Surprise!

Hmmm… blogging on my own has been quite a scary venture.  I know you’re probably thinking doing something alone is a strange fear for someone my age, but the truth is, I’ve rarely been on my own in life. As a twin, I grew up with my sister by my side – never having to go into a social situation or new class on my own. We went to the same school, even had the same major in college. Then I married hubby and had someone else to go places with me or at least talk to about it when I came home. The kids were with me for school events and church. The Playfriends have been with me through a long list of personal and professional events, including national conferences, submissions, rejections, and my first sale.

I’ve only taken a few steps in my life all by my lonesome. Two of them have made dramatic changes in my personal and professional lives. The first was when I decided to write my very first story. I vividly remember the sick feeling of excitement in my stomach as I told my husband what I wanted to do. Imagine my surprise when he simply replied, “Okay,” as if this were a normal, perfectly natural revelation. Others weren’t as supportive, but my family has remained an incredible cheer squad throughout my journey.

More recently, I took another step alone. At least, the first step, the decision part. Along the way I’ve had some wonderful people join me, teach me, and assist me. It’s become one of the most enjoyable steps I’ve taken in a long time.

I decided to self-publish some of my work.

I chose a novella that has a wonderful origin. A few years ago, when I was struggling mightily with rejection and writers block, I sought the counsel of one of my mentors and beloved friend, Maven Linda Winstead Jones. Her suggestion? Write something you love and enjoy, focusing simply on bringing those characters to life. Taking her advice, I wrote Snow Bound. I love this story about a burnt out military hero and the good girl of Cadence, TN, fending off a convict bent on revenge while snowed into her isolated farmhouse. So I’ve decided to bring it to readers in my own way and my own time.

My incredible (and incredibly patient) cover artist Scott Carpenter created the cover for me:

 

Snow Bound
My Very First Cover!

 

I love it! My awesome sister, Ella Sheridan, is helping out by lending me her professional editing skills so this baby goes into the world in tip top shape. I’m very excited.

My debut release will hit the electronic shelves this November. I’m putting together a blog tour and will be sharing milestones along this journey with my friends and readers here on my blog and at the Writing Playground.

This decision has been nerve-wracking, exciting, fun, and scary, but it’s the most rewarding thing I’ve done in a long time. While I’m just as excited about my print debut with Harlequin Desire in August 2013, I look forward to releasing more of my work myself, because it is a very rewarding creative process that feeds the writer within.

Often, it is those steps we make alone that define us, that reward us, whether through courage gained, new experiences, positive feedback, or strength built. I look forward to sharing more of this journey with you.

What solitary step have you taken that’s turned into one of the most rewarding adventures of your life? 

Dani

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8 thoughts on “Surprise!

  1. Bravo Dani….clapping, and cheering for YOU! It can be very uncomfortable stepping out on your own no matter what the situation is but we pull up our big panties and do it.

  2. Thanks, ladies! It is exciting and nerve-wracking and all of those wonderful/scary things all rolled up into one. Ginger, you are so awesome! Thank you for the encouragement.

  3. Ooh, looking forward to it. Sounds like a story worth waiting for. I’ll be looking for it in November!

  4. Thanks so much, Cheryl! Its amazing how intimidating it is to know that people will finally be reading my stories. I hope y’all love them as much as I do! 🙂

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