Hello there. I know I have some explaining to do regarding my long absence. I'll do my best, and I ask your mercy.
First, I want to apologize. I left this blog alone for a while. A long while. And you are my tribe. I can't believe I let you down, when you have been nothing but supportive to me.
Second, here's why I disappeared: I got discouraged. As someone who fears failure, I retreated into the dark rather than admit my own failures. Yes, I've written about this concept before, and I've made it my life's work as a teacher to help young people get past their fear of failure. However, I didn't take my own advice (doesn't that always seem to happen, though?).
My debut novel released into the world. I had dreamed of that moment for most of my life. And it was nothing like what I expected.
I found out quickly that I knew nothing about publishing, less about writing than I'd hoped, and very little about the business side of being an author. Everything sort of came tumbling down on me (okay, on my ego) about January, and I did the worst thing I could have done: I bailed.
I didn't bail out from writing, but I bailed out from you guys.
So, you deserve an update. You deserve much more than that, really, but an update is what I have, and something that I hope encourages you. I have something to give you as well, if you're interested (see below).
First, an update.
In the long months of silence, much has been happening. My son is now two. Staying home with him has taken most of my time (which it should, of course!) these past several months. In addition to loving being a mom, I'm still writing.
I wrote a brand new YA fantasy novel that just popped into my head one day while watching a BBC mystery (though the book isn't a mystery). I can't wait to share it with you, whenever that may be. I've submitted it to agents and I'm waiting. Currently, I've outlined the sequel and am slowly plodding along on the first draft of that book.
An idea for a book with dragons came to me that I just love. I can't wait to write that series when time allows. I've also nearly decided to turn Mind of Mine into a series. After thinking about that book more, I think Valeria's story isn't quite over yet. She has more to accomplish, more that's expected of her.
And the best part about doing a sequel to Mind of Mine is that now that the rights are back in my name, I can revert to the original title and change the cover. If you know me well, and some of you do, you know this means a lot to me (Olivia and Jessica and all my BHS kids). But I haven't fully decided on that yet, because doing that will mean catapulting myself into the world of self-publishing, and I'm not sure I am smart enough for that world. It takes a real business person to be successful at self-publishing, and I'm very much afraid of failure, as I've learned recently.
However, these past seven months, I've been educating myself. Doing what I should have been doing before I ever signed a contract with a publisher. I'm learning the publishing business. I've spent countless hours learning. I've met other authors and learned from them. And I can now say that whenever my next book launches, whether it is traditionally published or indie published, I'll do a better job than I did the first time.
Aside from that, I've also started a new blog. But don't be offended! I wasn't doing it as a means of abandoning this one. It's entirely different. It's for a different audience, though I truly hope some of you check it out and find it encouraging. My new blog is called T.R.U.T.H., which stands for Truth Readers United Through Him. It's a blog for Christian teens that challenges young people and those new to the faith to dig deeper into the Word of God and live out what they find in scripture. You can find it here.
On that page, you'll see that I've created a free ebook on praying through the entire book of Ephesians. In it are 31 days of prayers written based off of the text of Paul's letter. It's a great way to begin praying the scriptures, if that is not something you've ever done. I spent many months writing a bible study on Ephesians that I then went through with the women at my church, and part of that bible study was this prayer guide. I've made the prayer guide available to download, but I haven't decided what to do about the bible study yet. If you download it and go through it, I pray it encourages you and challenges you and draws you closer to the Lord. That's what I have to offer you. I know it may not interest all of you, but it is free if you want it. (And I won't be trying to send you to that blog after this--today's post is just an update on what I've been doing.)
So, that's what I've been up to. I haven't abandoned this page, though it may have seemed that way for a while. I have fun plans regarding what to do with this blog moving forward. Part of it involves snippets of the story I'm working on, but from a point of view not offered in the book itself. For more frequent updates on my works-in-progress and my writing life, follow me on Instagram, which is where I spend most of my online time these days.
A heartfelt thank you to all of you. You were my foundation as I started my writing journey. I hope you stick with me as I navigate this somewhat scary world of publishing. I have many more books in my head to write, and I certainly hope you get to see them all (and that you enjoy them--because that's what it's all about!).
It's time I take my own advice, and keep trying, no matter the perceived failures along the way. Being successful at anything involves many, many failures. I'll be posting some teasers about my new project soon, so keep an eye out!