As the 2013 Romance Writers of Australia annual conference approaches, I'm finding myself thinking back to this time last year, and shaking my head.
So much has changed. Relationships have strengthened and dissolved, my family has gone through some tough knocks and my work life has evolved so much that I'm struggling to capture it all in my annual review. But what I want to explore in this blog is how far I've come as a writer.
This time last year, I was hugging my first contract to my chest. Destiny Romance had yet to announce itself and I was practicing an excerpt from Small Town Storm, my first book and Destiny's debut romantic suspense title, because I was lucky enough to be doing a reading at the launch. I attended the conference with a blue first sale ribbon stuck to my name tag, and marvelled at how different it felt to be one of them. The authors.
Little did I know that I would return the following year with five published titles and a RUBY nomination for the very book I'd launched - my first baby, Small Town Storm. And instead of visiting the ARRA author signing event, I'll be signing at it. If you'd told me all of this last year, I wouldn't have believed you.
This last year has been a whirlwind. After Small Town Storm's release in August last year, I released The Man Plan in December, again with Destiny Romance. In January this year I released Unforgettable with Escape Publishing, then in April and July Destiny Romance and I released the first two novellas in the Homeland series, Ask Me To Stay and Ask Me For More. The third novella, Ask Me For Tomorrow, will be released in October and something very special is coming in December.
It's little wonder I'm exhausted, but adrenaline and I have become really good mates. We go way back and it's a relationship I see myself embracing for the rest of my life. Amongst the countless things I've learned, I've also had to teach myself how to embrace down-time. I'm a planner. If you leave me to my thoughts for too long, I'll not only plot out the next few weeks of my life, but a book or two.
Yet for all my foresight and planning, I could never have guessed I'd be where I am now.
And standing here. looking around, looking back and looking forward - dreaming of what's to come - I can honestly say, I'm so, so happy.
For all of you presently standing in the shadows, I hope that you, too can look back in time and marvel. For those who dream of being published - it's never been a better time to crack into the industry - the opportunities are everywhere in both digital and print. And for those of you who have been on this journey with me this last year, thank you. From every inch of my swollen heart, thank you.
Here's to another year together.
Imagine where we'll be then!