As many of you are probably aware, I do have a day job. It is a fun place to work and I do have a very nice boss and I get to help people every day.
I have reached a very pivotal point in my life. While I do enjoy my day job, I love writing even more.
Never, not once until the past couple of months, did I think my books would be as successful as they have been. Honestly. This entire change in my life came about because I wanted to give my mother a gift.
I've been writing for years. (Why I write is enough to fill a book and left for another time.) But I'd never finished writing an entire book and certainly had never shared what I'd written with another living soul. I was, honestly, terrified. The thought of sharing anything I'd written made my lower intestines seize and my heart want to leap from my chest. No one, I was sure, wanted to read anything I may have put to paper.
Fast forward to the summer of 2011. I wanted to give my mom a Kindle for her birthday in December. I thought, wouldn't it be funny if I put a book that I had written on her Kindle and then when she opened it, that would be the first book on it. Honest to God, that is how this all started.
So I began writing (secretly of course). I couldn't tell you why I wrote Laiden's Daughter, other than that was the story, those were the loudest voices in my head, begging to be set free. So I decided to listen and began writing it. A very dear friend of mine was recuperating at home and I asked her if she liked to read. Her response was "duh!". So I asked her if she'd like to read something I'd written. That was probably the single most important and terrifying thing I'd ever done in my entire life. She said sure and so I sent her the first few chapters. Her response was not what I thought it would be. I was fully prepared for her to say, "Honey, don't give up your day job."
Instead, she said, "Where is the rest of it? I want to know what happens next!" At first I thought it was the medicine the doctor had her on. Pain meds can affect one's judgement. Deciding she was heavily medicated and not in her right mind, I sent her more. Monuments should be erected in her name as she is the one who helped get this amazing success of mine started!
In the mean time, my wonderful husband discovered my secret. I confessed that I wanted to give mamma a kindle for her birthday and have a little story that I'd written on it. If gold medals were given for reading, my mother would be the record holder!
So my husband, God love him, began researching this whole Kindle Direct publishing thing. I simply wanted to give mamma a kindle. But to have my story on it, I had to publish it for the whole world to read. Ha! So that would make two people who had or would read it. Vicki and my mom. I wasn't worried about anyone else seeing it!
To be silly about it, I posted that I had a big announcement coming in November of 2011. The announcement was going to be that I was giving my mom a Kindle and it would have my book on it. It kind of grew a life of its own from that point!
So in December of 2011, I launched Laiden's Daughter. I thought maybe, just maybe five people might be curious enough to read it. I certainly didn't expect to sell so many copies that I'd be able to give up my day job. I didn't think I'd sell enough to even purchase the Kindle for my mom!
But that is what has happened. The outpouring of support, of kind words and positive reviews has been beyond words! The friends I've made, the world I've been exposed to, the things I've learned, not only about self-publishing but about myself, has been staggering.
So today, I am able to fulfill a dream. I can give up that day job and still feed my 6'3", built like a linebacker, 14 year old son.
I had a great conversation with my boss yesterday and October 26th will be my last day working for him, at least on a full time basis. I'll stay on at least until the end of the year, working a couple of days a week or until he can find a replacement. This will free me up to spend more time writing and more time with my family. As it is now, every waking minute is spent writing. My weekends are spent writing. I'm not complaining! I love every minute of it! And I wouldn't trade this past year for anything! But I would like to spend more time writing and less time stressing that I'm neglecting my family.
I could not have done this without you, my wonderful readers and fans! (I didn't know I had fans until a very sweet woman named Virginia pointed that out to me a couple of days ago! Yes, I am that blonde!) I could not have been able to see this long held dream of mine come to life if it weren't for my readers. I thank each and every one of you, from the bottom of my heart. You're all just amazing and wonderful and I just can't thank you enough.
And if you post a response to this, please give a special thank you to Vicki. If she hadn't wanted to read more of Laiden's Daughter, well, we wouldn't be where we are today! Thank you Vicki. You are an amazing friend and I love you!