“Counting Coup” launched this weekend, with a handful of friends gathered at Dobson Ranch Library in Mesa. My brother and his longtime girlfriend Jessica came from Colorado, too. A girlfriend came to play assistant, running book sales outside and taking photos. The community newspaper included a blurb about a “local girl” returning to her childhood stomping grounds. (If only they knew how many summer library reading hours I’d booked under that roof.) In the community room, where I took babysitting classes 25 years prior, I talked about the spark that made me want to write this story.
It was simply put one of the best days. I got hug and see a handful of people who mean the world to me.
Yesterday, I spent my lunch hour meeting with a man who is interested in publishing nonfiction. He is a friend of a friend and wanted advice on formatting, get into local bookstores, etc. The hour flew by and during the conversation, I realized how much I’ve been able to learn from trial and error since “Under the Same Moon” was published in 2011. I’ve fallen on my face many, many times. I’ve also built a tribe of helpers: the writing group, the editors, the cover artist, the friends who have day jobs but also act as my publicists and marketers.
There is a great unknown about writing and publishing for the first and second time. But I promise if you want to be an author, the process from first draft to holding a printed novel gets exponentially easier with time. You know who to trust, what to expect, and with luck—how to make your art better.