I’ve started working on a new/old project that falls in line with the current series I’ve been publishing. It’s called “Letters From Emily,” and if you’ve read the first book in the To Have series, you know who Emily is and why her letters might be important.
My sister says she can’t wait to read it, though it’ll probably make her cry. I say I’m excited to write it, though I literally cry every time I sit down to write in that particular WIP. I know it’s going to take a lot of work to get Emily’s story the way I want it. Right now it’s merely a collection of letters she’s written to her son (Britton), her son’s father (Brian), and her son’s father’s brother (Tommy, whose book releases tomorrow). The text that isn’t her letters is written from Tommy’s point of view as of now. He had the most connection with her and I feel his voice would do her story the most justice. I have an idea for another voice, but it would come later in the text.
I never talk about goals or release dates before I know for certain because I hate the build up and the let down when I fall behind. So, let’s just say I’m hoping Emily’s book will be novella length and ready prior to Romance on the Lake in October. I want to be able to have the entire family there.
Now, let’s chat about tomorrow, shall we? To Cherish is supposed to go live at midnight (I think?) so when the people who pre-ordered wake up in the morning they can all call in sick to work and stay home falling in love with Tommy Stratford. Right? That’s how this works? All my adoring fans will flock to the Interwebs and buy my book and it’ll be an awesome best seller. *sigh* I love this dream. But I’m going to wake up now. Reality is I’m so damn appreciative of the family, friends, and readers who have promoted, shared promotions, and virtually hugged and high-fived me, and I’m not sure any of them realize just how much it means that they’ve stuck by me.
I haven’t published anything but hopes and dreams since June 2016. That’s a long time considering some authors I follow are pumping out books every three months. Certainly, that’s not the norm. Some are on a one book a year schedule. Me? I have no schedule, which is probably the world’s worst way to be a writer.
The thing with going 20 months between publishing To Hold and To Cherish is the level of crazy that occurred in that time. Our youngest daughter was born in March 2016. I was due to have her and sending out beta copies of To Hold and praying the turn around would be tight enough that I could publish the book and not have to worry about it after she arrived. Didn’t happen – she was born 10 days late and I still hadn’t done the final edits. I was exhausted and trying to publish, and once I published, I started working full time on To Cherish … and then the postpartum depression hit. And the anxiety skyrocketed. And there were days it was difficult to just get out of bed and function enough for my children.
Getting Tommy’s book done was a struggle. There were a lot of weeks I didn’t even touch my computer. If I posted on social media, I did it from my phone. I took my laptop on vacation with us with the desperate hope that the sand and salt of the Outer Banks would cure me. I wrote about 200 words. I know exactly which ones they are, too.
It took medication, focusing on myself, so many tears, and a lot of prayer to get back on track. Only recently can I say for certain that the fog has lifted.
Tomorrow my third book will be available. The dedication is in honor of friendships that have lasted more than 30 years. The acknowledgments share a little of the process and the decision making that went into my characters. I also do the customary thank yous to certain people, but I know I’ve left out a lot of people who deserve recognition. My author bio is short and sweet.
Despite all the things that delayed this story … I wrote a third book. I published a third book. I’m writing the next book. I’m still breathing. I’m managing one thing at a time.
“Just focus on the next thing.”
It is the best advice my husband has ever given me.