Author. It's a word that I have aspired to add to my name for a long time.
As a kid growing up in South Dakota, I used to sit on the roof of my porch and daydream about being an author. I couldn't read enough books--everything from romance novels to true crime stories filled my shelves. I started writing my own stories when I was nine years old. My imagination was bigger than my vocabulary, but I managed.
My classmates were my biggest fans back then. My stories were passed around on the school bus and in study halls all through high school. I suppose it could have gone the other way--like being made fun of for being such a geek--but, fortunately for me, I had cool friends who encouraged me to go for it.
So I did. I went for it. I studied journalism in college, but never abandoned my dream of publishing novels. Wherever I went over the years, so did my notebook. Europe. The Caribbean. Central America. Mexico. Notebooks evolved to computers, but my dream of novel publication eluded me.
Now my dream is reality. After years of rejection letters, writers' conferences, career detours and several shelved manuscripts, I heard the one word I've been waiting for: YES.
I could hide behind false modesty, but that's not who I am or what I'm about. When I heard the magic words, "we would like to acquire your book, KISS ME SLOWLY, for publication" I felt an immense feeling of satisfaction. Yes, I said satisfaction.
In fact, I am not sure I have ever felt so satisfied in my life as I did at that precise moment. All the years of work, frustration, disappointments, revisions, and rejections finally paid off. Hanging in there paid off. Adapting paid off. Always moving forward paid off. Growing a thick skin paid off. That is satisfying beyond anything else I have ever experienced.
To say it feels good to stand on this side of having a dream come true is an understatement. Hell, yes, it feels good! This must be what it feels like to summit Everest! Oh, yeah, baby, it's damn satisfying.
Whatever your dream is, never give up. The journey may be wrought with obstacles, but the destination is an oasis that parallels the beauty of Nirvana.
And so it begins...life as an author with a publication timeline and other books in the pipeline. This is it. The beginning.