For most parents, it sort of sends a chill down the spine. A little feeling of anxious anticipation/terror. The dreaded terrible twos.
This time around, for me, two years old is going to be great. Of course, that's because it's my book that is two, not a toddler.
Two years ago, late on a Thursday night, I hit the publish button, and Good Intentions was released into the world. It was so not ready. It had a horrible cover. It needed more editing. But it was out there.
I need to admit something. Like most new parents, I had NO IDEA what I was doing. I thought I had researched. Turns out, it was not nearly enough. You know, like you read What to Expect When You're Expecting cover to cover, but then have no idea what to do with the actual baby. Yeah, that was me.
I'd like to think I've learned. That I've improved my skill. That I now know where and when to ask for help. The last two years have been amazing. When I hit publish, I wanted to sell four books to recoup the cost of the terrible, terrible cover that I'd created. That was it. Then I got into paperbacks and marketing, and the expenses rose. It was okay. According to the IRS, I have three years to start making a profit before this is just considered a hobby. I never expected to sell books. I never expected people I didn't know to read my books. I never expected people to like my writing. I never expected to be a writer.
I didn't know what to expect.
I love having a creative outlet. I feel I'm so much happier, no matter what is going on in my life. I have a way to process and deal and escape. The part of writing that has been the best for me is the people. I am thankful everyday for the great people I have met--the writers, bloggers, fans (yes, I even have a few fans!).
I know I put acknowledgments in my books, but these thanks need to be said often and loudly. This whole process never would have taken off if not for the constant support from my best friend, Michele Vagianelis. If you're observant, you will notice there's a Michele in every book. That's because none of my books would happen without Michele.
My husband has been my quiet support. I think my writing surprised him as much as it did me, and he's expressed surprise that I've stuck with it. That being said, he's come up with a long term plan for my writing, and is supporting me in getting there. My kids are great, wanting to know my progress, sitting next to me while I'm writing, and even beginning to write themselves. That is one of the best rewards.
The ladies (and gents) of my internet writing groups, ChickLitChatHQ and Writing Wenches, are just the best ever. From all corners of the globe, at all hours of the night, I can count on support, help, and someone who gets what I'm going through.
My local writing group, Albany NaNoWriMo, has been so cool to hang out with on Sunday nights. With school winding down and a new project starting up, I'll be at Denny's again soon!
Becky Monson has become not only my cover designer, marketing guru, and sounding board, but one of my closest friends. Not a day goes by when we don't talk, and she is primarily responsible for setting me on the path to success.
Aven Ellis, Jayne Denker, Celia Kennedy, and Tracy Krimmer are other fantastic writers who share my journey, my struggles, and boost me up along the way. They let me bother them at all hours with questions and need for opinions.
My editor, Karen Pirozzi, has spared me from the embarrassment of typo after typo, error after error. If you bought Good Intentions when it was first released, it was before Karen helped me out. She makes my books so much better.
So many other people have helped along the way: Cahren Morris, Sue Rys, Amy Buser, Chrissy Wolfe, and last but not least, my mom, Mary Rose Kopach. These ladies read and critique, and help me put out the best possible book that I can.
To everyone who has purchased my books, told their friends, left a review, sent me a message, THANK YOU. Thank you for making the past two years even better than I could have imagined.
(By the way, I think I've finally settled on a cover. Which one is your favorite?)
So, cheers! Here's to another two great years!