Every so often, because I have the great good fortune to both work at a library and write books, I get to see a book of mine on the shelf, or returned in the book drop, or in passing through Interlibrary Loan. Whenever this happens, part of me says, “Of course! I write books; it’s only natural to see them in the library, in good company.” A bigger part of me, though, is still taken by surprise, then absurdly joyful. “Hey, that’s my book there!”
I’ll never forget the phone call I got in 2000, from a squodgy little POD company I paid to publish my first book (which is now mercifully out of print, and should really have been bottom-drawered in the first place). Yes, it’s true: the first few books of fiction I wrote before finding my groove, I paid to have published. Don’t judge.
But in 2006, I came to a realization. Early in that year, I said to myself, “Hey look, you’ve been writing, and wanting to get published, since 1986. That’s twenty freakin’ years.” And I made myself a promise, that if I didn’t get a book placed with an indie press by the end of the year, I’d pack it in. Twenty years is long enough to try at something without any measurable success. If I didn’t make my own dream come true, at least I would have given it a good solid try.
Fortunately for me (and for all the wonderful fans I’ve collected over the years), my horror book The Dreamwatcher was picked up by StoneGarden Press. And then I got a romance deal with Linden Bay, for Timeless Embrace. I was inspired to keep going. Eventually I landed in paranormal nonfiction, and I am blissfully happy doing this.
I am so very grateful to all the people who have stood by me for all these years — relatives, friends, and people I’ve never even met in person. And no, this post isn’t in acknowledgement of any special anniversary or anything like that. I just wanted to say thanks.