Monday, December 31, 2012

What a Year It's Been!

As we close the doors on 2012 and open a new one for 2013, I can only shake my head in wonder at everything that's happened in the last year. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined how 2012 would unfold.

I have been writing for thirty years. I started with a ballpoint pen and spiral notebook, graduating to a typewriter, then a giant computer and irritatingly noisy printer to finally getting a laptop that comes with me wherever I go. I have always been horrible at math, can't tell north from south and never loved the idea of getting dressed in a business suit and attending meetings. What was I going to do with my life?

Well, I became a teacher and for 15 years, I loved the constant laughter in my classrooms and teaching my students where to put a preposition and what the hell the present perfect is. But, I knew that the next phase of my life needed to be different, scary and full of risk because life is way too short not to follow our dreams. So, in 2010, I quit a stable job working with people who are like family to me and started my own writing/editing business: Perfect Pen Communications. I created something that filled me with excitement and passion and now get to spend every day doing what I love. But, the one thing that eluded me was publishing my novel.

Finally, this year, I published Finding Lucas, and it has been the wildest ride of my life. Just formatting and uploading my novel to Amazon was incredible, but the fact that people want to and do read it still astounds me. I worked for months to put my debut novel in paperback, and when I held it in my hands for the first time, I cried like I'd given birth to another child. Having a dream become reality is an indescribable feeling that has made 2012 one of the most exciting years of my life.

I could never have done any of it without the love and support of my family and friends. They read everything I write and stand by me through the highs and lows of life as an author. But, as much as they want to understand what it takes to publish and promote a novel, it is impossible unless you're going through it yourself. The authors I have met this year have become friends, confidantes and are a huge support. I would be lost without them. Incredible writers, they inspire me to write every day. Reading their books makes me a better writer, and I thank all of them.

Finding Lucas would be nowhere without the bloggers, reviewers and readers who have helped promote my novel, recommended it, shared and tweeted it. They make not a single cent to help us writers and do it for the love of books.

2012 was a year unlike any other in my life. I learned that it is possible to make dreams come true and that being an author is more than simply putting words on a page. I have no idea what 2013 holds for me. A second novel to be published, for sure, but who I will meet, the things I will learn and the places I will go are all unknown. And for someone who doesn't like surprises or change, I'm pretty shocked that it doesn't scare me.

Bring it on, 2013!

Happy New Year! May all of you find what you're looking for!

Monday, December 3, 2012

8 Holiday Questions for 8 Chick Lit Authors

In anticipation of the upcoming holidays and to celebrate Season's Readings, 8 chick lit authors are answering fun holiday questions. Do we have lurid dreams about Santa? How we would dress up our personal snowman? Read below to find out! And be sure to check the blog schedule at the bottom of the post for the hilarious answers soon to come from 7 other popular chick lit authors!

And follow us as we are featured on some of the most awesome book blogs!

What is your best (or worst) holiday memory?
This is an easy one that is a bit sad to remember. Growing up, we always celebrated Chanukah with my grandparents who we were very close to. They have long since passed away, and this question makes me long for them. When I was maybe seven, I opened my shiny gift-wrapped box to find a doll that walked, talked and I think even peed. I don't know if I'd ever been as excited about anything. I always loved dolls and taking care of them (I used to sit in my mom's car and pretend to drive carpool!), and I spent hours with that doll!
What's the most embarrassing/most disappointing gift you ever received?
I definitely have a most embarrassing gift! I have been friends with my two brothers-in-law for as long as I've known my husband. They love to tease me because I am the sister they never had. So, on my first Christmas with their family, they presented me with a HUGE gift-wrapped box. I tore open the wrapping only to find...another box. And another. And yup, another. I must have unwrapped ten boxes to finally get to a teeny box. Jewellery? Cosmetics? I was intrigued. And then completely mortified as I held in my hands a black g-string thong that I had to show to everyone in the room. Luckily, it was a really nice thong so I wore it, but I have definitely gotten them back for that one!
Favorite holiday beverage?
Eggnog! With a serious helping of rum. But, a Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks is a close second.
What would you add to a snowman to personalize it?
Is it completely horrible that I always want to add an appropriate appendage?
What are three things you can't survive the holidays without?
My family, sleep and some amazing books.
Santa - sexy or let's just be friends?
I have not stopped laughing since I read this question. Okay, let's be honest here. The whole "Come and sit on my lap" thing is a little titillating and I've always loved a man with long hair. But though I don't think of myself as superficial, the red velvet leisure suit screams just friends.
Favorite holiday song, album or movie?
Love Actually is my all time favorite holiday movie. The scenes with the flashcards and the little boy on the drums get me every time.
It's midnight New Year's Eve - you can kiss any celebrity, living or dead. Who's it going to be?
Agh! I have to choose just one? There is something so sexy about Bradley Cooper. He's hilarious, smart and talented. And that gorgeous face with just a hint of stubble and those pierecing blue eyes always makes my stomach drop a bit.
What is your worst/funniest holiday travel tale?
Oh, a "vacation" I'll never forget. For my dad's 70th birthday, my parents took my entire family on a cruise. I'd never been on a cruise because I'd always been a backpack traveller, but my son was eighteen months old at the time so being in one place sounded ideal. Ha! He loved the swimming and the one kids' activity the ship had, but he threw up every single day of the trip. The grand finale was at a fancy dinner for my dad's birthday. We were all dressed in our finest at the nicest restaurant, and my son puked all over me, my husband, the beautifully laid table and the elegant (and thick) carpet. Needless to say, we have never gone on a cruise again!
Be sure to visit these amazing authors as they share their holiday highlights!

Francine LaSala – Tues, December 4

Libby Mercer – Wed, December 5
Jackie Bouchard – Thur, December 6
Tracie Banister – Fri, December 7
Cat Lavoie – Mon, December 10
Lucie Simone – Tues, December 11
Meredith Schorr – Wed, December 12