A year ago today was my first day as a full-time writer. After decades of day jobs and writing as best I could in the evenings and weekends, I took the jump, the plunge, the whatever-you-want-to-call-it leap into a new world.
Writing part-time is very different from pumping out the stories full-time. I was apprehensive, but I was also very blessed because as The Big Day approached, Lake Union Publishing (an Amazon Imprint specializing in Women's Fiction) contacted me. I was thrilled beyond expression. Ultimately, they contracted with me to write two books for them. So, when I took that leap, leaving behind a very nice day job income, I was grateful to have a lovely, soft landing with Lake Union.
The first book I published with Lake Union was THE HAPPINESS IN BETWEEN, released January 31, 2017. I HOPE you've already read it and I truly, truly hope that you enjoyed it. The second book, THE MEMORY OF BUTTERFLIES, is currently available for pre-order and will be released on September 5, 2017. Lake Union knew what I was writing about for the first book, THE HAPPINESS IN BETWEEN, but not the second. They trusted me to give them a book worthy of publication on the second go-round. I think it worked out just fine.
Shall I tell you something about THE MEMORY OF BUTTERFLIES? I wrote that book starting with only the vaguest idea. Really, nothing more than a writing prompt, a "what-if". It gave me a starting point but I had no idea where it would go. I am a blend of what they call a pantser (I write by the seat of my pants rather than plotting) and an "organic" writer (the story grows naturally out of the idea) and I'm comfortable creating stories that way, but THE MEMORY OF BUTTERFLIES was different. It was a new experience. I felt as if Hannah Cooper was sitting beside me whispering the story to me. I merely recorded it. I admit I had to do a bit of revision and clean up, especially since I was crying my heart out through most of it, but the story itself is Hannah's.
It was a very emotional experience for me. I will leave it to you, the future reader, to determine whether it moves you emotionally. I hope that when you are done ~ after the book is closed ~ it will linger with you and that Hannah will feel as real to you as she does to me.
The book blurb is below. Pre-order link is here.
THE MEMORY OF BUTTERFLIES (release date September 5, 2017)
A young mother's lies could end up destroying everything, and everyone, she loves. The Memory of Butterflies is a poignant story of family and forgiveness—of knowing when to let go and when to hold each other close.
Hannah Cooper’s daughter is leaving for college soon. The change is bittersweet. A single mother since the age of eighteen, Hannah isn’t eager to confront the pain of being alone, but she’s determined not to let her own hang-ups keep Ellen from the future she deserves. As Ellen’s high school graduation approaches, Hannah decides it’s time to return to her roots in Cooper’s Hollow along Virginia’s beautiful and rustic Cub Creek.
With the help of longtime friend Roger Westray, Hannah devotes her energies to building a new house on the site of the old family home, destroyed in a fire more than a decade ago. But Hannah’s entire adult life has revolved around one very big secret. And her new beginning comes with unanticipated risks that will cost her far more than she could have imagined—perhaps more than she can survive.
When a confrontation forces the secret to be exposed, the truth may destroy her beloved daughter. Hannah is prepared to sacrifice everything to protect her family, but can their lives and their bond withstand the seismic shift that’s coming?
Release date: September 5, 2017 Available for pre-order here.