Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. —Thomas Edison
I’m happy to announce that my book, THE MEMORY KEEPER is going to be published by Aladdin/Simon&Shuster in the fall of 2019. This is a dream I’ve had since I was a little girl growing up in a small town on the island of Kauai. It took time, but I’m so happy I embraced the work – overalls and all.
Writing has always been my outlet. Whenever I’m stressed, sad, happy, overwhelmed, lonely, depressed or joyful, I pour that emotion into my stories. Some short, some long, but all a part of me. Sometimes I’d share my stories with my family – my mother, sister, and later, my children. And for years that was enough for me.
Something changed after my first baby. Anxiety crept in and changed how I saw the world. There were so many things to worry about now that I had a whole little person counting on me, and writing was a much-needed distraction from reality. That was the year I finished my first novel and then, you know, shoved it under my bed and turned my attention to my next book. And so on, and so on for the next five years give or take.
“You should try to get your books published,” my husband said.
Sounds simple enough, right? *Cue hysterical laughter*
But…what if I did? What if my books were on the shelf of a bookstore or library? What if one of my stories made a difference in a child’s life?
Query letters, agents, conferences, contests. There is nothing simple or easy about any of it. As an extremely shy person, conferences and writing groups always sounded like torture (I would rather dig ditches all day long in the sweltering heat, to be honest) but they were necessary in reaching my goal. The Pitch Wars contest and my fabulous mentor, Kristin B. Wright, helped get my manuscript query ready, and then winning the Golden Heart helped my manuscript stand out in the slush pile.
One thing I’ve had to hone, besides my writing skills, is patience. My journey to becoming a published author has been filled with waiting. Sometimes I’ve had to wait months, sometimes weeks, and sometimes only a few days. But each time the news at the end of the waiting brought me a little bit closer to my dream. My wonderful agent, Stacey Glick, helped me navigate the terrifying reality of going out on submission with a book. I truly wouldn’t be here without her hard work.
Now I wait for my edit letter, and then try to use some of that hard-earned patience while I wait for 2019, and then who knows?
Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.