The last few days have been, to say the least, quite eventful and exciting. As I sit here in my office, (built by the world’s most wonderful husband), I am thinking about how much my life has changed in the past eighteen months, five years, ten years, and I am just in awe of it all.
Ten years ago, I was adding two cans of water to a can of chicken soup to make it stretch. If we had crackers to put in it, we were feasting like kings. People think I joke about this, but the sad fact is, it is true.
Life was a struggle back then. Every morning was like playing Russian Roulette. Will they shut the power off today? How will I pay the water bill? How am I going to buy groceries this week? Where am I going to get the money for shoes for the kids?
I worked any job I could get my hands on. Grocery stores, gas stations, I waited tables, and worked in factories. But it seemed that no matter what I did, it wasn’t enough. I did not like where I was or where I saw my life heading. So I took a very big breath and made some very difficult decisions.
I decided to take control of my own life, my own destiny. I packed up my kids, our clothes, and left my husband of 19 years. It was a difficult decision, one that I didn’t make lightly. But it was the right decision.
I filed for divorce and applied to attend college all in the same day. A year later, I was working as a paralegal, making more money than I ever had at any job I had ever worked. I bought a car, got a cell phone, and was able, finally, to buy my kids new shoes!
In 2004 I met the man who is now my husband. We started dating the week of Labor Day, got engaged on Valentine’s Day, and were married tax day, all within seven months! That was the second smartest thing I ever did! ;o) A month later, I graduated college with a B average.
Kevin really is a great guy. I know that no one is perfect, but he is perfect for me! ;o) I can honestly say that without him, I would not be where I am today.
So fast-forward to present day life. This past year has been a whirlwind of excitement! In December of 2011, I published my first book, Laiden’s Daughter. I was actually discussing this yesterday, with my dear friend Vicky. We were talking about the release of book three and she asked me, “Did you ever think it would be like this?” My answer was a resounding “No!”
When I released Laiden’s, my hope was that maybe I could sell ten copies. I couldn’t see past that number. I thought ten copies would be really cool. Anything beyond that was just silly.
You can imagine how surprised I was when in February 2012 it hit Amazon’s Top 100 Best Sellers List! To date, more than 40,000 copies have been sold around the world. I still can’t wrap my head around it. Findley’s Lass has also sold thousands of copies and pops on and off that Top 100 list.
I think what has surprised me the most is the number of reviews, emails and Facebook messages that I receive every day, from people who have read my books, people I’ve never met. (No, not everyone has been kind, but that is okay. I’m smart enough to know that there are people out there who, if you gave them $5,000, they would gripe that you didn’t gift wrap it.)
The outpouring of kind words from people, mostly women, who contact me to let me know that they loved my books, is mind-boggling. I never once thought the response would be what it is. For all of you, please know my heart and know that I am humbled and eternally grateful to each of you! Without you, I know that I would not be enjoying this beautiful ride!
So here I am, a little over a year later, and I am releasing my third book in a few days. The response has been amazing. I still can’t believe it how many people have been waiting for Wee William’s story!
Last October, I was able to give up my day job and now, I write full time. If anyone would have told me a year ago that I would be a full time writer and that my books would be as successful as they are, I would have laughed and said, “Silly bear!”
I love my life. Reflecting back on where I was ten years ago and comparing it to today, kind of makes my head spin and my heart happy, happy, happy. Who would have thunk it? ;o)
I thank God every day for my blessings. Not just for how well my books are doing, but for everything. I look forward to each new day. I no longer have to worry about where our next meal is coming from. I don’t have to worry about paying the power bill. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a millionaire, but I sure do feel like one! ;o)
From the bottom of my heart, I thank each and every one of you. You really are helping make my dreams come true. Thank you.
With humble gratitude and thanks,