I cannot bring 2007 to a close without taking time to recall the events of this year: my first book (And the Truth Will Set You Free) was published in July, my first grand-nephew came into this world, I started a new job, my book finaled in the Eppie Awards, and my second novel (Pieces) will be released by Wings ePress in a little over twenty-four hours.
My writing continues to bring me joy, accomplishment, and a sense of true purpose. But, as with most things, there are many people to thank for their encouragement and support. So, instead of making New Year's resolutions that I'll not keep anyway, I'd like to start this next year by expressing my gratitude to those people who made the last year memorable.
The women of the Women's Fiction Writers Exchange: Carol, Judi, Angela, Meg, Cathy, P. Marcille, Verna, Sherry, and Deborah. You challenge me and provide the constructive criticism I need to continue to grow as a writer. I am so grateful for this supportive, talented community of women writers.
My Pennsylvania friends and first readers: Sue Ann, Rosie, Rita, Doe, and Carmela. And to my Southern community--Betty, Mary Ann, Mary Joel, Shari, and Kim. You each encourage me in many ways, and your honest assessment of my writing reflects true friendship. (i.e. only your best friends will tell you the truth--if a chapter sucks, well, it sucks--and you say so. Likewise, you tell me if I've managed to stumble upon a bit of brilliance.) I'm also grateful for the River City Romance Writers, my local RWA chapter, an amazing group of writers with whom to share this journey.
My family: These are the people who are always there, even when I've neglected them terribly--my aunts, uncles, cousins, and my sister, Peggy Kautz. Then there's my new grand-nephew, Jeffery Dale (J.D.), whose wide-eyed, six-month-old smile bears our hopes for the future.
My publisher: Wings ePress, Inc. You took a chance with a new writer and gave her the opportunity to become an author. I am grateful to be able to work with a wonderful staff of editors and artists who take my words and turn them into novels.
My readers: What is a writer without readers? It's like one hand clapping. It's not just that you purchase books, but that you read them and tell me what my books mean to you. For me, a book sale does not indicate success as a writer. Hearing from a reader that I've crafted a story that touched a heart, caused a smile, or changed a life in some small way--that's success.
Now I look forward to 2008 with enthusiasm and hope. My third novel (The Year I Lost My Mind) comes out in May, 2008. I'm sure I'll finish at least two more of my current works in progress. I'd like to find an agent who wants to represent my work.
I hope I will meet new friends, touch new lives, and write new stories that make you laugh, cry, and recognize the blessings in your own life.
I wish you a Healthy and Happy New Year!