One year ago almost to the day, my life began to change in a wonderful way. It wasn’t a bad life, especially from the outside looking in, but I had lost my enthusiasm somehow. It felt like all I had to look forward to was getting older, which wasn’t something I felt good about, but it was inevitable so I didn’t think there was anything I could do to change it. Then, on a whim (at least I had a few of those left!), I ordered a Kindle.
I’ve always loved to read, and I especially love to read mysteries – the whodunit kind. Sometimes I’ll read a non-mystery book recommended by a friend, but if I’m searching out a book to read for escape and enjoyment, it will always be a murder mystery. I think it’s the puzzle that attracts me, but why murder? I don’t know. I like to watch true crime on TV and I like a novel where the characters seem real to me, as if their stories could one day be told on Dateline or 48 Hours Mysteries.
So it was totally out of character for me, that summer day in 2011 when I turned on my Kindle, that the very first book I purchased on it was Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life. It’s a self-help book, so even if I didn’t consciously think anything could help, I must have had a kernel of hope that growing old wasn’t all I had left to do. The book had loads of great reviews but the deciding factor was that it was only $0.99 that day. I not only downloaded it, I read through it twice over the next couple of weeks, doing all the excercises to one extent or another.
That book changed my life. I know it sounds trite, but it did. Louise Hay led me to Wayne Dyer’s Excuses Begone. I started to look at myself differently, and to look at my life differently, and it started me on the road to publishing my first two mystery novels, written over ten years ago, rewritten, revised and polished several times, and waiting patiently for the ‘some day’ that a publisher would accept them and they would be published. That ‘some day’ was no longer beyond my control. Louise and Wayne gave me the push that I needed, and Amazon’s Kindle gave me the ability to make my novels available to readers.
When the comments and reviews started coming in, I knew I was on the right path. I might never make a lot of money, nor be interviewed on TV, nor have a novel on the New York Times bestseller list, but I kept hearing from readers who enjoyed my novels and were asking me when they could expect the next one. That gave me a reason to keep writing, and getting back to writing added an exciting new dimension to my life.
One year down the road, I now have print editions of my first two novels being released in the coming months, and my third novel is well underway and I expect to release the first digital edition of Sea to Sky this fall. Ideas for future novels are percolating in my mind, and I expect to release a new one each year. And … TA DA! My second novel, Ice on the Grapevine, has been selected by the judges as a finalist for a 2012 Global Ebook Award in the mystery category. Win or no win, I’ll be there in Santa Barbara on August 18th to celebrate my own accomplishments of the past year, along with those of other writers who are travelling the same road.
From a sales perspective, my Hunter Rayne highway mystery series is not an overnight success. From a personal perspective, that’s exactly what I experienced: my life changed successfully almost overnight. So, thanks, Louise! Thanks, Wayne! Thanks, Amazon! Thanks, Smashwords! And above all, thank you, readers!