Back in 2011, I sat down at my computer and started to write.
The seeds were planted years before, while I was still in high school. Ideas took root inside my head– vague forms and muddled shapes, random names and snapshot images — but they did not receive the nourishment or sustenance required to thrive. So they stayed in my head, swirling and tumbling around, some fading away, others grabbing hold.
Finally, when I sat down in my god-awful pink computer chair and set my fingers on the keyboard one afternoon in 2011, I decided to let it all out. Fridays became my “writing days,” so when classes ended for the day, I planted myself in my “office,” (actually a little nook in the kitchen) and wrote as much as I wanted, often for hours on end.
Completing I’m With You has been a long process — two years, in between classes and two jobs. Once I’d finished it, I let it sit on my computer, untouched, for over a year. I’ve wanted to write books since junior high, when I realized I was too squeamish to be a veterinarian, but I just… never thought to submit the manuscript anywhere. I did look up publishing sources on occasion, but every resource I looked at seemed so discouraging. It seemed impossible to achieve, and that, coupled with a post-graduation slump, didn’t do much for my confidence. Instead of trying to make my dream happen, I thought, “Why bother?” and didn’t even try for fear of failure.
Then, I googled “self-publishing” on a whim one evening in late 2014 and stumbled across the website for Dragon Tree Books and a link for their Indie Genius contest, which included a publishing package. I scanned the details, realized that I had a few days until the deadline, and let the idea roll around in my noggin for a few hours. “Why bother?” became, “Why not?” I blew the dust off of I’m With You and spruced it up a bit.
I sent it in. And it won.
I’m With You has spent almost two additional years going through the editing process and getting whipped into shape, thanks to a lot of helpful hands from the folks at Dragon Tree Books, especially Jon, who fielded my many emails and was extremely helpful with the production side of the publication process, Elijah, who did the awesome cover-art and formatting, and Erica, my insightful editor who made suggestions on how to improve my work that I never would have noticed without her steering me in the right direction. When I had questions, they had answers. I thought self-publishing meant going through the process alone, trying to slog through all the details solo, but this very much felt like a team effort, and I’m With You is only out there now because of the help I had along the way.
Character names have changed, plot points clarified, and scenes taken out, added, and completely swapped around, but the core of I’m With You has stayed the same since I first started typing it up in 2011. It’s a YA novel about family, friendship, perseverance, and overcoming loss, and I’m thrilled to have it finally in print!
E-book version coming extremely soon, it is still processing.
More links to follow, and more info available on my Published Works page!