Saturday, May 18, 2013
Eight Years Ago Today
Treading Water took me on a roller coaster ride of edits and revisions and rewrites and critiques and soul searching and questions for the ages: What would I do if I was in Jack's situation? Several of my late mother's friends read it, told me it kept them up all night and demanded I write a follow-on story for one of the characters whose story was left unfinished in Treading Water. I had many deep conversations with friends who'd read the book and found themselves questioning their own belief systems.
I began to think... If this book had affected the people in my life so profoundly, maybe, just maybe it would strike the hearts of others, too. I worked on that book for YEARS after I wrote THE END. Even as I wrote a bunch of other books, I returned over and over again to Treading Water, applying everything new that I learned to that first book. Traditional publishers, however, had absolutely no interest in my square peg book, which was heartbreaking at the time. I'm skipping a huge chunk of my writing career story as I jump forward to the fall of 2011 when I self-published Treading Water at a lean, mean 92,000 words. Over six years, I cut 58,000 words (!! almost another full book !!) from that first version. Talk about killing your darlings!
Taking the advice of my mother's friends, I wrote book 2, Marking Time, in three months, and have hardly changed a word since I finished it in early 2006. I learned all the most important lessons about storytelling, pacing, character development, point of view and over-writing from Treading Water. It was then and remains today the ultimate book of my heart. My company is named for Jack, the architect in Treading Water: HTJB, Inc. The House That Jack Built. Everything goes back to Jack and Treading Water.
Almost eight years after I wrote THE END that first time, I got to see my name on the New York Times bestseller list. And then it happened again, with a different book, three weeks later. I have thousands of readers who wait with anticipation for my next book, which is the absolute dream come true times a million because I never dreamed it would be as amazing as it is to have such incredible readers. I have a career I could've only imagined on that day eight years ago today. As a very special thank you to all the friends and readers I've met along the way on this amazing ride, Treading Water is currently free in e-book format. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I love you all.
**We are waiting on Nook to make it free at http://bit.ly/WNAs3R. It's been submitted and is in the queue! So check back frequently.** In the meantime, you can get it for free in ePub format for the Nook at Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/98722