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.
Not going to lie...some days it's really hard to stay positive. There are some days that it is much harder to remind yourself of the good, pick yourself back up, tell yourself that everything will be okay. It doesn't matter what you do for a living, what you hope to achieve, the path is not always easy and some days, it seems entirely too rough. On those days, I'm inclined to stay in my bed, re-read the best parts of my favorite books, and have my children bring me diet Pepsi in bed. And waffles. Fortunately, along with the waffles and pop, my children provide perspective. While checking Pinterest today, I found the above three quotes, sent from my oldest daughter, with a note that said, "Don't give up, you'll get there. I know it." So. There's that. And for today, that's enough to hold onto.