This has been such an amazing year, truly. After more than a decade, I have a brand new historical romance due to be released on January 15th (my son’s birthday and MLK Day, so this is just one more excuse for me to celebrate!).
But as successful as this year has been, it started out in a very meager place. Through the years, I feel I’ve grown—not just as a writer, but as a person and what that meant to me is that I could no longer carry on making decisions that went against my personal philosophies, just because they were easy, or because I was comfortable. I’ll refrain from providing examples, because the decisions I have made really aren’t and shouldn’t be a judgment call for what might be right for someone else. Those things just weren’t right for me any longer, and the biggest of these had to do with a shift in my career. In short, I took a leap of faith that took me not just to a new hometown—one that was far different from any I’ve been accustomed to—but to a new objective that included getting back to something I love: writing stories that hopefully make people smile at the end of the day.
In short, here I am, after a yearlong rekindled love affair with both my readers and my career as a novelist. Along the way, I’ve had to really look closely at what I was willing to do, or not to do, in order to find success again, and, really, about how I define success in general. Part of the driving force behind wanting to write new books under my own imprint is the simple fact that I’m in control. I love being in the driver’s seat. I love having a hand in the covers that end up on my books and I love the very personal interaction I have with my readers. I also love the fact that I can give back to my community for all the things I’m thankful for—not the least of which includes my family.
Which brings me to … one of the amazing people I’m most thankful for in my life is a very special young man, who lives with autism. He challenges me to take a closer look at the way I view the world. While I wasn’t with his parents for the majority of their journey, I know it’s been a long road. And through my stint as Editorial Director at a Dallas special-needs magazine, I’ve become aware of how many families are now touched by autism. So my way of being thankful this year is to help provide a little relief for these parents through the sales of HIGHLAND FIRE. From December 1 (when the pre-order becomes available) until January 15, 2014, I will donate a percentage of all sales to a local charity that provides special programs and help for families who live with autism. The details are still being ironed out, and will be available soon. So thank you, my dear readers, from the bottom of my heart! Happy holidays to each and every one of you!