Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages
Get on the List

One Year In: Reflections on a Roller-Coaster Ride

A year ago today, I finished “Just for Now: Escape to New Zealand,” my third book, with a sigh of happiness. Here’s what else was happening that day:

1)   I was sick. And in pain. And getting ready to spend a week in the hospital, get a 9″ scar down the center of my abdomen–goodbye, two-piece swimsuits—and find out whether this was an inconvenience, or if I was going to have to hurry up and do that editing and publishing FAST.

2)   I’d made the decision to self-publish based on, well, on not knowing if I had time for anything else, and on hearing from a major NYC agent, after reading more of the book, that she liked “Just This Once,” but she thought that “New Zealand rugby” would be too tough a hook in the U.S. market. (Well, not to mention the agent who had her assistant tell me that she didn’t like the story in “Just Good Friends.” At all. And neither did the assistant. All righty, then!)

Fast-forward a year. I published those first three books not quite 11 months ago. In that time, I’ve sold over 100,000 books, published three more books, and even had a heady hour when I outranked both Nora Roberts and Danielle Steel among Contemporary Romance authors. (Just an hour, but a pretty good hour!)

So, one year after that day, here’s what I’m grateful for.

1)   That I’m not dead, and it looks like I won’t be for a while yet (no malignancy. Long recovery, but a recovery!) Instead, I got a good, sharp lesson in the fact that life is short and uncertain, and if you have a dream, pursue it NOW. Tomorrow may not come. This is your one and only life. Don’t waste it.

2)   I won’t say, for the very bad things that have happened to me, including the very worst thing, because nothing will ever make them good things. But I will say that descending into that pit and crawling my way out again gave me compassion not just for myself, but for others; opened my heart; and gave me courage, because I’ve faced the worst. And for that, I’m grateful.

3)   That those 38 agents and publishers said no. Garth Brooks has a song where he says, “Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.” Instead of waiting several years for my book to be published, perhaps only to watch it die in the water and and torpedoing all chances of ever publishing the rest of my books, I got to do it right away. And it worked! Who knew?

4) For New Zealand, and Australia too: For helping me heal, making me laugh, lifting my soul, and inspiring me. (And for playing rugby, of course!)

5)   For my husband. I’m still not sure how I ever got the courage to consider turning one of the stories in my head into a story on the computer, but I don’t think I’d have done it if he hadn’t encouraged me to try. And then, a few weeks later, when writing it was the only thing I wanted to do, told me to quit my job (to QUIT MY JOB), and take 2012 to write and see what I could do with this new passion. For holding me and encouraging me and comforting me and congratulating me and keeping me going this entire year—and all the years before this too. Thanks, honey! You get a new car!

6)   For my children. Who laughed HARD when they learned I was writing a romance novel, and harder when they learned that the hero was the captain of the All Blacks, but have talked about my characters and plots with me, and even read some of the books! (skipping the steamy parts, of course!)

7)   For my friends. Who’ve been my unflinchingly honest critique group, my support group, my cheerleaders, and my sales team. And, oh yeah, who’ve been my friends. Thanks, guys.

8)   For my readers. Oh, yeah, definitely for my readers. You don’t know how much it’s meant to me to hear that you enjoyed the books, or you stayed up too late reading, or even that reading the books helped you get through a tough period in your life. I write the kinds of books I enjoy reading as an escape, and if they’ve been a nice escape for others as well, I am so happy. Here’s my “thank you” to everyone who’s written to me, who’s left a review, heck, who’s bought a book or downloaded a free one! You guys are awesome.

9)   For Amazon, for providing an alternative way for people like me to publish—people who are writing something a little different, or who just get too discouraged by the rejections, and would otherwise have to leave that book on the computer. And, especially, for offering KDP Select with its “five free days,” which made the difference for me between selling a few books and selling tens of thousands.

10)   That I get to spend my life thinking up stories, writing them down, and sharing them. Some days, I literally pinch myself, because my life is too good to be true.

0 0 vote
Article Rating
21 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jackie
Jackie
7 years ago

I am just glad that you kept writing. I love all of your books. Will there be anymore in The Escape to New Zealand Series

Rosalind James
Rosalind James
7 years ago
Reply to  Jackie

I think there’s at least one more–but first I have to write the next “Kincaids” book. That’s next up on the agenda. Thank you!

catherine scott
catherine scott
7 years ago

Im really glad you continued to write and seek publication. The people who read your books have their own ups and downs. Reading great books like yours helps distract us from those things so we can do whst we need to do everyday.

