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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Unexpected Experiences

Since HEAVEN IS FOR HEROES came out almost three weeks ago, I’ve had a number of unexpected experiences that I wanted to share with you.



First, I want to acknowledge all of the wonderful friends, family, writers, and readers who have supported me and bought the book. You guys have made all the hard work worth it. Thank you to those who have left such great reviews on Amazon.com and BN.com. Those reviews help to generate these crazy stats called algorithms within Amazon’s software. Algorithms drive books up the recommended reading list, which helps other readers find me. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your efforts and I encourage you to do the same for other authors you want to support.

Secondly, I know that this sounds crazy, but I had no real expectation that anyone would like the book. I was fully prepared for harsh criticism and what I’ve gotten has been genuine praise and congratulations on a job well done, which makes my heart swell and palms sweat at the same time. It makes me want to work even harder to make the next book, ON THIN ICE, meet that same standard and exceed it if possible. As writers who love our stories like children we have given birth to, we want everyone to love our characters as much as we do. So thank you all for the positive feedback. I do promise that the editing will be more thorough on the next book. I’m still working out the bugs in my system, so please be patient with me.

Third, I wrote this story to honor our military and their families. I especially wanted to bring focus to the generation of young adults who have grown up with this war and seen siblings, parents, and friends effected by the tragedies of living in this difficult climate of world conflict. I’ve met some amazing people in the past few weeks, both in person and in the cyber sphere, that have spoken about their grief and loss as well as their anger and sadness over the wasted and devastated lives of our lost and returning soldiers. I have a new and deeper understanding of the impact of speaking out about people’s pain. I am also glad that they found my story to be uplifting and one of hope. I am humbled beyond words.



Lastly, I’d like to say for the record that I am officially pooped! I’ve been on a wild and difficult journey to indie-publication. Although it’s been a labor of love and a challenging growth experience, it has been much more than I could have imagined. Realize dear friends and readers that the goal to become published authors comes with a lot of hard work, discipline and a willingness to step outside of your comfort zone on a daily basis. Choose your path wisely and boldly follow your dreams, but be careful what you wish for, because you may just get it.

What unexpected experiences have you had in your latest climb to the top?
Two lucky commenters will win a free e-copy of HEAVEN IS FOR HEROES
. Contest runs through Sunday night at midnight and is open to all commenters. I look forward to spreading the love!

13 comments:

  1. What a heartfelt and wonderfully written description of your journey. You have obviously touched people's hearts and your book has meaning for readers which was probably one of the reasons you wrote it in the first place. You wanted someone to read your book and have it touch their lives. That has happened.
    Congratulations.
    Patti

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  2. Thanks Patti, I don't know if we have a grand scheme planned when we write a book, but it's nice to use our powers for good:-)

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  3. PJ you deserve to put your feet up and enjoy a break, even if it's for an afternoon. And HIFH deserves all the praise! You know I'm a huge fan of On Thin Ice and I can't wait to hold a copy in my hands. Nice job!

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  4. Thank you so much, Casey. I'm working on the cover and I'm loving it! I can't wait to share the big reveal in a couple of weeks. I feel like I've been slacking since the release, though I know that isn't true since I've been working on revisions every night until the wee hours. I'm just seeing the numbers decline and wondering how to give sales another boost. No way around it, but to promote, promote, promote, and that is taking more time and energy than I have at the moment. I promise, I'll take a day and do something fun and non-writing related very soon.

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  5. Hi PJ,
    I agree with Casey. Take a break and breathe. I know it has been quite a wild ride, but take a minute to enjoy it. Not too long because On Thin Ice is coming. I have just started reading HIFH and so far, I like it. Good job. To answer your question about unexpected experiences, it's more the people you meet and where that leads. The writer's journey to publication is amazing because we all will travel different roads to get there. Gerri Brousseau

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  6. Yes, Gerri. That is the best part of the road to publication is that each of us has our own path and unique experience with it. But also there are enough commonalities that we can learn so much from each other and find the support we need to make it through those challenges.

    One woman at the book signing last weekend broke down in tears when she read the back cover of HIFH and said that she lost her son in Iraq. She didn't think she could get through reading the book, but she was very glad that I was writing about it. Again, I was humbled.

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  7. Congratulations! Besides the thrill of having your book out there, you're getting a lot of positive feedback from those whose lives have been touched by the same events you write about it. How awesome that is! I'm so happy you're having such a wonderful experience. :-)

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  8. Congrats on the success so far on your book, PJ.

    I won a full ms crit by an agent in a recent book auction. Although we didn't share the same vision for the book (definitely not the right agent for me), her feedback has sparked all kinds of ideas she probably never imagined when she wrote the comments. I'm sooo glad I had the winning bid. :D

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  9. Congratulations. I'm thrilled you're getting good reviews and that sales are good. :D

    This is not the same kind of success, but when I started blogging, I figured people would hate my blog. I figured they'd hate me. Instead, everyone was really polite. They even pretend to be interested! :D

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  10. Congrats on your successes, PJ! I have to admit, when I released my book, I expected to sell maybe three copies. But the outpouring of support from my writing friends has been nothing short of awesome. Not only did a bunch of them buy the ebook, I took seven copies to our latest meeting figuring I might sell three or four. I sold all seven, plus two more - before the meeting started!

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  11. Thanks, Rhonda. You guys have been great and I'm enjoying meeting people along the way.

    Stina, thanks for visiting. That's great that you got something out of the critique. It's always helpful to have another set of professional eyeballs on our work.

    Hey Catie, thank you. And your blog rocks! I love that you do such extensive research and the topics are well thought out and fun! Keep up the good work.

    Thank you Jennette. I know what you mean about expectations and the outpouring of support. I am so proud to be part of such an amazing group of people.

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  12. Paula, obviously multi-tasking agrees with you. You are a power house, with dreams of possibilities. You will know when to not multi-task. I love your writing, and enjoy bantering with you via our blogs.Keep on trucking girl.

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  13. I'm in the groove for sure, Gail. Thanks for stopping by.

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