It’s been one week since the release of my third full length book A Promise Broken. It’s only been one year since publishing, but three since beginning the journey toward this author business. Before that, I wrote for me, and only me, never with the intention of ever becoming an author. I had other plans. But, you make plans, and God has other ideas in mind. Was I depressed that my plans didn’t work? Initially. I was lost for years after I left Los Angeles. The dreams I had, which I thought I’d wanted as an actress or a famous casting director, didn’t pan out.
I moved back to Texas thinking…now what? See, it’s not that I had failed in LA (though there’s nothing wrong with that)–it was that I knew deep down that the idea of the career I had wanted since I was five years old just wasn’t right. I was working with an amazing casting director, I had my gigs working as an extra on popular television shows and movies, and perhaps, had I stayed, I would have eventually climbed my way up. But my intuition was telling me to go home.
It took four years until I decided to write to publish. In that time, I worked at a local boutique, wrote freelance articles, helped people set up social media pages for their businesses, and mucked about. I took on more classes at the local college, hoping to get a second degree–this time in Speech Therapy. I enrolled in Statistics, then did online courses. I quickly found out that profession was not for me. So, now I knew–I’m not an actress, not a casting person, not a PR person, not a Speech Therapist, not a teacher…what am I going to do?
I came up with story ideas, shared them with a friend, writing in my spiral notebook because all I had was an old desktop that didn’t have Word in it. I wrote articles through emails, sending them to my editor that way. I had no money. None. I had to borrow from my parents just to pay off my monthly credit card bill of $65 dollars a month.
Then–I joined a book club. The Austenites was a group of girls who read Jane Austen spinoffs. It was fun getting together to chat about all things Mr. Darcy. But when Fifty Shades of Grey came about, it changed the course of everything. I heard about this book through a friend of mine. It wasn’t even available in stores. I bought it for $0.99 cents on my large HP pad on Amazon. I didn’t have a smartphone, no Kindle, and the books weren’t published yet. I read the series, got hooked, had everyone in my book club read it, and knew that one day it would be made into a film. We shared our ideas of who we saw as Mr. Grey, and in that was born my Facebook page–Christian Grey Fan Page. I moved to Austin, and soon connected with the person who helped me find my path….
My Fairy Godmother…
Melissa Rheinlander had messaged my page and asked if I wanted some books from an author she worked with. I gave her my address and we both realized we lived in the same city. We met, and the rest is history. I went from having no job, absolutely no money, no idea about anything having to do with the book industry, to now doing what I love to do. She guided me, and through that, I was able to buy my first laptop. When I told her I always wanted to publish a book, she told me to do it. She helped me connect with people who were able to teach me the things I didn’t know. She introduced me to other authors that I admired, who then helped me. I finally felt I was on my path. I AM on my path.
Do I have lots of money now? Nope. I’m constantly struggling to keep afloat, and every precious amount I make goes back into building my foundation as an author. Is it worth it? Definitely. There are the challenging, draining, and sometimes heartbreaking times. But then you get all the wonderful support around you and it makes it all so beautiful and it’s everything you hope it to be.
You know that saying–Do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life–well, I don’t think that’s true, not really, anyway. Yes, you will work. You’ll work really hard, you’ll toil, you’ll be exhausted, and you’ll want to quit so many times, but you won’t. You’ll pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep going. You will be willing to fight for it because you love it. You won’t give up because you just can’t. That’s where I am now, and what I hadn’t felt before on any other journey. July’s been a tough month for me, with unexpected crazy expenses, but I have an amazing support system…people I trust telling me it’s going to be all right, I’m going to get through it.
The book community can be a wonderful thing. There have been so many supportive, helpful people. I’ve met the loveliest of them. Bloggers, readers, authors who have become friends! It’s a gorgeous network to be a part of, and I’m truly grateful for everyone who has shared my newest book this past week. What a blessing to be around such creatives!
I believe God brings people into our lives when we need them most. In finding my path I didn’t just discover my career. I discovered a lifelong friend. Thank you, Melissa. For investing in me, for believing in me, for guiding me to help me find my glass slippers. You’re my friend, my manager, and really, you truly are…The BOSS!