I hear those words, "A dream is a wish your heart makes," and I can just hear Cinderella singing them! If you're a mom of a little princess, you probably think the same thing. Or if you were once a little princess yourself! So, lovey, have you ever had a dream (okay, now I'm thinking of Tangled!)?
I've had a dream.
It started way back in the sixth grade when I started writing stories. I'd lay on my bed and dream up stories and scribble them down in spiral notebooks. My love of writing started early and never left me. I think it derived from my love of reading. Something else that has never left me. Anyway, I was a sixth grader, and my best friend and I worked on a book series together about two girls who were best friends and also identical twins--though unrelated (a little impossible, I know). Then I was a high school student who loved to write in her spare time, stories about WWII and all kinds of other things. My first year of college, I had an honest-to-goodness typewriter that I used to write my first attempt at a real novel. Eventually I got a computer (thank heavens!). I would type away in my dorm room, and when I got an apartment, I'd do the same thing, staying up all hours to polish my stories.
I grew up and got married and became a book editor and spent hours upon hours working on other people's books, and I loved it. I'd found my niche. But still, when I had a little time to myself, at night I'd sit at my desk at home and write my own stories. Because if you're a writer . . . that's just what you do. You can't really help it. A writer, well, writes. It's been my outlet for creativity and imagination for so many years that it's just a part of me.
So as a young wife and new editor, I wrote at night in our little two-bedroom apartment. Eventually, I finished what became Looks Like Love. After a few years (now as a new mother and a part-time editor) I self-published Looks Like Love and thoroughly enjoyed the experience and was thrilled with the finished product. I'd gleefully read every review on Amazon and feel a surge of happiness every time someone wrote a review.
And I kept writing.
We welcomed another baby into our home and I continued working as a part-time editor. That brings us up to date.
Several months back, a new character came to mind and I started writing her story--here and there, when I had extra time. I finished the novel a couple of months ago and (with some trepidation) decided to try (again) to be published. There's just something about hearing an editor say they want your book . . . it's something most writers hope to hear one day. And for me, it was a dream, a wish my heart made long ago when I was scribbling down stories at the age of 12. It was a wish that never quite went away with time. Do you know what that feels like, lovey? Have you ever had a wish or a dream like that?
So I sent my manuscript to a friend of mine; lucky for me, I have friends in "acquisitions editor" places. And I waited. The waiting is hard. I know it well. The anxiety and fear of rejection are very real. I've experienced both of them, and if you're there now, I understand. Believe me, I really do.
And then . . . finally, I heard back.
What was that again? Yes. Obviously, I'm nearly crying as I write that. Because when you have a dream, and it finally comes true, what can you do but cry and smile and for a moment feel like you can't breathe and then smile some more?
It was one of those moments I'll never forget. Yes. Finally. Yes. An offer for a three-book deal from Heartsong Presents (one of the Christian divisions of Harlequin). That means that I'll be writing three Christian romance novels--three! How exciting! I read the words "it's a go" on the official offer and all I could do was call Jeff and tell him and then pray a prayer of thankfulness. I prayed, and I relished the feeling of my heart being full because something I'd hoped for, dreamed for, and wished for was happening. That little 12-year-old girl inside of me was jumping up and down, clutching her spiral notebook, unable to contain her excitement.
So, loveys, we've got more waiting in our future, but with a wonderful goal in sight. According to my deadlines, my new book will release in March 2014 with Heartsong Presents. Of course, I'll keep you updated on any changes on that and we'll talk more about all that fun stuff as the date actually gets closer. But I couldn't wait any longer to share with you what's been on my heart these past few weeks.
A dream is a wish your heart makes. And every now and then, they come true. In the photo below, I'm signing the three-book contract.
As I said, I'm just so thankful and so excited. And I'm thrilled that you're here to walk this journey with me. :)