Monday, March 10, 2014

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It's an Anniversary...

It's an anniversary! 

Isn't it almost scary how time gets away from us? It was two years ago, in March of 2012, that CrossBooks Publishing accepted my first historical-fiction novel entitled To Birmingham Castle. I'll never forget how excited I was to learn they had accepted me and that my devoted team of cover and interior galley designers, marketing experts, and consultants had been assigned to me.

The feeling that washed over me when I held a copy of To Birmingham Castle for the first time is another thing I will never forget. I couldn't believe that, after eight long years of work, it had actually happened. I couldn't believe how good God had been!

It's two years, five titles later (one not yet published). And what a journey it has been! God has been faithful in His blessings - during the good and the bad times. And, yes, there have been both. Times when a book has been in the top 40 on Kindle, others when I experienced internet bullying. It's all in a day's work.

There are a lot of people who help me. My publisher is at the top of the list. Do you know how awesome my team is? Consultant Mark van Deman, my PSA Sam Fitzgerald, my Design Team, my marketing agents and consultants... They are all so wonderful.

So is my Kindle novellas cover designer, Rachel Rossano. What an amazing designer she is!

I've been pushed to do things I would have never believed I would do. Things such as speak at a public library in front of a crowd of thirty+. Whoa, God certainly sustained me then! Public speaking is not my forte and only God could have led me to do it! Only He will sustain me when I, Lord willing, speak at the CAPE convention this year.

I've met so many wonderful people from all over the world. I've made so many new friends and gotten the unique opportunity to speak to people I would have had no contact with if God had not called me to publish.

I've seen the wonderful blessings God has allowed to come my way through the friends and family who support me. How many authors do you know who have had a friend make them a custom-fitted medieval dress or loan them countless CDs so they can overcome Writer's Block? How many friends give of their time and talents to provide countless free publicity photo shoots? What about family members who pray for you, listen to hours of book "talk", proofread, and help out financially?

What about all of those sweet people who turn out to book signings just to support you, 'cause they already have your book?

What about all of those guys who allow you to interview them so you can portray your male characters  correctly? Seriously, I might never have thought of the little, often-forgotten details behind things such as hunting or wheelwright shops without these guys! I might never have discovered how it is guys actually think and how their emotions differ from female emotions.

I think can of a whole string of them - my Dad, my Uncle John, Nathan Willis, Joshua Hoppman, Silas Blodgett, Michael Camp, Jeremiah Hoppman, Josiah Jost, John J. Horn, Daniel Kuehn, Sir Joshua David, Nicholas Blodgett, Pastor Daniel Clement, John Mohr, Michael Homan, and countless more. Each of them has given at least some amount of their time to helping me figure out they way they think and how to create books that are for both guys and girls of all ages and walks in life.

And historians! Do you know how many historians I've had to contact from the History Channel and other places just to get the tiniest bits of information? However minute the question, the historians always answer me. They are such a blessing!

I love those friends who read my titles several times and remind me of certain scenes that I've forgotten. Thanks to them, I've actually re-read my own books to refresh myself on what the actual story is!

I love my author friends who are always there for me and are ready to help, pray, critique, encourage, and endorse for me. I love how we have this mutual understanding of helping one another. I love how I can pray for my fellow authors, how I can both look up to and help them. Authors tend to be pretty tight-knit and we all understand each other's weird writer quirks. It's pretty awesome.

Sarah Elizabeth Heckendorn, Anne Mateer, Betsy St. Amant, Erynn Mangum, Sarah Holman, Rachel Rossano, John J. Horn, Caitlin Hedgcock, Kelsey Bryant, everyone over at Scribble Chicks and Word Painters... Seriously, I'd be here all day if I mentioned all my author friend's names! 

I've loved the book signings I've attended. Last year, I was so blessed to conduct a book signing with my sweet friend Sarah. And this year, Lord willing, there will be four of us authors at our convention table!

Another blessing of these last two years of being published is having a friend be in one of my titles! Yes, he probably thinks I am crazy now, having contacted him several times just to make sure wheelwrights do leave their tools all over the shop, that he would drink coffee in that era, and that he is a good shot with the rifle... But, hey! It's all in a day's work as an author.

But you should know something. I watch you. Closely. Yep, go ahead and cue a villain laugh right there.

Probably something else you should know too...

Back to seriousness...

With all my heart, I thank God for what He has done. Everything is all credit to Him. I am nothing on my own. When I first realized He wanted me to become an author, I was only twelve. I didn't know a WIP from a red herring. I didn't understand cliches, protagonists, or word counts. But God still blessed me. 

I am still learning so much. And with all my heart, I can say:

To God be the glory, great things He hath done!


  1. Wonderful, wonderful post, Alicia! It sounds like you've been through a lot through the publication process. Whether you're traditionally published or self-published, it's a lot of work to go through. It can be discouraging and long, but also joyous and triumphant. But God is so faithful and always gives encouragement right when and where we need it. :-) Without Him, we'd be absolutely nothing!

    Happy Anniversary of publishing your first book!

    His Princess,

    1. Thank you! It is definitely a lot of work! I've been blessed to be both self and traditional published, which has given me a new appreciation for authors in every walk in life. Thank you for your kind congratulations. And you are so correct - He is everything.

  2. Wow such a lot has happened in just two little years! I am so proud of you and your (God's!) accomplishments. He has used you and you are faithful to use the talents He has given you. And the best part? I KNOW you. Love your adopted Auntie Mae

    1. Well, praise God! It's all Him. A lot has happened, hasn't it? Looking back, I have a hard time fathoming it all. :)

  3. oops, I don't think my other one went through, but if it did, then I apologize for repeats.. =P
    Anyway, it was so much fun to read back through your recap of the year! The Lord really blessed you and it is SO excited to see Him at work!! =)
    Can't wait to see what He does this year!

    Love ya friend!!

    1. No repeats - it must not have come through!

      He really has blessed me so much, hasn't He? I can't wait to see where He takes YOU this year! :) Looking forward to another one of your titles hitting the shelves...

  4. Wow! What a wonderful two years. Thanks for sharing about your journey. It's so exciting ... and it's only been two years! God does so much more than we ever expected. Your faith and your writing journey are an inspiration!

    1. He certainly does! Thank you so much, Kelsey. Looking forward to more of your titles. :)


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