Someone asked me last week what was the best day I’ve ever experienced as an author. I wasn’t quite sure what to say. There are, however, a few that stick out.
The first time I held one of my books in my hands – I have read thousands of books over the years and I love the feel of a paperback in my hands. The first time I opened a box from the printer and pulled out a book with my name on the cover, I thought my heart was going to stop. With each book I publish, I love the first time I see it in print, but nothing beats the first time with the first book.
The first time I got an email from a reader – When I finally sold enough books that I knew people outside my circle of family and friends must be reading them, it was thrilling. The first time I got an email from someone who had read one of my books, letting me know she enjoyed it and was looking forward to the next one, I think I cried. I’ve been blessed with many emails since, and each one touches my heart. Even the ones who very kindly point out typos (thank you for letting me know) are special because someone cared enough to let me know.
The first time I topped a best-seller list – You don’t make much money as an author unless you’re a big name and my name is very small so when a major promo site ran one of my books, it was a genuine event. Murder on Main Street was #1 in Amazon’s free bookstore and Murder is Just the Beginning was the #1 best-selling cozy mystery. I still have the screenshots and the couch I bought with the proceeds. Main Street was also #1 at Barnes and Noble.
Every single time I type the last sentence in a rough draft – When I begin a book, it’s with great hope and energy. In the middle, it’s tough slogging. By the time I get to the final chapter, I feel like throwing a party! I set the book aside for a week before diving back in for the first of many re-writes and edits, but finishing the first draft is assurance that yes, there really will be a book.