I don't know where the year went.
I know I sat in this chair a lot. I wrote a lot.
That makes me happy though. I love writing; it's like breaking off pieces of me and setting them free like doves, to soar. Only God knows what they will become and whom they will meet.
I dreamt when I was a little girl that one day I would be a writer. I used to practice my witty things I would say on Oprah for when I became a madly successful author. I dreamt I would be as amazing as Jane Austen. Ha. When I turned out to be more like James Patterson, I was comfortable with it. He is a great man, and if I can emulate him in any way, I will take it.
The year 2013 has been the most bittersweet year of my life.
My husband was up for transfer. In the federal policing world that means I could be moved anywhere in Canada. But my child had grown very sick, near deathly. It was a dark winter and The Lonely crept out of me like an alien might. Then The End of Me. My books were starting to feel like they were clicking and my skill as a writer was happening. But my sick child was much more important than anything else. So while my husband, who I love on a Dorian level of love, waited on the Eastern Coast of Canada, I moved to the West. It’s more than 5000 miles away. My daughter was better the second day we arrived back in the Western Desert. That was a miracle.
So I lived with my mother, writing books in her office while she hung out with my kids.
Meanwhile, The Born Trilogy grew to such success that I received Big Six notice and international offers. And all of you readers became part of my 'us' and understood my deep love for the cast of that series. You cried with me and laughed with me and hated that you loved Will with me.
I put out a bunch of books, none of which were the ones you were looking for—I still have the emails proving it.
I did try to go home to the East Coast when she was healed but she was sick again within the week of arriving. So I came back out West. I had the shirt on my back, a few clothes in a bag, and a new townhouse I had rented off of Kijiji.
But we had something else. We had money like we had never had in our marriage. It was enough, more than enough, to buy a new car and new furniture, and stay here in the West while I waited for my husband's transfer.
And that is because of you. You readers have made me the success I have become, almost overnight really. You made it so that when I had to make a drastic change in my life that would have bankrupted me before, I could do it easily.
Not everything was ROSES though, was it? I have had some interesting things, like my laptop glitching and destroying Redeemers—I have those emails too.
We have also had some books pop up that no one expected. I know you hate it, but I have to write what I have to write. I have almost no willpower.
But it wasn't all crummy stuff.
I have been invited to ridiculous events, one where I am even a guest keynote speaker with frikken’ Abbi Glines, thank you very much. How awesomesauce is that?
I have been in the top 50 Indies in the world for seven months.
I have had books sit at number 6 & 7 on Amazon's top hundred list for weeks at a time.
I have somewhere close to 20,000 reviews in the world—okay they aren't all amazing 5 stars but my average rating is 4 stars and the 1 stars make me laugh. Actually, some of the best lessons I have learned have come from 1 star reviews. Never look a gift 1 star review in the mouth!! You never know what kind of wisdom someone who hates your books has.
Another highlight of the year has been working with the excellent authors I do. Cambria Hebert, Lizzy Ford, LP Dover, Cameo Renae, Alyssa Rose Ivy, Melissa Andrea, Tabatha Vargo, Mari Arden, Rebecca Ethington, Quinn Loftis, Kresley Cole, Shelly Crane, Airicka Phoenix, Ruthi Kight, Derinda Love, Christy Sloat, Kate Avery Ellison, Georgia Cates, Tara Woods, RK Ryals, Kate Mathias, Amber Garza, Miranda Stork, Jennifer Dominico, Emily Walker, Cat Miller, Colleen Hoover, Jennifer Miller, Kelly Robinson, Kendall Grey, Jessica Sorensen, Abbi Glines—okay this is getting silly. I can't list them all. If I missed you, I still love you. I just want this post to end at some point.
The point is, I work in an industry filled with brilliant talent. I am grateful to be surrounded (electronically surrounded) by such amazing people. Every one of them shares cover reveals and book releases and if we are excited because our floss made the shape of Jesus in the trash bin. These are the most supportive people. We are always there for each other with advice, a joke, a warning about that psycho in-boxing everyone.
Then there are the bloggers. I just love you peeps. That is all. You know who you are.
Another highlight has been getting to know my readers. It touches me, even when it takes me three months to respond. I read the emails, I read them all. Even the random ones I find in the 'other inbox' on Facebook—what's up with that anyway? Whose genius idea was that?
Anyway, 2014 is going to bring some more changes. My husband's transfer is in the North, like OMG North. Like on the highway to visit Cameo Renae . . . So that’s going to be new. But it is a great environment for my daughter, which is the most important part. Being a family living together again is also important! A year apart is horrid. I have such respect for Military Families now, it isn’t even funny.
The problem though, is I've just discovered I am moving in March, right when I am meant to be attending the Aussie convention on the Gold Coast. So that might get interesting. I am still going to try to make it. I mean come on, Abbi Glines!!! You might actually see me fan girl. I know I have strict policies on fan girling, but it could happen.
But my priority this year, now that my child is healthy, is going to be my health. Unfortunately, sitting in this chair for twelve hours a day is bad for me. Who knew?
I have been starting to show signs of illness, not the good kind. Not the kind a little medication takes away!
So as much as I want to say this year is going to be all about the books, it's not. It's going to be about balance. I need to fit some working out into the plan. Some good ol’ get yurrr butt up and run around! Oh and eat salad, no croutons.
But I think we can all use a little more balance in our world, I don't think I'm alone in this.
So that is my New Year’s ressie. I am going to create balance in my world, and eating less croutons.
I adore you all. If you are reading this, it was meant for you.
And just know I have so many books on the go, I dare say we won't be short on them. I am joining an indie publishing house, literally joining the ranks of it. They have some cool things to offer, high prices is not one of them. Not much is going to change at Tara Brown. Maybe I will work on oversharing a little less. I know it gets uncomfortable sometimes with the Jesus floss and whatnot.
When you ring in the New Year, get your loved ones to give you an extra hug from me!!