Everyone author has a story behind her decision to write a book. Some work for years on an idea, honing every fine detail. Others earn creative writing degrees or voraciously attend writing conferences. And then, for some of us, we write casually all our lives, receiving some praise and accolades along the way, until one day . . . we throw caution to the wind and just decide to get on with it. I was in the latter category, thanks to my 2019 publishing credit with Chicken Soup for the Soul. Three years ago, a simple tweet from one of my running followers piqued my interest. It was about a special edition of the book series focused on running, of course. At that time, I’d already established a running blog, after writing about my experience at the 2013 Boston Marathon. My first-hand take was well-received, so this pushed me to write regularly about running, travel, and racing. When I researched the details of the Running for Good book, I had a few ideas in mind for a story, but nothing resonated quite like my account of the 2013 and 2014 Boston Marathons. I remember jotting a Post-It reminder to myself a few months in advance of the submission deadline, but life happened. It was the day before the deadline when I remembered the note, pulling it from the depths of my desk's paper pile. Whether it was divine inspiration, fate, or just luck, I immediately sat in front of my brand-new laptop and started writing. When I hit the “submit” button, I let it go into the publishing void, to be scrutinized by strangers, but hoped for the best. Two short months later, I received word from an editor that I’d made the “final round” and then subsequently was notified that my story would be published in the book. There are no words to describe how fantastic a writer feels when her work is appreciated. Honestly, I’m just grateful when people actually read my writing at all (thanks, by the way). At that moment, I was giddy with excitement and finally shared the news with my family. In fact, I was so concerned about jinxing it, I’d kept it quiet until I had final confirmation from my editor.
Fast forward through the speeding editing process to the day of my “unboxing” (that I recorded). I was even afraid to read my story for fear of finding some stray typo. But, after confirming my name was spelled correctly and everything was as it should be, I happily signed copies for my family and friends. And, then I lived happily ever after, right? Nope. Not even close. I’d been bitten by the writing bug. I wrote, and wrote, and wrote some more. My first goal was always to finish writing one novel (that’s it). Just to know I had written 200 coherent pages of a story, from start to finish, was a success in and of itself. Some people never finish their books. And, once I did, I edited it, over and over. After a few beta readers, I also had others edit it, including professionals. Then, I decided the result was suitable for publishing. Not only did I love my story and its characters, but I loved the process of creating a new world from scratch. Writing fiction was fun and freeing. So, my second goal of seeing my work in print, again, was in motion. So, is this story over? Not by a long shot. It’s just beginning. And I hope to carry everyone along the journey of this Emerging Author one book at a time.