2013 has been an incredible year, and I have so many things to be thankful for. I have an amazingly supportive family and wonderful friends. I’m healthy and happy. None of the year’s accomplishments can trump that. But this year my childhood dream came true – my debut novel was published.
Failure is not the worst thing that can happen. Never trying, never chasing down that dream – that’s the true tragedy. That’s the most important thing I learned from this process, and I’m so thankful I had to courage to try.
I’m thankful for my critique partners, who went through Reclaimed line-by-line, squealed over my cover, and recommended it to everyone they know. I’m grateful for my editor, Danielle Ellison, who helped make Reclaimed what she knew it could be. I’m so lucky to be able to work with Spencer Hill Contemporary and amazing people like Patricia Riley, Cindy Thomas, Patrice Caldwell, the Reading With Me Team, and everyone else who had a hand in shaping, polishing, and prepping Reclaimed.
And for the first time in my life, I have readers, and for that, I am truly thankful. Thanks for reading. Thanks for the reviews, the notes, the tweets, the excitement. Thanks for standing in line to have your book signed. For begging me to write a sequel. For sharing your favorite lines. Thanks for the support.
More than anything, I want to thank readers for sharing their stories with me. A sixteen-year-old girl wrote me a letter telling me how much she connected with Jenna because how Jenna feels about running is exactly how she feels about ice skating. She wrote about knowing what it’s like to want to escape a small town and how Jenna spoke to her. That meant more than I can express.
Just last week I signed a copy of Reclaimed for a 60+ year old woman who told me she’d already read the first chapter and that it reminded her of when she was a teenager. When she was younger, her father was very sick and in the hospital. When the tension was too much for her to take, she would ride up and down the hospital elevator, trying to catch her breath, trying to escape everything. While she was there, she met a boy. They flirted back and forth often, and after that, she never saw him again. If you’ve read Reclaimed, you know how similar that is to the opening chapter of the book, and I loved hearing her version of a similar tale.
I’m thankful for everyone who had a hand in getting Reclaimed to readers, and to readers who, because you picked up the book, became a part of the story.