It’s been one year and a month since I published my first young adult novel The Sharing Moon. And one year and a month that I spent putting together the sequel. It wasn’t as easy as the first. Kind of like the opposite having kids. The second kid you’ve got the hang of it. The second book for me was all about being too focused on the first. Mainly on the characters who have still remained with me to this day.
Book Two took one of the bad characters and spun his own story. Not just the bad guy turns good either. This was someone who some readers might think deserves no forgiveness at all. But that’s what makes it even more fun to create him. When I considered the number of books I’ve read where the cold, unfeeling character became the opposite I figured it’s reasonable. He doesn’t just become a good, honorable person. There’s a lot of angst along the way and sometimes plenty of reminders of who he was in the first book. I’m proud of him, though, and the other characters too, because they all make it possible. Possible to redeem a hopeless soul and also give me a sense of how readers decide whether or not they will forgive someone who might have made their skin crawl at one time. Plus, he’s cute. If you make him cute, you can’t lose.
The end of this book came with the realization that unless I plan to go through another year of stress and writer’s block or become some famous author I better call it quits. I have loved every minute of every day of the entire journey. From great reviews to bad ones, from endless tweets and Facebook posts to Goodreads fans and friends that I’ve made. I have been so blessed to experience this dream. I’ve been so thankful I took the time to do it, even when I was working full time and stayed up all night long to keep going. Between doing my own writing and research and marketing, it’s easy to want to give up. Then I’d look at a message I received from someone and that was all it took to keep plugging away. Don’t ever tell yourself you can’t do it. Ever.
I fell in love with two boys and became best friends with two girls as a result of my books. I will cherish the days and nights I spent writing and crying and laughing and making every little thing about them likable and unlikable. I’ve made so many connections online and in real life. Those won’t be going anywhere. And I love them all.
Thank you for supporting me and giving me a chance.