A Year of Reflection

By Jennifer DeCuir, author of Wynter’s JourneyFive of Hearts, and Drawn to Jonah

Wynter's JourneyWith the release of my third book this month, Wynter’s Journey, I thought this would be a great time to reflect back on what a huge year it has been. I should start off by talking about “the call,” though I guess a more accurate description for the sale of my first ebook would be “the email.” To be honest, it doesn’t matter what form it comes in. When an editor informs you that they want to buy your book, your baby, it is the THRILL of a lifetime!

And of course it is during moments like this that everyone you could possibly want to share your exciting news with drops completely off the radar. My husband was stuck in traffic on the way to work, not answering his cell. My friend had a house full of screaming boys and didn’t hear the phone ringing. So I ran across the street to the neighbor, who took one look at me and wanted to know what was wrong. (Apparently I looked like I was about to throw up.) Eventually, everyone got caught up on my news and there were numerous celebrations. After all, publication is a goal I’ve been aiming for since I first started writing short stories in 7th grade.

Officially a “newbie” in the world of publishing, I had to learn the lingo (you want a “media kit”???), the steps involved in getting a book ready for release day. I learned there are multiple rounds of edits, each focusing on a different thing. I had to learn how to fit deadlines into my mom-the-chauffer schedule. (Laptops are awesome, by the way!) Suddenly I needed a website, an author photo, and a bio. Holy cow, this was starting to get real!

While I’ll admit I’m not super productive when it comes to self-promotion, I have learned a lot about guest blogging, begging for reviews, and getting my name out on social media. Unfortunately, I’ve also learned what it’s like to get hacked on Twitter and what happens when you “borrow” a photo off Pinterest without permission from the photographer.

It’s been a whirlwind of a year (well, we’re nearly at a year). I have an amazingly supportive group of family and friends that are riding this crazy rollercoaster with me. I have been so lucky to meet other Crimson authors, some in person and others online. Outside of becoming a wife and a mother, this has definitely been one of the happiest times of my life.

Writing is a lot like dieting and exercise. No one else is going to stand over me to make sure I’ve made my word count for the day. Self-discipline is not easy and most days I have to force myself to sit and focus (and turn off Facebook). But the rewards are so worth it! Every time I look at one of my covers I smile. I did it. And I’m going to keep doing it – because I love it.