You know who I envy? Writers who have complete faith in their work and themselves. The ones who write a book and always know immediately that it’s great stuff and is going to sell like hotcakes. Or the ones who may know their work needs help, but believe so strongly in their own stories that they push on, striving to make them better. They never doubt their abilities or spend days wondering what they’re doing trying to write a novel, for Pete’s sake. They don’t wonder if they’re fooling everyone, including themselves, with this whole author thing.
Sometimes, I can be that writer. When a scene works perfectly, when I’ve written a beautiful setting, when a character says exactly the right words, I feel like that writer. Always by the time a book is done, through development and copy edits and ready for production, I pretty much am that writer. When a book releases and reviewers love it and readers clamor for more, I am unquestionably that writer. But why does it take me all the way to that point to believe that I am a good writer? Why do I need that validation?
A question for the universe, although today, I know for certain that I am a good writer. I just signed a new contract with my publisher for another 3-book series to take place in my wonderful little town of River’s Edge. I’m honored and humbled and delighted that Tule Publishing has such faith in me as a storyteller. How amazing is it that I get paid to do what I love most because you know, words are wonderful, but royalty checks and contracts are incredibly validating.
So today, I will tell you, I am a great writer. I may not be shouting it around the first of April when I’m trying so hard to get to “The End” on the second Lange Brothers story. I may be whimpering by the end of April when it’s due, but today…this day. I am a great writer. Here’s a snippet from my new novel, coming February 1, 2022:
Two cups of hot cocoa later, Kitt was curled up on the sofa, already snug in her PJs, doing the only thing she could do when she was desperately attracted to a man that she absolutely did not want to be attracted to. She’d called Maeve in Dublin and thank God for international calling because they’d been talking for forty-five minutes.
“Kitt, me darlin’ sister, you’ve got to get over your thing about men. Two bad relationships are not an omen for the next one.” Maeve was probably exhausted. It was six hours later there, so seven p.m. in River’s Edge meant one in the morning in Dublin. But she’d answered the phone, bless her, and no doubt crept out to the lounge to keep from disturbing Declan.
“I don’t trust my judgment anymore.” Kitt took another sip of lukewarm cocoa. “And even though this guy is delicious and an upstanding citizen and he seems very kind, he has a reputation around town for being a player. I can’t do another player. I don’t have the emotional energy to deal with that.”
“At least this one’s single,” Maeve offered around a yawn.
“Not funny, Mae.”
“Look. Just get through the stupid bet. I can’t believe you let yourself get drawn into that—so typical. You never could back down from a challenge.” Maeve giggled. “Remember when Peter O’Malley bet you couldn’t jump Paddy Gallagher’s pasture fence? You did it, even though you and Dewey hadn’t jumped anything higher than a fallen log before that.”
“And if you’ll recall, it was about to storm that day in a country that rarely ever sees thunderstorms. A clap of thunder later, I ended up on my arse in a pile of cow shite and had to chase Dewey for half a kilometer in the pouring rain because he was terrified.” Kitt set her cup down, settled deeper into the sofa, and pulled the fleece throw up to her neck. “You’ve made my point. I have no judgment. Apparently, I never did.”
Stay well, stay safe, and most of all, mes amies, stay grateful!