One of my “Highs” as an Author

When I finished my last post, I received so many heartfelt comments, and I want to first thank those fellow writers and readers for their kindness and support when it comes to one another’s difficulties being an artist. I am, once again, reminded of how influential and inspiring the WordPress community can be. Thank you.

Now, as I looked back on my post, I knew I had to do a followup post about my “highs” because I didn’t want to only concentrate on the negative. I wanted to show how exciting and uplifting being an artist can be. So I’m going to share three exciting events that happened to me this week and how they made me feel–with all of the emotions that came with them.

Minutes Before Sunset will officially be in a store.

That’s right. Fluente Designs, an upcoming store in Tullahoma, Tennessee, will have all of the AEC Stellar Publishing, Inc. novels on their shelves. The photo below are the books that will be shelved. This is an amazing feeling as an author. I have to admit that I’m beyond excited for this. The owner has also agreed to an interview (so look out for that) and I’m looking forward to be able to share another artist with everyone. I also think it’s natural for me to also feel nervous about this. This moment feels like Minutes Before Sunset is creeping up, spreading out, and reaching more readers that I couldn’t reach without Fluente Designs‘ support. A big thank you goes out to Fluente Designs. Who knows? Maybe more stores will follow their lead. That would be breathtaking.

AEC Stellar's FB cover photo
AEC Stellar’s FB cover photo

My Stats Spiked

Minutes Before Sunset had the biggest spike in Amazon sales since the release in May. It was #9,308 in the Kindle Store, but it also hit #649 in Fantasy and and #407 in Romance/Paranormal, which I thought was awesome, because they are such competitive categories.

romanpara407 2

Although I’m truly happy this happened, I have to admit I have always tried to never pay attention to stats. I think they can bring people down a lot (because it’s much easier to go down than to go back up) so I’m simply trying to enjoy the moment while it lasts and hope that I can continue to see my novel get into more hands to entertain them. That being said, there’s a confusing emotion that comes with wanting to enjoy the moment and knowing you can’t stare at it forever (or even for the few days it lasts for.) So I patted myself on the back, smiled, and continued to look away from my stats, knowing it’s better to focus on my love for writing than seeing numbers rise, even though I am thankful for it. (Seriously thankful for it.)

Twitter Encounters 

I’m not sure why or how, but I logged onto my Twitter, checked my messages, looked at my interactions, and froze when I saw this:  T. Harv Eker, #1 NY Times Bestselling author of Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, quoted me on his page.


Following that, Shawne Duperon, 6-time Emmy winner and founder of Project Forgive also retweeted the quote and tweeted to me.

Screen Shot 2013-10-13 at 1.41.24 AM

Again, I have no idea how they got this quote. (It’s from November Snow, my first published novel.) But I can admit that seeing them on my Twitter Interactions made me rub my eyes like I’d stayed up too late and stared at my computer a little too long. I actually asked my father to read it to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating, which, for the record, I wasn’t. (Whew.) They made my day. Not because they’re celebrities but because they both used that quote as a list of inspiring quotes to encourage people to get up and pursue their dreams, and my ultimate goal is to inspire people to follow their dreams. By using my quote to inspire others, T. Harv Eker and Shawne Duperon gave me an amazing gift without even realizing it: a deeper hope and belief that I can help even more people. And, for that, I thank both of them immensely.

It’s been a strange week for me as an author. I started off feeling down, then I defeated a down, and I was met with numerous 1175490_2091842814335_794178008_n“highs” I could barely believe, let alone comprehend. It’s honestly reminding me a lot of creating plots for stories: a road trip where we know where we start, have a destination in mind, and a few places in-between we think we might visit.  But, this time, I don’t know where I’m going or how / when / if it will end, and these in-between places are making me realize something about my writing career: I’m starting to become more excited about the fact that tomorrow might meet me with a new writing surprise. I guess you could say I’m shifting the gears, enjoying the ride, and seeing where it takes me. All with my cat in the passenger seat.


27 thoughts on “One of my “Highs” as an Author

  1. You are very inspirational! Every time a new post lands in my inbox I head here straight away. I think it’s important to keep the dream alive and keep making strides to reach your goals. So many people can be down on you doubting your aspirations, not because they don’t care about your happiness, but because they don’t believe it can happen. I like the quote, “Don’t make excuses, they’re pointless.” One of the quotes I live by is, “Make time, not excuses.”

    1. ::blushes:: That is very kind of you. I’m so glad you enjoy my blog. If you ever have a topic you’d like to me discuss, let me know, and, of course, I’ll link to your blog. I love the mantra you have. Very true. Making time is vital.

  2. Congratulations – I can’t imagine how awesome it must feel to have your book on a bookstore shelf and bestselling writers/Emmy winners shouting you out over Twitter! All the best moving forward too, you most definitely deserve it!

      1. Hi Shannon, I just finished your book Minutes Before Sunset. First off, I’m not generally a big fan of fantasy books, but I must say your book is excellent, and it was fun and enjoyable to read. I really liked how you used the literary hook of telling the story through the first person accounts of the two main characters in the story, Eric and Jessica. I really appreciated your balance in detail, sparing the reader long, tedious descriptions of each character, and instead giving descriptions of their eyes, hair, clothing and some facial expressions as needed along the way — just enough for me to form vague images of Eric and Jessica as humans and shades, and a little more vivid images of most of the other characters. I think I could describe what Crystal, Robb and Zac might look like much better than what Eric and Jessica looked like in either form, but I think that added a sense of mystery to the story where secrecy in one’s identity is of utmost importance.

        I identified with Eric immediately, and found Jessica to be very likable. I also sensed a bit of autobiographical details in Jessica’s character. The premiss of light and dark being opposite to the traditional good/bad associations with light/dark was refreshing, and the first person narratives added a more personal connection to the story and it’s characters. The tension between the characters created a feeling for the shades living on the edge, hanging on the uncertain outcome of the upcoming battle that Eric seemed ill prepared for, as he was a bit of a reluctant warrior.

        I felt a little let down by the solution for Jessica and the ending, but it works as a setup for the up-coming second book.

        Soon after I started reading Minutes Before Sunset, I noticed a slight similarity to Bonded: Book One of the ShadowLight Saga by Manda Matthews, and as I got more into the book, I started thinking about American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I ended up reading Bonded because I wanted something light and entertaining in the area of Icelandic Sagas after surgery six weeks ago, and I had read American Gods about a year ago after my wife recommended it.

        I found Minutes before Sunset was much more engaging than Bonded, and I think that is because you kept a narrow focus and developed your main characters within your cohort and experience; therefore, even though they are extraordinary characters, they seem real enough to care about, and interesting enough to want to continue reading about to see what happens next. On the other hand Minutes before Sunset didn’t have the richness, depth and maturity of American Gods, but for the fact Minutes before Sunset made me think about American Gods shows how good it really is — American Gods is one of my favorite contemporary novels.

        You have produced a wonderful novel, and you deserve all the praise and recognition. I also believe as you continue to mature as a writer, finish school, and get more life experience, you will begin publishing books as good as American Gods.

      2. Oh, wow! Thank you for this, Timothy. Your review is so thorough, and I truly enjoyed everything you had to say. I’m glad you enjoyed Minutes Before Sunset, and I will be sure to check out American Gods, as I have not read it. Thank you again. Your words and encouragement mean a lot.

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