What a thrill to see those two words. Today’s the day and what a ride it’s been. I find myself reflecting on the journey that ended up here and I’m still amazed.
When I saw the prompt, “it was just another day” I simply began to write with no conscious thought in mind. I went where my fingers took me. Since it was a free write exercise, which I love I put words on the page and hit send. I was surprised at the positive response I received. A couple of other participants were encouraging, JoAnn Miller and Cathy Beil asked for more and suggested I make it a novel. I laughed to myself and went on to the next prompt, but something about that first exercise stuck with me and it wasn’t long before I revisited it.
My genre of choice when I read is a mystery, I like solving puzzles and always felt if I were to write a novel it would be a mystery. There is a mystery here, not of the body found in the mud kind, but in the diagnosing of a mental illness. I would like to say I had a plan and an outline when I began to be serious about turning that free write into something more substantial but that would be a lie.
I had this family manifesting themselves to me as I began and the more, I wrote the more they spoke to me. Many things in this book took me by surprise and at the end of a session, I’d scratch my head and ask myself, where the heck did that come from?
It was not my intention to blend my career as an addiction counselor into a part of the book but that too evolved over time, and it felt right for the storyline. Thankfully the two did not collide but blended seamlessly together as Lillian searched for answers to Danny’s behaviors. As a mother, the emotions came easy, though hard to get through at times. It was easier to write as a counselor, than as a mom. I believe most moms can relate to the emotions, and if I’m honest most fathers also. We women don’t have the corner on emotions though we seem to think we do.
One thing I did know from the get-go is I didn’t want to get bogged down in medical jargon and lengthy technical explanations. Yet there needed to be some descriptors, so, I went to a couple of Psychiatrists I had the privilege of working with at Canyonview Hospital in Twin Falls, Idaho, Dr. Richard Worst, and Dr. Eric Heidenreich. They were both gracious with their time, answering my questions and encouraging me in my endeavor, for that I am grateful.
About halfway through I became frustrated after a lengthy illness that stole all my imagination. The voices of the Hawke family seemed to be gone and no matter how hard I tried to force it they were no longer there. Thankfully, my friends hung in there with me as I began a daily post on Facebook to try and regenerate the imagination I’d been blessed/cursed with most of my life. One frustration was how to age the characters, so I didn’t end up with a book as long as War and Peace. Then one day I sat down to my computer and there they were, my friends the Hawkes, back with all their joy and pain and my fingers couldn’t keep up with my thoughts. In the end, I did end up with a book almost that long.
Enter Theresa Flaherty of TURAS Publishing, willing to take a risk on a novice. After much paring down the manuscript became a workable size, editing was done, Beta readers read and made comments and here we are, the day of publication is on us. In some ways it seems like we’ve been at it forever but, it’s only been since July of 2020 when I first sent a synopsis to Terry of, at that time, an unfinished manuscript. In fact, she caught up with me as I was writing, which spurred me on, and on, and on. It was such an exciting experience, and a learning experience also.
It all leads us to this point, on October 15, 2021, a day which I wondered at times if it would ever get here, then all of a sudden the hustle was on to pull everything together. I have no words for the thrill I felt when I held the finished copy in my hands the first time. I was embarrassed when I was signing books to get them ready to go out in the mail today, thinking ‘who would really want my autograph, that’s for stars, but oh, so proud at the same time. Today I hold the proof in my hands, I am, at last, a published author.
4 thoughts on “Published Author”
It has been such a joy to watch this last part of your journey and to help you along the way. Congratulations!!
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you have been a joy to work with. I appreciate your patience and all you hard work.
I feel so fortunate to have witnessed this beautiful work come to life and to have been a beta reader. I am delighted for you, Gayle, the published author! Don’t you just get tingly inside realizing a dream has come true?
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yes I do, I want to pinch myself to make sure I’m awake. And I am so glad you’ve joined me on this journey. I appreciate your support and encouragement.