So… I’ve been very busy over the past two months getting ready for the 12/12/16 release of my debut novel, UNEXPECTED. To say I’ve been having the time of my life is an understatement… Inkspell Publishing hooked me up with a fantastic editor who helped me put the finishing touches on my story. Although the process was at times grueling due to deadlines and the fact that I also started a new, fulltime day job during this process, it was also fascinating, thrilling and exciting. She shed light on my characters that I had either tucked away as inconsequential or that I missed altogether. I cannot wait to read the final edit once it comes back from my publisher in the ebook format which will be a total thrill, as if I’m reading it for the first time.
During the crazy editing schedule I also put together my own “inspiration board” for my cover art. When the email came from the talented artist who I would be working with, I was ready, and sent off my inspirations with a click of a button. Because the artist lives in another country and time zone, her corresponding emails would come in the wee-hours of the morning. I have never been able to wait to open a present, opting to tear into it with excitement and fervor! This is how it played out with my cover artist. I would wake in the early morning and immediately grab my phone anticipating her suggestions of Shutterstock photos, fonts and color schemes. Heaven! Just this morning, I received preliminary versions of my debut novel cover. I feel like I have received a beautiful, tangible gift. I am giddy and nervous – exited and scared… How does one choose? Will the cover catch the reader’s eye and convey the depth of my characters and story by a single glance? These are some of the questions that are currently swirling and tumbling in my brain cell as I try to work a normal day, glancing at least one hundred times an hour at the screenshots saved on my phone.
And then there’s my Cabaret act… yep, you heard me. Two years ago I was a guest at the Metropolitan Room in New York where I was lucky enough to see the incomparable, Marilyn Maye perform her Cabaret act. (The picture is of me and Marilyn on that magical night!) It was a life-changing moment, and a seed was planted. I have always been a professional singer –it is part of who I am. Over the past several months, I have been putting together my own show called, “The Journey of Love.” I am excited to announce that I will be debuting this act at my book release party in December! I have found a composer to write my music charts. I have a three-piece, handsome jazz trio, and I have just finished writing the banter/story to accompany the songs. I even have a vision of what I want my floor length dress to look like! Throw in a sexy venue, some cocktails and giveaways, and you’ve got a pretty happenin’ debut book release party! I cannot wait to combine my love of singing and writing on the same night!
So…I’ve been a very busy girl. I hope that you will be on the lookout for my cover-release, pre-order book sale and for more information on my book release party in December.
I am thrilled to have you all along this journey with me. It’s been a whirlwind! Until next time, keep going after your dreams!
“And everything that’s new has bravely surfaced teaching us to breathe. What was frozen through is newly purposed turning all things green…”
Nicole Nordeman lyrics from the song, SEASONS
I love springtime in Atlanta, Georgia. I have numerous azalea bushes and dogwood trees on our property that bloom in a variety of vibrant colors every year reminding me that the cold, long days of winter have come to an end. I actually used to enjoy the winter and its starkness; its short days and long nights of quiet. Not so much anymore. I have recently come out of my own “winter” if you will, trapped under the weight of unfinished baggage that I dragged around with me wandering aimlessly in the drab, naked landscape without purpose. A little dramatic, wouldn’t you say?
Martin Luther King, Jr. said it best:
“As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation – either react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.”
If you would have told me 4 ½ years ago that I would be a rock ‘n roll backup singer and about to release my first published romance novel in December/2016 I would have looked at you with wide eyes and thought you had gone off the deep end. You see, I was settled back then; content in my little community bubble with my circle of friends and working at my dream job. I could have continued that course for the rest of my life and been happy with it. Rock ‘n roll and romance novels weren’t even a blip on my radar.
But…. things change.
I lost my dream job. I lost numerous friends. I lost a community of people I was doing life with. Yes, I was devastated. Yes, I was bitter. Yes, I cut off communication with people I thought were lifelong friends that I didn’t believe supported me through this hardship. Depression hit me like a ton of bricks for several years. I sought professional help and a few close friends rallied around me convincing me that I would get through this.
Slowly, I began to change…
I unexpectedly became a member of an incredible National Tour as a backup singer traveling the world with magnificent talent and being treated like a real rock star! I started to write again – something that I had not had time to focus on for many, many years. I treasured my closest friends and family who were there for me during all of my dramatic angst.
I started to thaw…
I had to let go of what could have been. I had to let go of that movie reel in my head of how I thought I should have acted and what I wish I would have said differently.
I’m not the same person I was before.
I don’t believe that time heals all wounds. I have adapted to my loss. I move forward now with fond memories – no more “what ifs” – I’m done. Being a creative person has helped me exponentially in my decision to move forward – to finally embrace my gifts, my age and what I have to offer to the universe. My light has not gone out. It may have only flickered for a while, but it’s shining brightly once again. If you are going through a significant life altering experience I’m not going to tell you that time heals all wounds. Like I said before, I don’t believe that. I would just like to say….
It does get better...
And who knows? You may find yourself living out a rock ‘n roll fantasy that will probably end up in one of your published books.
My journey as a romance writer began many years ago and to now be in the position of having just signed my first publishing contract and creating this website is surreal to say the least! I am beyond excited to start this next chapter (and decade) of my life with new found friends and positive people helping me to succeed. I cannot wait for the release of my second romance novel, Unexpected available in December 2016. It really is a dream come true! So let's fasten our seatbelts and hold on tight as we continue this journey together - oh, and if I forget during all of the excitement.... THANK YOU for your support and of course, your LOVE!