One of the best years of my life is about to take place. I have been waiting for this year since I was five. It's right up there with the year I married my husband and the years my children were born.
You see, I grew up with many different dreams. I wanted to be a paleontologist, a storm chaser, a politician, the empress of the universe, but the one dream that actually stuck was the one where I wanted to be a writer. In the early years, I dreamed of being the youngest author ever published, but my goal was too whimsical and not based in the reality of hard work. For one, I'd never finished a story I started. I have many journals on my bookcase with half-written stories (some of them only a few pages long). So after I turned 18, I realized that dream would never be realized. But I had a new dream, and that was to be serious about my writing.
In 2008, I finished my first book. I had started it in 2002. It was the first book I told myself I would absolutely finish no matter what. And I did. It took six years, but I did it. I hit a milestone then. I became a new writer. I was still very naive and queried that recently completed novel before I'd even finished transferring it from journal to computer. And editing hadn't even occurred to me by that point in my career. I googled query letter formats and found a spectacularly bad example (which I thought was good) and followed its guidelines to a "T."
After a few months and many rejections, I put that novel away and started a new one. I named it Aurumenas and it was about a girl who could manipulate the elements. I finished that novel in one year. And it was crap. Shortly after that point I discovered Young Adult fiction and morphed into a new writer for the second time. I finally knew consciously what my mind had known subconsciously for several years now. I was a YA writer posing as one who writes Adult. I completely rewrote Aurumenas in three months and gave it a new name: ELEMENTAL. I found an amazing beta who has become one of my greatest friends and I learned the art of taking criticism.
This year, just last Spring, I decided to self-publish ELEMENTAL. During that time, all of my blogger friends poured in with their support. I was shocked and overwhelmed at the amount of time and effort others were willing to give to help me sell my book. One woman in particular reached out to help in any way I could possibly need. I still have the notes I took from that long phone conversation we had. From how to get the most out of Amazon to which websites to send my book for review. And she, a published author, offered to read my book and blurb it. After formatting ELEMENTAL to the best of my ability, I sent it to her. Two days later, she emailed me back and said Spencer Hill Press wanted to make an offer. Just thinking about it now makes me want to cry for joy.
I owe so much to Kate Kaynak and Spencer Hill Press for making this dream come true. So, in preparation of the year of my dreams, I'm going to share some love for all my fellow SHP authors over the next couple weeks. They don't know I'm doing this so sshhhh! :P And by "sshhhh," I mean tell everyone!
Starting tomorrow, look for my posts on all the wonderfulness coming out of Spencer Hill Press. You won't want to miss it. Trust me. :)