Four weeks ago today, a series of storms blew through North Louisiana, producing several tornadoes. My family shares property with my parents in a small community marked by a flashing light, a couple of churches, and a new Dollar General. We essentially live in Middle of Nowhere, Louisiana, which seems to be a tiny tornado alley of sorts.
The culmination of a love affair with story, a lifelong dream, hard work, perseverance, and heaping helpings of God's presence and relentless grace arrived at my doorstep on Wednesday afternoon, May 10, 2017. It was an exciting moment, even if it didn't fully sink in.
A storm of unwelcome news, heartbreaking events, exhausting days, and weighty decisions distracted me from the joy of holding my book for the first time. Still, the event broke through the clouds of an otherwise bleak week. What a precious gift.
And what can I say about these precious little joy bombs?
They were so excited with me. And so concerned when I found a typo on the back cover of my sample copy. I love these two. They teach me so much about life, God, and how to love people. Like how to...
Rejoice with those who rejoice,
and weep with those who weep.
As I've turned my burdens over to Jesus and gotten some sleep (praise run), I've been able to enter into book release and end-of-school-year related excitement.
1. Friends texting and posting selfies with Eleora.
2. Sara made her own "Eleora book." How cute is that?
3. The book release party my parents threw for me.
4. Superman's dessert making skills. He is systematically learning to make all my favorite desserts. His lemon ice box cake and chocolate pie are slap yo mama good. The other desserts pictured aren't his, so I didn't try them, but I hear they were amazing as well.
5. Visiting with friends and family at the party.
6. Also, my pink and purple unicorn hair. So. much. fun. Props to my sister Hannah for the awesome job she did. And no, I'm not rebelling or having a midlife crisis. I like it, okay?
7. Seeing reviews pop up on Amazon.
8. Hearing that people who don't even know me actually like the book.
9. Finding out that people who don't often read are reading my book.
10. My friend Emily's reaction texts to the story. You should all pray for a friend like Emily (pictured above). Seriously, she is one of the bravest and best, having stuck with me in sickness and in health and now sending me sweet and hilarious reactions as she reads.
My first summer objective is to physically, emotionally, and spiritually recover from the last few weeks. This looks like spoiling myself with lots of sleep, time outside, fun with the kids, fiction only, a family vacation to the mountains, a birthday getaway with Superman to NOLA, and plenty of time with the Lord.
I need to schedule book signings and contact a few local bookstores about stocking my novel. I don't know a ton about marketing and book promotion, so I'll be learning as I go. (Experiences, ideas, and helpful articles are welcome.) I'll keep everyone updated on upcoming events here and on my new author page on Facebook. Like me.
I'm currently in the planning phase of the sequel to Eleora. Ready or not, I'll start writing the first week of June. I want draft one DONE by the end of summer.
In the midst of R&R and book shenanigans, I'll also be learning all I can about homeschooling. To my great surprise and evolving delight, we've decided to educate our kids at home next school year. Home school wasn't in the plan books--mine anyway--but when the Lord extended the invitation to try it, I couldn't refuse. More on that later.
Meanwhile, you can help this fledgling author in the following ways:
1. Buy my book.
2. Read it.
3. Review it. Amazon, Goodreads, and More Than A Review are all good places to review a book.
4. Share book-related posts, my author page, my website, etc. on social media.
5. Tell people about the book. Word of mouth is powerful and inexpensive marketing. If the people you tell are authors or church leaders or are involved in publishing or sex-trafficking ministry, this is especially helpful. Reviews from moderately well-known to well-known individuals are HUGE for baby authors like me.
6. Buy a copy for a friend.
7. Download the book on Kindle Unlimited for free. Every download helps.
Thank you so much for all the love and support! A girl couldn't ask for better friends and family.