Saturday, August 29, 2015

I Love September!

bear, animal, fur, face, nose, ears, mouth, eyesGoldilocks found Papa Bear's porridge too hot and Mama Bear's too cold, but she found that Baby Bear's was just right. We probably all heard that story as we drifted off to sleep accompanied by the voice of our mom or dad or grandparent or whoever it was who told us bedtime stories. At least I hope you had someone who loved you enough to do that for you. But this post isn't about bedtime stories or happy childhoods. It's about September. Partly it's about September in general, but it's also about this September and why I'm particularly excited for it. 

Ironically enough, I wasn't a fan of school as a child, especially at the end of summer. But I always still loved September for several reasons, chief of which being that it's the month of my birthday. Yes, at 51 (going on 52), you might think birthdays would stop being special, but not for me. This is probably because in my mind I'm perpetually eight years old. I still love having a day where everybody greets me with a happy birthday and I get cards and gifts and emails and lots of Facebook well-wishes. It's just fun. I've never understood people who don't like birthdays. Not celebrating it doesn't make you stay younger, so why not have a hoopla?

girl, woman, blonde, long hair, clothes, fashion, shoes, pants, denim, shirt, watch, tree stump, forest, model
Another reason I like September, to borrow from my opening paragraph, is that it's the beginning of that Goldilocks time of year when it's not too hot and not too cold, but just right. I can sleep with my window open and we don't have to run the air conditioner as much. Best of all, it's the beginning of the time when I start putting Ellie's top down regularly. Lots of convertible drivers think that summer is when you do that, but I prefer it when it's just a touch cooler so I don't feel like I'm baking in the sun like an earthworm on a sidewalk. And that first night when the temperatures drop into the forties, it feels almost like a requirement to build a campfire and sit by it with a hot chocolate in one hand and a S'more in the other.

NOT the official cover art!
Though I see every September as worthy of celebration, this one is doubly exciting because this In The Shadow. That's momentous for a number of reasons. First, I feel like it's my best book yet. It's a bit of a departure from the previous two in that it goes in a much darker direction than the previous pair. The book itself is finished, so this month I'll be writing the acknowledgements and formatting all the pages that go before and after the story. I'll also be working with some wonderful folks (thanks Charlie, Michele, and Courtney) on the cover photography and design. This is stuff I hadn't even thought about when I opted to self-publish, but I find I actually enjoy it. I even like maintaining my webpage and going to events to sell my books. The social media end of it is, in my mind, a necessary evil, but I don't hate it like I used to.
month is when I ramp up publicity and do all the other activities in preparation for launching Shalan Adventure #3,

Why the launch of this book is distinctly meaningful for me is that it's my third one. I have this (possibly crazy) idea in my mind that I wasn't going to be a real author until I had three books out. Maybe it's that three is a good round number. Or maybe it speaks to having stuck to the task for the long haul. But I think it's mainly that now I can say I've written a trilogy. Nobody says, "Yeah, I read that author's duology." Nor does two make a series. Three is a trilogy and after that your books become a full-blown series. So, on October 1, I'll be Joe Stephens, author of the Shalan trilogy. That just has a ring to it. And even if I don't get that fourth book written (barring an act of God, I will--I'm already almost 5500 words into the rough draft and I like it so far), I'll have made it to that just-right level.

So here's to a month in the Goldilocks zone.

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