Rosalind James
Rosalind James
7 years ago

That’s it. You’re exactly right. Sometimes, life is just hard. Everybody has things they’re struggling with, and everybody needs a break sometimes.

Carol
Carol
7 years ago

You write very well, so it is surprising that you had this experience with publishers. But it worked out well for us, the readers. Given the large number of authors who require editing for grammar and consistency, I would say you are a natural author and should never quit writing. I enjoy your books completely. Clearly you have found your gift.

Rosalind James
Rosalind James
7 years ago
Reply to  Carol

Thank you! I confess, I naively thought (I should have known much better) that somebody would want me, but sniff, they didn’t. And like I said, thank goodness for that!

Whitney
Whitney
7 years ago

You are an inspiration!

Rosalind James
Rosalind James
7 years ago
Reply to  Whitney

Thank you! Just pluggin’ along, trying my best.

sharon
sharon
7 years ago

I thoroughly enjoyed your books I am now one American who is going to check out rugby. I love the characters and the easy style with which you write . Kudos

Rosalind James
Rosalind James
7 years ago
Reply to  sharon

Thanks, Sharon! Rugby’s pretty fascinating stuff. Thanks for the kind words. They’re really nice to hear.

Chanpreet
Chanpreet
7 years ago

Things do really change with time don’t they? Congratulations on making it this one year a memorable one. I’m glad you’re healthy and hale and thank you for sharing your stories with us! :)

Rosalind James
Rosalind James
7 years ago
Reply to  Chanpreet

You are so right, they do. Thank you!

Vanessa
Vanessa
7 years ago

I love your books. I have fallen in love with all the characters. I have truly loved learning about New Zealand and rugby, so much that I have have actually looked into moving and becoming a teacher there. I hope you keep writing about NZ and rugby, can’t wait to read more of your books. Don’t ever stop writing.

Rosalind James
Rosalind James
7 years ago
Reply to  Vanessa

NZ schools are pretty good–some better than others which is always the way! But they are a heck of a lot better funded than U.S. ones–especially than the ones here in California. I think it’d be pretty awesome to teach there. (They need teachers, I know, in math & science at higher levels–not sure about other grades.)

Thanks for telling me! I love hearing that! Made my day. :)

Elisabeth, Norway
Elisabeth, Norway
7 years ago

I never do this, but felt compelled to say thank you for writing the “Escape to..” series, I just read them all in less than a week!
I read a lot, and often feel like tearing my hair out, because self published Amazon books can be pretty dreadful, even the ones with good reviews (why people, why?!), but your writing is exceptional, I love how descriptional they are. I almost feel like jumping on a plane to En Zed right away!

Thank you again, can’t wait to read more :-)

Rosalind James
Rosalind James
7 years ago

Thank you! I really appreciate that you took a chance on my books–I know there’s a lot out there–and especially that you took the trouble to write and tell me you enjoyed them. I find too that even with reviews, it’s still hard to tell. I do like the “Look Inside” for that reason–I can get an idea pretty fast how I’ll feel about the book.

naem
naem
7 years ago

Just finished just my luck and like the rest I loved it. I find myself being sad that I am now cought up on them, and have read them many times, I NEED MORE!!! Lol! I have to say you have such a wonderful God given talent, so please don’t stop esp with that series. I seem to be thinking or dreaming about them all the time so I am not ready to move on.

Rosalind James
Rosalind James
7 years ago
Reply to  naem

Thank you! I have trouble letting them go myself :). I appreciate your telling me!

Sandy
Sandy
7 years ago

Thank you so much for the Rugby series…….Will there be one more about the brother? Can’t wait! Keep up the good work…….!

Rosalind James
Rosalind James
7 years ago
Reply to  Sandy

I’m working right now on Alec’s book in the “Kincaids” series. Some new challenges there! Thank you!

Rosalind James
Rosalind James
7 years ago
Reply to  Rosalind James

Oh wait, do you mean Matt? Hmmm . . . Haven’t thought about that . . .

This website uses cookies for a better browsing experience and to analyze site traffic (anonymous IPs) to improve site performance. Find out more about how cookies are used on this site and how you can manage cookies in your browser by reading the Cookie Policy.