Part Four of My Non-Fiction
I’ve been lost in edits of my new book. It’s kept me from this. I’m home and not feeling great so it’s a great time to add more.
On May Eighth, the same day I self-published my first children’s book, Black Irish was released. I had no idea what I was doing. I went to my first conference with nothing to sell. I promoted my name instead. It worked out better than I hoped but I was still lost in the great world of publishing.
One of the ways I was encouraged to promote my books at the time was through a blog. I did as I was told and set one up. I read other people’s blogs. They visited mine. Some were adventurers, some artists, some authors. We shared pieces of what we loved with them as they shared what they loved.
One particular blogger put up a picture of a bridge over a river. I stared at it for at least a half an hour. I knew that bridge. It ran over the Mississippi not too far from where I lived. I finally got the courage to message the blogger and ask if I was right about the location of the bridge.
I was wrong. The bridge was, in fact, about twenty miles from where I thought. Same river. Same state. But the blogger lived where I assumed the photo had been taken.
I’m pretty sure I creeped her out with my question. When she asked why I wanted to know, I told her to look at my profile picture. It was in front of the Drake University stadium with my family. We all (but my daughter) wore t-shirts from the track club we belonged to. The name of the city I lived in was there spelled out in big letters.
The blogger, whose name was Heidi, lived an hour from me. We started to talk every day. We chatted about our books, our families, just about everything. We became the best of friends. I told her she needed to submit her books to Secret Cravings. After a bunch of debating she agreed. They were accepted. When I was offered to host my own Blog Talk Radio show, I begged her to be my cohost. After some convincing she relented. It was easy to see I was the bad influence in our friendship.
As the summer ended, the kickboxing enrollment at Hard Drive increased. There were only a handful of us but it was nice to have others to train with. It was still difficult to open up past just standard pleasantries. I wasn’t sure I ever would.
September rolled around. I finally finished my book. I named it Breaking the Cycle. With the time I spent at Hard Drive and all the people I talked to both in and out of the gym about it, it was already a labor of love. I made friends over this project, some who would become my second family. I wrote the blurb and the synopsis, packaged it up and sent it by e-mail to Secret Cravings.
I instantly regretted it.
This was my baby. I invested my soul into it. It was hard enough to have been rejected by multiple publishers and agents when I pitched Black Irish. But this? I’d be devastated. After panicking over it for an entire day I decided to e-mail the Submissions Editor and ask her to disregard my submission.
It was too late. Before I could get the message out, the acceptance letter and contract were sitting in my account. They wanted my book. Breaking the Cycle would be published in January 2014.