I am a small town girl who grew up in a town of less than five thousand people. I never made it to college, not because I didn't want to, but because the funds just weren't there. I am a dreamer and have always dreamt of writing a book but never thought it was possible because I didn't go to college. I realized in the last few years that college doesn't give you an imagination, it doesn't make you creative and that I can do anything I set my mind to if I'm willing to work hard for it. After reading a self help book, Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis I finally believed in myself! My writing took off and I never looked back.
You are going to have doubts and fears all your life, don't allow those to hold you back! If you, like myself, didn't have that opportunity of going to college, you need to know it does not mean you can't live your dreams. You just may have to work harder and that it may make the experience sweeter for you.
I published my first novel the weekend before Thanksgiving of 2019. I had so much to be thankful for because I fought past all odds and all the naysayers telling me I couldn't do it and I DID IT! I am now working on my second book and now that I have done it, its made this one more enjoyable because I know I can do it.
Don't let anyone stop you from achieving your dreams! You CAN do whatever your heart desires and if you ever need a cheerleader, reach out to me, I am here to cheer you on!
I need to start getting better at doing my blog posts.
December 3rd is the release date for my brand new book, Hanging Stars on Big Willow Creek!
I am beyond excited to share this with everyone. This book was a beast and tire my heart to shreds. I survived!
Blurb: Rylie Johnson is living her dream as a best-selling author in New York with her husband, Spencer and their imaginative little boy, Alex. As she prepares for the release of her newest book and upcoming book tour, her world is turned upside down when she receives a phone call from home. She must return to Idaho, the place she left twenty years ago and help care for the woman who raised her. Rylie comes face to face with the past she worked so hard to forget and learns things aren’t always as they seem.
Gosh, it’s a crazy, surreal world we are living in these days, isn’t it? I try to capture happiness in every moment these days and try not to take them for granted.
This weekend we are going camping in the beautiful Garden Valley! I’m ecstatic! So many people taking in the outdoors this year! We’ve always loved camping, but this will be the first time in Garden Valley.
There is a cute, outdoor stage, called The Starlight Mountain Theater there and we will be taking in Shrek, The Musical! I’m so excited for this! I’ve wanted to go for years and I’m finally getting to!
I know this year has been tough, vacations are almost non-existent and gatherings have been minimal. I just want to take a moment to say, take solace in the little moments life brings you. Yes, tropical vacations, family reunions, weddings and road tripshave been canceled. But, we still have breaths in our bodies to breathe! We are in control of our own happiness.
Create your happiness! Whether baking cookies with your kids, camping or having a water balloon fight! We’ve got this! Keep going!
As I read through my current WIP this weekend to get my bearings again, my thoughts wandered to the editing process. I remember getting pages and pages back with red marks and comments everywhere. It never bothered me, I knew they all made sense and would make my book better, which is what we all want as authors, right?
I thought to myself, as tedious and daunting it was and as much as I wished for the light at the end of the tunnel, what my editor experienced was probably even harder. I can’t imagine the patience it takes to go word by word, page by page, taking in every punctuation mark and spelling error. How mind numbing it must be!
I am not made of what it takes to edit a book. I would get bored way too easily and allow my mind to wonder elsewhere. I would get fired, because hey, editing is not my forte and it never will be. My mind gets excited about creating a story, words do not stimulate my brain like the creation does. It blows my mind that editors love words and their correct use so much, editing actually stimulates their mind.
I am thankful that we were all individual of each other, with minds and thoughts of our own. If we were all the same, stories wouldn’t be what they are when they come out in print. If writers didn’t create stories, editors wouldn’t be able to wield their red pens and without those red pens, there would no books. Oh what a boring world we would live in!
This Monday morning, I tip my hat to all the editors out there who put up with all the bad grammar and punctuation marks, to make our books the beautiful creations they are!
Building my social media platform has been a bit daunting. I, like a lot of people, do not have a lot of time to spend on social media. Trying to learn the ins and outs, what hashtags to use, what content people enjoy, what questions draw the most interactions, understanding follows and unfollows… It’s enough to make your brain explode!
If I hadn’t been told all of this was important to get my book noticed, I wouldn’t be doing it at all. Heck, I probably wouldn’t have an author’s page because I didn’t realize how important having one was. Yet, here I am starting an author’s page and I have no clue what I’m doing (insert shrug emoji).
I’ve found that Instagram has been the best social media platform for me. The other bookstagrammers and authors are so helpful and supportive. Through this lovely community I have found that I am not alone in my struggles. There are many of us fighting to stay above the white rapids of this fast flowing river of media. It’s nice to know that I can reach out to most any other indie author, book reviewer or bookstagrammer and ask questions about things I have no clue about and get a reply with something helpful, even if it’s a, “I get where you are coming from, I’m clueless too.” response. Knowing that you can struggle up this mountain and learn together gives me hope that one day I will have this social media thing down and maybe, just maybe, my book will get noticed.
I am a BIG believer in following your dreams. I am late getting out the gate and understanding the things I should have done before I published my book, but learning is half the battle, right? I am now armed with a little more knowledge for my second book and for that I am forever grateful. I wouldn’t change the journey I had in writing and releasing Call of the Blue Heron, because without it, I wouldn’t know what I know now.
If you’re a new author and you’re struggling to get a footing, feel free to reach out to me. I am far from being an expert, but I am willing to share anything I have learned. You just have to put yourself out there and be proud of what you’ve done, no matter what those in the bleachers are saying. Look at me, I just did my very first blog post to my brand new authors page, which is still under construction. Who knows if I’ll even figure out how to publish it to my page, but I am trying and that’s what matters!