I want to bookmark this moment in my life…

It's 12:53 a.m. on July 7th.  Yesterday was my firstborn's 18th birthday.  My first baby is officially old enough to leave the nest.  And today, my novel Shine Not Burn, is sitting at #116 on the Amazon Best Seller list, for the entire bookstore, all genres.  I need to try and express what this means to me as a writer and a reader too, because I don't know when the next time will come that I'll feel this way.  Maybe never again.  It's one of those defining moments that I want to capture and tuck away in a little box to take out once in a while and re-live.

When I was a young girl, I had a really close relationship to my mom's mom, Grace.  We used to say nursery rhymes to each other as we fell asleep together – when we visited or she visited us, I always shared a bed with her.  It was a fun ritual.  I still know them all today (Rub a dub dub, three men in a tub.  A butcher, a baker, a candlestick maker.  Knaves, all three.)  She was the first one to share romances with me.  She was a romance reading fiend.  She read at least one romance a day, often two or even three. Avon, Harlequin, whatever she could afford on her fixed income, she read it.

I was always a big reader, and I read fast.  I swallow books whole.  My mom let me start reading my grandma's romances at age 9.  Nine years old!  Can you imagine?  I think their thought process was that they didn't care what I read, so long as I was reading.  I feel the same way about my own kids.

Over the years I communicated with Grandma Grace through letters.  She would always write back and tell me I should write a book. She found my stories about family life entertaining.  She said she would laugh out loud reading them.  Other people who I wrote letters to said the same thing.  Unless it was an angry letter; then they'd save the letter for twenty years and use it against me for the rest of my life.  I've always been a passionate writer.

Fast forward many years… my grandmother died.  I kept reading romances.  I started writing late in life and began with YA titles.  But this year, when several of my writer friends started really taking off with their careers writing romances, I thought maybe I should give it a shot.  “What do I have to lose?” I asked myself.  Maybe I'll suck and then I'll know I should just stick to the other genres and leave romance to the experts.  But a piece of me, the one listening to Grandma Grace's spirit, said, “But you've read hundreds of romances and you're a huge fan.  Maybe you can write something you'd love as a reader.”  So I said what the hell and did it.  And planned out two other books to follow, just for fun.  Just for the challenge.  Just to see what would happen.

Fast forward to now… Shine Not Burn is sitting at #116 on Amazon's Best Seller list.  That means that right now, in the entire known universe, there are only 115 books that are more popular than mine.  Can you wrap your mind around that?  Because I can't.  This is blowing my mind.  I don't think I ever knew what that meant until now.

I wish my Grandma Grace was alive right now.  I'd be on the phone with her and we'd be crying together.  And she'd tell me, “I told you so!  I always knew you could write a wonderful romance!”  She'd probably even figure out how to leave me a review on Amazon.

I also wish I'd started writing sooner.  I'm so grateful to Amazon for making ebooks a reality.  Without Amazon and the Kindle and ebooks, I wouldn't be doing this.  I wouldn't be living out my dream, my destiny.  I wouldn't be connecting with my long-dead grandmother on such a spiritual level.  I am filled to the brim with gratitude for the people who helped me get here too.  My life now is full of bone-deep satisfaction and the wonderful realization that I only succeed with the help of others: readers, bloggers, fellow indie writers, my family, friends, and vendors.  If I could give the lot of them a big group hug I would.

Who knows where my book and my career is going from here.  This could be as good as my book ever does.  I could quickly sink back into the dark where no one sees my book anymore and it just sells a couple copies a day.  OR.  Or… it could go higher.  And MAYBE.  Maybe… I could break through that Top 100 spot.

We'll see.  We'll see.  But I know what I'm going to be doing all night tonight.

  1. Refreshing my Amazon page.
  2. Writing another romance novel.
  3. Freaking the hell out.

18 comments on “I want to bookmark this moment in my life…

  1. Thank you so much for sharing! You are an awesome and talented writer. I know your Grandma is looking down on you with her heart full to the brim. And she may not be in the here and now, but you have a boat full of readers who will follow you til the day you decide to retire. I am proud to count myself in!

  2. I loved reading this Elle, this is one step closer to your goal – we are all cheering for you, and have no doubt you will get there. You rock !!!!

  3. First of all congratulations. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful story with us. I have no doubt that your grandma is very proud of you and can see what all you’ve accomplished. Her spirit not only lives on in the afterlife but also in you and every reader who’s been touched by your books. Encouragement and love are like ripples in an ocean, they spread out and touch everyone you’ve touched ad infinium.

    • Thank you!! It got to 111 while I slept and then went back to 115 as of right now. But I’m not complaining!! 🙂

    • Thank you, Jacqueline!! Thank you for giving it a chance and squeezing it into your humongous TBR pile. I love book bloggers!! Heroines of the literary world!! xoxo Elle

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