Including my two self-published Christmas titles, More than Friends is my eighth book release. It has been the best one yet. This is likely for a variety of reasons, but one of the biggest ones, I think, is the fact that people have read (and enjoyed) some of my other work.
We're told, as authors, to build a platform and you never really know what that means while you're hanging out on Twitter and Facebook, joining book groups, and adding to your TBR pile on Goodreads.
The cool thing about releasing this book, More than Friends (other than the amazing support of a truly fantastic publisher, editors, publicists, author friends, and so much more) is that there were people (other than my mom and best friend) who were excited to read what I'd written. They were waiting for my next book. The way I wait for the newest release from an author I like. That is and was such a cool feeling this week.
Every bit as cool, were the number of reviews that said it was their first read of mine, but wouldn't be there last.
The absolute greatest thing out of all of this is the fact that readers are connecting with Owen and Gabby. It makes me so happy that people are falling into the story, caring about the characters, and enjoying the words.
I often say this quote to my daughters. It's about doing things because they mean something to us, because they matter. We don't need validation to make something worth it. But when you put a story out there and share pieces of yourself-- especially when you've created this fictional world with people you care about-- it's really awesome to know that it touched people in the way you meant for it to.
And really, we all need validation sometimes. We need to know that what we're putting out there into the universe is reaching someone. It makes us feel connected. Books and words have an amazing power to lift people up, bring them happiness, escape, and joy. It has been an amazing week, knowing that More than Friends brought happiness to people, that it mattered or made them smile. I'm so grateful that I get to share my books. It is the kind of gift you can't put a price on.
I'm not sure how long it'll be before I stop using Friends references for all things. If you've never seen the one where Ross talks about the night of five times, then you have no idea what I'm talking about. Which is fine. My husband is in your shoes all. the. time.
Summer is coming to a close. Technically, there are still three weeks left but time has a way of speeding by without my permission. All in all, it's been a pretty great summer, despite the lackluster weather. I made it to New York City with my best friend to celebrate my 40th birthday. That was every bit as wonderful as I'd hoped it would be. Not only did we see three Broadway shows and walk the Brooklyn Bridge, I met my agent. And that was, literally, a dream come true.
We've also done some fun family stuff. We've gone down to Vancouver a couple of times, gone swimming, and done some shopping.
In between all of the other wonderful things I've gotten to enjoy this summer...a boatload of book news goodness came my way as well. Sometimes, it feels like all or nothing in this industry. You spend time in a writing cave (or in my case, my bedroom), head down, trying to get the words right. Some days, there's endless chatting online as the words come. Other days, it's quiet. This summer has been not so quiet in the best possible way.
If you didn't see, my three book deal with Entangled Publishing (Bliss Line) was announced this week. I'm already working on notes from my awesome editor, Stacy Cantor Abrams and her assistant.
In addition to this, I posted earlier in the summer that a novella "sequel" to Falling for Home, titled Falling for Kate, was signed by Penner Publishing. I'm very happy to be working with them again on another book. This one is out (tentatively) October 3rd.
If you're counting, that's four and I said the summer of five. The fifth one that I'm really excited about is also with Penner Publishing. This one is called Caught Looking. Between now and the end of 2017, I will have five books released, all signed this summer.
So. Needless to say, I'm seriously excited. And in serious edit mode for the foreseeable future.
Every book I write matters to me. I can't tell you how happy it makes me to know that I'll get to share this many of them with all of you. I'm grateful to both Entangled Publishing and to Penner Publishing for believing in my work. I'm very grateful to my agent, Fran, for believing in me. And I'm extremely grateful to all of the people that help me and support me by forgiving me when I'm late or forget things, read my work-- some repeatedly, talk down my uncertainty, let me bounce ideas off of them endlessly, share in my enthusiasm when things are great and stand by me when they aren't.
And as bonus good news, this morning I was notified that my books, Falling for Home and Damaged were nominated for the Summer Indie Book Awards for 2016! Voting takes place between September 1-11, 2016.
I'm not sure how to top this summer or if I need to, but I definitely know what I'll be doing for the rest of it: editing.