new motto: Just Keep Going.
Alright. Well, there they are. Four important lessons I've learned. I hope they are helpful to some of you.