On this day, a decade ago, I sat down in a cabin in the Arizona mountains and wrote what would be the first line of my first novel:
Prince Canton sighed in relief as he slouched lazily in his chair.
That novel was the first I ever started, and the first I ever finished. It was the book that got torn apart by critique partners; the manuscript my husband convinced me to print out and mail to myself so that I'd have proof it was mine. And though that book has since been broken down to become bits of other books, I still have a vivid memory of writing Prince Canton, and dreaming that one day readers everywhere would know about him.
Whether that happens or not, I've reflected on this every April for the past ten years and it's been an opportunity for me to pause and take stock of my journey as a writer. When I began, it was right at the boom of self publishing being readily available to many. At the time, I made a deal with myself. I would give traditional publishing a shot, write and query for at least ten years, and if I hadn't gotten an agent, I would consider self publishing.
And so, last year as I was approaching this deadline, I started to wonder... did I really mean that? Did I honestly think I was good enough to just put my words out into the world on my own? Well, I did a lot of soul searching, prayer, and discussion, and still couldn't answer "yes." But eventually I recognized that whether I honestly believed I was "good enough" or not, I knew my readers liked my stuff.
It was at that point I realized, I wanted to self publish.
So here we are, TARGET was the second manuscript I ever started and finished. It's been through many iterations, and I'm thrilled to say that the final edits are making it a million times better than it was before. But the seed of the idea that I started with back in 2012 remains the same: what if Robin Hood were a girl?
It was intended to be a stand-alone, and it still kind of is. But it also sparked an idea to retell other myths and legends, starting with a couple familiar ones, and veering into less popular tales. As I wrote, I wanted more and more to make sure my series featured characters who struggled, who fought, and who won. Characters different from myself, with whom I could sympathize. I want to write stories that show us we're far more similar than we think we are, no matter how different we may appear.
I want to take a moment to thank my friends, critique partners, beta readers, and family who have been so supportive over the years. My kids deserve a shout-out for living with a very poor housekeeper lol. And of course, my incredible husband who believes in me, especially when I struggle to believe in myself. I wouldn't be able to do what I'm doing without this support structure. I may be a writer, but there simply aren't words to express the gratitude I feel for these people in my life.
Now, if you're still reading, I thank you too <3 The cover for TARGET will go live on this blog as well as all my social media accounts on Monday, April 5th. If you'd like to be kept updated on progress, you can sign up for my newsletter below. If you'd like to receive behind the scenes stuff, sneak peeks, and deleted/bonus scenes, you can join my Patreon by clicking the little Patreon icon above.
For those who don't want those frequent updates, just watch this space. I'll post when the book releases, and I'm thinking I'll do an update on my works in progress here every year on or around April 2nd.
I don't know what else to say beyond thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. To those of you who have been around for the past ten years, you know it's been a roller coaster of a ride. And while I don't think I ever imagined exactly this, now that it's here I can't imagine anything else. I am beyond thrilled to share TARGET with you all, and the following series that will come.
So now, here's the trailer for TARGET: Book One of the Unbroken Tales
See you Monday for the cover reveal!