Michele and I went to high school together. We were aquantiences, but our school was pretty small. We traveled in smaller circles that were part of a larger circle. I didn't really know her, but didn't have a favorable opinion of her. She felt similarly about me. A few years back, a mutual friend "reunited" us. I wasn't thrilled about seeing her again. But the years had changed us, and we found ourselves talking frequently, with a lot in common. We have similar views on parenting and marriage. We have similar likes. Our husbands get along well. Our children are remarkably similar.
She was the first person (other than my husband) who I told about writing a book. She actually read it as it was being finished, and did the first edits on it. On July 19, 2011, Michele came to my house when I was having a family party. Not only did she take fabulous pictures of my family (which would be our last, since my grandmother passed away three months later), but she brought a printed copy of Good Intentions. It sat in my room in the binder from Michele for almost two years. She listened to me agonize over it. She read it again (and again) to help with edits.
And Michele has been my number one PR agent. She talks up the book to everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) she knows. I know she is personally responsible for not only buying my very first book when it was released on Nook, but was also responsible for a good percentage of the sales. She even had a t-shirt made up for Good Intentions.
We joke that she is my agent/publicist/manager. I tell her that she is going to get 10% of my royalties. Of course, that currently adds up to a whopping sum of about $1.75 for her at the moment. I keep telling her she can almost buy a cup of coffee. She's holding out for a Starbucks though, and I'm not sure that will ever happen (but I can dream). We joke (but secretly wish) about the day that I will go on a book tour and make public appearances, and she will travel with me to keep me in line.
I am humbled and honored to have a friend who does so much for me, just out of the goodness of her heart. She does insist that I name a character 'Michele' in every book, and is currently displeased about the minimal and negative role 'Michele' plays in my second novel. As I type this right now, she's reading (or at least supposed to be!) the very first version of my second novel. I consider her my Alpha reader. These books are like my children, and she is one of the few people I trust with my baby.
If you're lucky, you'll get a Michele in your life. If I ever make it big, I know that I will owe a large part of it to Michele.
(We will need to come up with new poses for the publicity tour)
Oh, the second thing every woman needs is Spanx.