2018 was a big year for me as a writer. After ten years of writing, revising, and pitching my story, my first novel, Waiting at Hayden’s, was finally published!
I want to thank and every person who supported the book–whether by attending one of my launch parties, reading the story, sharing it with a friend, or offering words of encouragement during the journey to publication. A lot goes into releasing a book–way more than I could have EVER imagined when I first decided I wanted to write women’s fiction and Waiting at Hayden’s wouldn’t be out without the help of so many others who believed in it too (like my amazing videographers at Define Motion, my website designer, Kelsey Jacobsen, and my blog photographer, Ryan Selewicz, to name just a few!).
As a published author now, I look at books in a whole new way. Knowing how much it takes to write a story and then get that book on a shelf, has made me realize I have no right to ever criticize or publicly critique a story again. I have the utmost respect for any person who can stick with a creative vision and see it through and who is vulnerable enough to release it to the world.
I also have learned the power of marketing this year. The books that we see and love compared to the books that we might love but don’t see are often majorly a result of publicity. I love this story of how Elin Hilderbrand’s first four novels flopped only for a review in People Magazine to change everything. (If you’re a writer, you might find it inspiring too!) That being said, I’m including a few books on my list from authors you might not yet know about. I’ve found their books through social media and have really enjoyed connecting with them this year.
Cheers to 2019, everybody! I hope you all continue to read, create, dream and most importantly imagine. Waiting at Hayden’s was once just in my head. So was the idea for shopfiction. I think it’s so magical the way creativity can create new worlds and can open up all sorts of possibilities!
My Favorite Reads
Nine Perfect Strangers, Liane Moriary: Fast paced, humorous and suspenseful all wrapped into one.
Every Breath, Nicholas Sparks: For hopeless romantics like myself, this love story is based on a true story.
One Day In December, Josie Silver: A love story about love at first sight that had me captivated from the first page to the last.
When Life Gives You Lululmeons, Lauren Weisberger: The Devil Wears Prada author’s latest summer read was breezy, entertaining, and often had me laughing.
Winter in Paradise, Elin Hilderbrand: I got to meet Elin this year at a book signing in Charleston! One of my 2018 highlights! My copy of Winter in Paradise was signed and I read it in a day.
All We Ever Wanted, Emily Giffin: My favorite women’s fiction author’s latest book hit shelves this summer too. All We Ever Wanted explores a timely subject with Giffin’s timeless compelling voice and insights about life and love that keep me one of her most loyal readers!
Thursdays at Coconuts: Beth Carter: (A new women’s author I found on Instagram!) has several books out for fans of romantic comedies.
Everything Changes, Jonathan Tropper: Humorous, real, and accurately reflects a lot of my feelings about love. If you loved Gianna’s dilemma in Waiting at Hayden’s, in this book the male protagonist has similar doubts about his long-time girlfriend due to deeper feelings he thinks he has for his friend’s ex-wife.
Dear Mrs. Bird, AJ Pearce: a cute and easy read.
The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself, Michael. A Singer: Life-changing.