Oh, how a year can change things.
A year ago, things weren't exactly what I would call ideal. From health scares to changing work schedules, my husband and I were dealing with some stressful stuff. On top of it, he ended up getting put on 2nd shift, so I only saw him on weekends.
In short, my days started to consist of going to work and coming home to a lonely, empty house. My mood wasn't the best.
Additionally, I was in a writing rut. I'd written so many romances, which I was proud of and still am, but something was missing. I felt this pull to write something very different, a dark book with layers of depth to it. I wanted to write about the darker side of the human experience, but I just hadn't found the confidence. Just like when I wrote my first novel, Voice of Innocence, I had this negative inner voice telling me I was wasting my time.
Still, with lonely hours ahead of me, I decided what the heck--I'd give the story a go. It had been plaguing me since the idea had come last summer. With nothing better to do and my mood morose anyway, it just seemed like a good way to pass time.
As the months passed by and my husband and I essentially became pen pals all week, I finally gave him my story to read. I figured he'd come back to me and say, "Nice try, honey, but this isn't for you."
Instead, he sent me a message along the lines of: "This is awesome. You're creeping me out though, and I'm wondering if you're okay....but it's seriously awesome."
From there, long story short, I spent months finishing the manuscript, sending it out, and really not expecting anything to come of it. I thought my creepy story would have one reader--my husband.
Until the summer when I signed that contract with a publisher beyond my wildest dreams. I'll never forget how my jaw literally fell and my heart started pounding when I got the news. That creepy story I wrote in moments of loneliness found itself on shelves with a big publisher. It is beyond my biggest dreams.
In 2019, this book that I didn't even know if I could write became a USA Today Bestseller. Saying those words still shocks me. Tonight, I find myself sitting and staring at the cover, thinking about the journey it took to get here. It was a long, winding road of loneliness, self-doubt, and fear. But it was also a road that brought me to the realization that sometimes when we free ourselves from the constraints we put on ourselves, we find our best selves.
Thank you for following me on this journey. Thank you for taking time to believe in a small-town girl with a really big dream. I can never fully express how grateful I am and what it means to me.
And to my husband...I'm glad I creeped you out. Thank you for pushing me to believe in my dreams.
Stay Safe and Be True,
USA TODAY Bestselling Thriller author with Avon Books (HarperCollins), The Widow Next Door, The Diary of a Serial Killer's Daughter, and other creepy thriller books