Two years ago, I had a dream that was so vivid it stayed with me for days. It was one of those dreams where you are being chased by some monster but it was different from the others I’d had. I could remember every detail, unlike dreams that fade once you wake up. I couldn’t stop thinking about it and finally I wrote it down. As soon as I had it on paper, ideas started to come to me and a story began to take shape. I’ve written many stories over the years but none of them felt quite right. This one did and I began to get excited. Could I finally have found the one I was meant to publish?
In October 2012, I gathered my pages and pages of notes and sat down to write. I work full time so I wrote when I could on nights and weekend and holidays. Every time I looked back at my first draft, I felt unsure and unworthy. I was comparing it to published works and found it sorely lacking. I had to remind myself many times that my story would look like them after the final draft and I soldiered on. Friends and family knew I was writing something but I never let anyone read it until the final draft was complete one year later. That was also when I finally gave it a name: Relentless.
I had decided along the way to try to self-publish Relentless and I was overwhelmed by the details involved in publishing, especially deciding on a perfect cover. I stumbled through the process and by December 2013, I had a finished book with a beautiful new cover. I uploaded it to Kindle Direct Publishing and Smashwords, crossed my fingers and hit Publish. It was one of the most exciting and terrifying moments of my life. I had just realized my lifelong dream of publishing a book. But what if no one read it? Worse, what if they read it and hated it? After a day of torturing myself, I decided that it was out of my hands and there was no sense worrying. No matter what happened, I had accomplished something I was very proud of. I sat back down to start on book two.
Almost a year has passed since I sent Relentless out into the world and I can honestly say it’s been one of the most amazing years of my life. Not only has Relentless been received well and performed far beyond my expectations, I have met so many people and made some wonderful new friends. I talk to other authors like myself every day and we support and encourage each other. I was invited to participate in a book bundle with some authors I have admired since I read their books. And through it all, I worked on the second book in my trilogy. I am excited to say that today is the release day for my second book, Refuge.
If there is a message I would pass on to people, it that if you dream of being a writer and you are willing to work at it, then you only have to pursue it. Today more than ever, it is possible for authors to publish their works and make a living at it. If you have an idea, nurture it and grow it until it becomes that book you always wanted to write. And remember that every author has insecurities and doubts no matter if they are starting out or have a dozen books under their belt. I am glad that I did not let my own fears hold me back.
I am giving away an ebook of Refuge to one lucky winner. Comment below to enter. Click in the contest link below to enter to win a Kindle Fire HD. Good luck!