Monday, April 1, 2013

Where have you been, young lady?

So, it's been awhile.

Friends of mine can attest to the fact that I tend to drop off the face of the earth every now and then, but that eventually I will pop up and let them know I am still around.  This past year and a half has been one of those times.  I did not disappear. I did not get into a horrible accident and get amnesia and forget that I am Virginia Jewel, Chick lit writer on the brink of success.  I did not give up.  Here's what really happened...

  • I got freaked out by my own sales
  • I got complacent with my books and book success
  • My dad got sick
  • I got a boyfriend
  • My dad got sicker
  • I got a live-in boyfriend
  • My dad died

So, there you have it! Those are all the reasons I have been absent.  Admittedly, some of those reasons are pretty lame when it comes to reasons why I have been absent.  However, the big one there seemed to overshadow it all and then when you add them all in, it just made for a big break in my productivity and visibility.

I'm not going to address the dad thing.  It was, and still is, the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with and live through.  I wake up every morning hoping that it was all a sick joke, but quickly realize that it is not.  My dad is gone.

The getting freaked out and then complacent thing...let's talk about that.  Prior to December 2011, the biggest month of sales I had was probably about 10 books.  In December 2011, I signed up to do a free promo via Kindle Select.  In 5 days I gave away over 10,000 copies of Nuptials for Sale.  The next month my sales jumped tremendously.  In January of 2012, I published A Week at the Beach and There's a New Sheriff in Town.  In March of that year, I did a free promo and gave away over 80,000 electronic copies of A Week at the Beach.  The next month my book sales skyrocketed to the point that I made the equivalent of a year's teacher salary. In one month, I made the same amount that normally takes me an entire year of blood, sweat, and tears to earn! Wow, was I excited!  Oh my gosh, was I scared! After that my sales fell, but I was still bringing in enough money every month that I was now a two income household.

The money was is nice, I'm not going to lie.  It has helped me in so many ways and I have been able to do things for my friends and family that I never would have been able to do without it. But, that money actually translated into fear.  The success of the books was great, but as the money rolled in, so did the reviews.  I have mentioned on here before how I feel about reviews, but it can be hard to set those cruel (and honest?) words aside when I sit down to write again.  What I didn't realize is that I was scared.  My dad is actually the one who pointed that out for me.  He said that the reason I had not written anything since December 2011 is because I was scared that people weren't going to like it.  He said I was scared that what if all those people who read and liked my other books didn't like my new books?

He was right.

Unfortunately, what he didn't know was that having to watch him fight Lymphoma, struggle with surviving chemo, and then eventually sit with him as he took his last breath was a lot scarier than even the nastiest review.  I know now that if I can survive all that and come out a much stronger person, then I can get over it if someone doesn't like my books!

So, needless to say, I am back! I'm not writing yet, but I've got some ideas written down and there are things stirring in my head that need to come out.  I am ready to write again.  I know that my dad would want me to keep this up and I want to make him proud!

Oh yeah...the boyfriend thing.  Love him to pieces but sometimes I think to myself, "Fictional men are so much easier to manage!"


1 comment:

  1. Well, I definitely hope you write more. I read A Week at the Beach and I fell in love! I picked it up for free on Amazon and I have to say it was one of the best books I have ever gotten (paid or unpaid). I read thru other people's comments and I see that a lot of other people feel the same way. So, I will keep watching for more of your amazing work and I am so glad you are "back". Also, I would love to purchase your paperback but I was wondering if you happened to do signed copies some where. Thanks for writing amazing books!