Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Musings on a Milestone - My publishing Anniversary @SusanHayes


Tomorrow will mark my fifth anniversary as a published romance novelist. Pardon me while I stare at that last sentence for a moment and let it sink in. Five years? Already? Can’t be. That would mean I’m forty-…yeah, never mind.  Apparently, it’s been five years. *hides birth certificate and goes back to pretending I’m thirty-nine, again.*

I wrote my first romance novel with stars in my eyes and only the vaguest of notions about the existence of such minor issues as tense, point of view, and where to put the commas. (side note, commas and I are still a work in progress.)  It was initially titled Alistair’s Bed, and when I’d polished it as much as I could, I sent it to a publisher. They declined, but with encouragement to try again. By the time they said no the first book, I’d finished the book the second already. With two books written and no publisher, I did what many did back in 2012. I self-published. That was the day I stepped into a whole new world, and a new career.

Five years and thirty-two books later, there are still days I feel like I’m a wet-behind-the-ears newbie. The markets have changed since I started out. The rules for publishing are more like guidelines these days, and marketing plans contain so much wizardry and hocus-pocus they could be a course taught at Hogwarts. I’ve had books that flopped, and others that soared. Through it all, I’ve been given the awesome opportunity to connect with readers, and even meet some of them face to face.

When I started out, I would never have imagined a day would come when my stories would be read around the world and be popular enough to be translated into French or turned into audiobooks. Incredibly, those things are happening right now, and by the end of this year, I hope to reach new audiences and connect with new readers.  I’m blessed to be able to do what I love. To tell the stories that I want to. To touch the lives of so many who honour me by spending time immersed in the worlds I’ve created.

I’ll likely be too busy to do more than toast myself with an iced coffee tomorrow when my official anniversary hits. I’ve got Happily Ever Afters to write, deadlines to make, and a trilogy of intergalactic mail order bride novellas to finish.  Five years ago, I couldn’t begin to imagine the journey I was starting. I only hope that the next five years are full just as many of fond memories, new friendships, and stories.  

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