I would have never thought that I would write a novel much less publish it. So much has changed this year for my family and I. In August of 2012 I made a career change only to have that fall apart a short eight months later. A personal struggle was being battled within our family. I was faced with a decision that I wasn't ready for. Needing an outlet for my feelings I took to the hobby that has always been a great release... I began writing. I never imagined that writing would turn into several stories that decided to take residency in my head. I decided to spend the summer with my three daughters and in August 2013 became a stay at home mom with my four year old daughter. Seeing as though I had extra time on my hands that I never had before ~ I began to dabble with this idea. I started writing Lost in the Dark a troubling story that left me an emotional wreck. I was midway through that story when Josh and Riley knocked on the door of my mind. Escape the Doubt started out for me as a completely different story than what it is now. A single POV of Riley Shaw. A dad with wandering eyes and an affair that left her untrusting of any man. The boy she loved (Josh) was very much playing games with her heart and the boy she was with (Dean) was trying his best to make her love him. My original manuscript told a different story altogether. An alternate plot where the affair Riley's dad had was actually with Josh's mom which was discovered the night of a drunk driving accident where they were found together (it was a major plot twist). It took several thousand words for me to change my mind. I wanted redemption in a tragic story. I wanted love to prevail. I wanted Josh & Riley to be together where they belonged. Entered Josh's POV. Within a few hours he spoke to me. It's crazy really. Once I let him speak, the story unfolded and took a complete 180. At first I was like "oh crap" now what? I lost thousands of words, chapters became something else entirely. But it was a beautiful painful process and it was necessary to tell the story I wanted. Lost in the Dark took a back row seat unfortunately. I had two characters that wouldn't shut up so I went with it. Meanwhile many WIP's became projects for the future. Abandoned Identity is one of a few I'm not ready to share yet. Even since I hit publish my life took yet another turn. Leaving Texas and moving back to our home state of La. in just a few short weeks. Unfortunately it has interrupted my writing time and set me back on the timeline I had made for myself. It will be a good journey. And so many inspirations come to me from these experiences. Another random fact... Riley loves poetry (her poems are my poems ~ one's I wrote in high school). Just a little secret I'm sharing.
Huge thank you...
~ to the bloggers that helped me along the way (cover reveal, release day blitz, recommendations).
~ to my Dance Momma friends and my LSU bestie - I have crazy mad love for you all. Y'all have encouraged me to do this. To not be afraid and to chase after my goal. I literally grabbed that goal and never let go. I'm going to miss you all so much when we move.
~ to Alicia, my fellow Cowgirl Kicker - when I told her I was doing this, she was so flipping excited. She began to pimp me out right then. My favorite beta and thanks is just too small of a word for how she has helped me.
~ to my FB buddies - I ask a lot of questions. So many new faces, strangers to me have been open, welcoming and extremely helpful. I just love your freakin faces. THANKS!
~ to my readers... WOW! I have readers. Still a shock - I love hearing from you. So many have PM'd me with kind words and encouragement. I heart you all.
~ top of the list (saving the best for last) - My husband, my best friend and the guy that broke down my walls and showed me real love. I've neglected him as I traveled this journey, he never once complained. Hearing "I'm so proud of you" from him - well who needs to be a best seller after that. He is my New York Times and he thinks I rock (I stay at #1 for him). Love you baby.
~ My daughters are my oxygen. Every breath, every heart beat belongs to them and is for them. They can't read my books right now (too young) but they think I'm famous. Totally funny... as if... who cares though. They brag to teachers and friends and everyday want to know what my characters are up to. I love it. Hopefully I've inspired them to never give up and always chase your dreams even when you didn't know you had them.