One year ago today, my debut novel Ditch Flowers was released by Penner Publishing, following an almost three-year-long journey of querying. You know when people say their children grow up so fast, and they “can’t believe” it’s been X amount of time since something happened, and didn’t it go by “in a blink”? (Ha, ha, my friend Tara hates that saying) It’s kind of like that. It’s been a whole year that I’ve had my novel published. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like a year. Without getting sappy, I do want to take a minute here to acknowledge that fact, and to thank everyone who made this year something I’m proud to look back on. Was it life-changing? Not exactly. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m not able to write full-time yet, and I haven’t become rich, and I still can’t get my book into Barnes & Noble brick & mortar stores…but. But, I am still so happy and thankful. This year has been successful in many ways. If nothing else it’s a milestone of an important goal I met. And I didn’t do it alone.
First of all, I would not have had so many warm fuzzy moments without you readers. Whether those moments came via private message, telling me you loved my book, or in the amazing reviews you left, or in the recommendations you passed along to your family and friends, they were reassuring in the face of insecurity over my work, and general nerves over being published. Not only were they reassuring, they were downright wonderful to see, hear, and read. Thank you, readers.
Thank you not only for taking the time to read the book, but for dozens of you, for taking the extra time and effort to review it, too. Thank you for saying fantastic things and leaving me 3, 4, 5 star reviews, and thank you to those who left lower stars, for offering (mostly) gentle, constructive criticisms so that I can improve my work. Thank you, reviewers.
Thank you for saying Ditch Flowers is “not your typical book. It’s better.” That it’s “a lovely tale about what it means to love” “a brave work that doesn’t gloss over pregnancy loss” “honest” “raw” “thoughtful and poignant” “sensitive and thought provoking” and “engaging”
Thank you for saying the “depictions of marital doubt and fertility issues ring deep and true” and that it is “sad and tender but still so full of hope”, that it “celebrates the strength of women”
Thank you for complimenting my writing, saying, “Linsmeier knows how to weave beautiful sentiments” “luminous in its simplicity” “beautifully written” and that the “prose was smooth and efficient” There were so many reviews that left me feeling truly humbled by all your kindness.
Thank you for buying my book. Thank you, for making it an Amazon bestseller in four categories. Thank you for taking whatever abstract goal I had in my head for my first year, and blowing that out of the water. Thank you for giving me the confidence to call myself a writer, an author. The good/modest/nice sales are an incredible bonus on top of having the book released, out of my head and into my (and your) hands. The picture above is of me holding the first proof, and it still sometimes feels surreal.
Thank you to everyone at Penner. Thank you for saying yes to me, and my book. Thank you to the book clubs who have read my book, the libraries and bookstores who have put my book on their shelves, and invited me to do events and signings. Thank you to my writing buddies. Thank you to all my wonderful friends, and family members. Thank you for sharing my posts on Facebook and Twitter. Thank you for liking stuff. