Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Hello 2014! Let's talk about 2013 and why YOU are going to be better.

Today is January 1st. Happy New Year! One year ago today, I had a world of hope in front of me. I was driven. I had just released GRAVITY and was working feverishly on HOVER. I was also twenty-four hours away from delivering my second child, Lainey.

GRAVITY had released pretty well and was fairly well liked. She had her readers, people who "got" the book and then those that hated it. So is this business. At the time, 9 months pregnant and emotional, I took the hate part very hard. Now, I understand that the "hate" is just part of it. We are all human, and in such, have differing opinions on books. It is only natural and is truly a wonderful thing.

So, I went into 2013 on edge, scared as I wrote HOVER, trying desperately to write the book I thought my readers wanted to read.

And then I delivered my daughter, and everything in my life changed. The delivery went well, but three hours later, I began to have complication after complication. I was bleeding internally. My kidneys had shut down. My doctor later told me that I was less than an hour from dying. Less than an hour. I was taken into a five hour long emergency surgery through the night. They were unable to stop the bleeding for a long time and eventually I had a hysterectomy. Every member of my surgical team stayed through the night and the next morning, checking on me continuously. Technicians came by to thank me for living. It was a life changing experience.

I have almost no memory of that first day with my daughter, which saddens me greatly, but otherwise, I feel thankful to be here, writing to you now.

I came home from the hospital a week later and almost immediately dove back into HOVER. I deleted the entire MS and began with a blank document. I turned in the book less than a month later. It was no longer a book about war. It was a book about people and life and how not everything is black and white. I was proud of the book. I ended up doing another semi rewrite during edits to get the story closer to what I wanted, and then we released it into the world.

I refused to look at a single review for at least a week, but then readers began tweeting me. Bloggers who had given GRAVITY three stars were giving HOVER five. I couldn't believe the change. This little book, written when I was literally at my worst, was liked, even loved by many. HOVER ended up selling more in its first week than GRAVITY did in her first month, which is just unbelievable in every way.

Now, I am gearing up to finish COLLIDE and it has been a much slower process. I want it to be perfect, but I understand now that there is no perfect--not to everyone. It is intense and emotional, but I will tell you that I love this book. And I hope you will, too.

In between all of this, I changed agents, I wrote two other novels--both New Adult--and I secured three more book deals, equalling five more books. I went from a year ago having one book out in 2013, to five releasing in 2014. In short, I am blessed in every way. I love my family. I love my friends. I love my readers. I am full of silly love for everyone.

Welcome, 2014, I have been eagerly awaiting your arrival. :)

~ Melissa