July 16 will be the one-year birthday of my debut novel, A Killing at Cotton Hill, and I’m taking stock of what the year has meant. Here are a few changes I’ve experienced:
1) I’m not nearly as organized as I used to be. I used to be able to keep things in my head, but no more. If it isn’t written down, it doesn’t happen—in fact sometimes, it doesn’t happen even if it is written down. It’s hard for me to understand that this is a good thing. It means I’m super busy with readings and promotion and writing the next book, in addition to trying to have a social life.
2) I’ve discovered a new side of my husband. Who would have guessed that I could tell David that not only am I too busy to go buy groceries, but too busy to go out for dinner and that he would respond by going to the grocery store and buying things for me to cook? Also, I would never have guessed that he would be so excited by the success of my first book and would quietly go about making things work in the background when I did a book reading. I didn’t know he knew how to set out wine and cheese! I guess all the years I spoiled him have come back to me in kind.
3) I’m having a lot of fun. I’ve always been a mixture of introvert and extrovert. That has stood me in good stead as I have to work on future books and at the same time promote my books. I love being in my office, working because my series is moving forward and I feel celebrated as an author for the first time. And I also love being out and about at book signings and conferences, talking about my books and writing.
4) It’s not all roses! As an unpublished writer, I could do as I pleased. If I was stuck on a project, I’d start another one or mess around with a short story and maybr not come back to the book for a long time. That luxury is gone. Please don’t think I’m complaining. It’s just different.
5) I want to stretch my wings a little bit. I’ve recently begun thinking of writing a book other than one in the Samuel Craddock series. Can I possibly write a thriller? One of those hefty books of intrigue that I love to read? Or maybe try my hand at a “big” historical novel? Stay tuned. I’m dipping my toe in, and I’ll see where it leads.