Wednesday, June 3, 2015

One year!

An entire year ago, Still the Song was published! How has it been a year already? I think I speak for everyone when I say that time flies much too quickly!

In this last year, I have experienced a lot of little proud, exciting moments surrounding the publishing of my very first novel. Some five-star Amazon reviews, readers posting their photos of my book on Instagram, people that don't even like to read telling me they couldn't put my book down...Wonderful, humbling moments that I will never forget!

When I first began writing Still the Song in early May 2013, I didn't plan to do anything with it. I was content with reading new scenes to my husband and passing along chapters to my cousin. But as the story began to come together, and my enthusiasm for the storyline and its characters took a hold of me, I became convinced that sharing it was something I had to do. I had to do it for myself first, just to prove to myself that I could accomplish it. And if people actually liked it, that would be a plus.

Writing a book and publishing it was something I viewed as impossible when I was a kid. It seemed as unlikely as becoming a famous actor or musician. Fortunately, times have changed, and we can attain these dreams on our own through self-publishing. And I'm still so proud of myself for sticking to it and seeing it through to the end. It feels good to achieve a goal in the face of pesky self-doubt. There were a lot of steps involved to make this book happen. There were a lot of things I had to teach myself in physically building the interior of the book. There were so many times when I let myself get overwhelmed and questioned my ability to do it, but I pushed through it and made it. My book isn't perfect, but it's mine.

I haven't sold thousands (or even hundreds) of copies, my book doesn't have a crazy, awesome, and bustling fandom, nor are Jonah and Hannah every teenage girl's OTP ('one true pairing' for those who didn't know), but that's okay. The kind words I've received, the enthusiastic enjoyment that has been expressed to me, has meant the world to me. No, Hollywood hasn't adapted my novel into a film (in which Chace Crawford would surely star as Jonah and become my BFF), but you can search for my book on the computer at Barnes & Noble and it comes up in the results. That probably amuses me more than it should, but I think it's pretty darn cool. More than one person has told me they hate to read, but stayed up half the night reading my book because they couldn't stop. For some reason, that really thrills me. It's such a compliment! It makes me feel so honored that someone would sacrifice their sleep just to read my words!

I am so grateful to every single person who has read my book (and who will in the future!). You took a chance on a self-published piece of fiction that had every possibility of being excruciatingly amateur (and hey, maybe it was), but you supported me and you built me up, and I thank all of you. I hope to keep filling those empty spaces on your bookshelves with stories that keep you reading through the night, with characters you can fall in love with and never forget. It would be an honor.

And once again, some things I'm into lately...

1.) Sleeping At Last's latest music project, Atlas: Year Two. You probably know how much I love Sleeping At  Last (whom I stole this favorites list idea from, if you recall). He has released his first two songs from this first EP in the series. "Life" is an incredible song, about the birth of his daughter. Truly beautiful, as always! You can subscribe to Ryan's Atlas: Year Two project here.
2.) Castro the band. Any American Idol fans out there? Do you remember Jason Castro from season 7? The one with the dreads (except he doesn't have them anymore). Well, he and his younger siblings, Michael (who auditioned and made it to Hollywood in seasons 8 & 9 and is an incredible singer and fun YouTuber who I just love) and Jackie, have finally come together to form their own band. They've released one song so far and I'm excited to see all they're going to do together. They're going to be great! Check out their first music video.
3.) Pretty Little Liars summer premiere. Yeah, I'm pretty dorky, so I totally watch PLL. Not sure if I'm too old to like it, but I do. The summer season premiered tonight and I was all creeped out and in suspense as per usual. Looking forward to seeing where it's all headed!
4.) My pug, CRAWFORD. Yay, he has a name! It only took us a week to name him. This little furry furnace is currently sleeping on me and making me all hot. He's an ugly sleeper, all twitchy with eyes partially open and wandering (Ew?). He's in that obnoxious puppy stage, and it's taken some adjusting for my 3-year-old son, Jude, but Crawford is pretty cute, and pugs are the best.

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