November 7th marks the two year anniversary of Come Away With Me being available for sale. It's only been two years, and yet so much has happened. My life is completely different from where it was that day that I first pressed publish.
I've since released eight more books and three novellas. I've hit the New York Times and USA Today lists. My books have been downloaded (by LEGAL means) more than a million times, and have been translated in a half dozen languages. I've been able to travel the globe. I've worked with one of the top publishing houses in the world.
I met Nora Roberts and have been invited to return to Boonsboro, MD in February as a signing author.
And you know what the kicker is? The icing on this incredible cake? Because what I've just listed is so amazing, so crazy, that I can't even believe it's happened to me. But it gets better.
So much better.
The best part of all of this is the people I've met. The talented authors, the dedicated bloggers. The loyal and wonderful readers.
You see, I've been given such a gift in all of this. As trite and cliche as it sounds, my dreams have come true, AND, the relationships I've forged during this journey are ones that will be life-long, and I can't imagine my life without them.
How damn lucky am I to rub elbows with the likes of Jennifer Armentrout? To take vacations with Laurelin Page? To be able to call Alice Clayton or Christina Lauren at a whim, just to chat? To have Jay Crownover say to ME that she was nervous when she first met me and she loves my books?
But it gets better.
The bloggers who have been with me from day one, and they know who they are. There are too many to name individually. They are voracious in their passion for my work. They believe in me so completely and are so loyal to me, they make me feel safe. Cared for. Respected.
I can never thank them enough for having my back, for promoting my work, for agreeing, every single time, to help me even before I've given them even a sample of my work in progress so they know what they're representing. They simply jump on board, because they believe in me so much. There are times that that seems... overwhelming. I mean, it's a lot of pressure. But it's also great motivation to keep working, to continue honing my craft so these amazing women who stand behind, and next to, me are proud to be here.
Thank you. So much.
And then... I'm telling you... it gets even BETTER.
I've met thousands of readers at this point. I'm lucky to be able to attend signing events through out the year to meet and say thank you to those of you who love my stories. It's always so damn fun, and it never gets old. Not for one minute. I've said it before, and I maintain that I have the best readers in the world. You're smart, funny, sexy, loyal. Fiercely loyal. You make me smile. Sometimes you make me cry, but only in the best of ways. You never stop surprising me with your dedication and enthusiasm for my stories.
Thank you. For reading, for talking about the books with each other. For all of your gifts and letters. Thank you for never giving up on me.
This journey has only started. My career is still a young one, and I have so much still to learn. It's been the best education of my life. Every day is an amazing day. I love every minute of my job, and I never plan to stop. I'm living my best life.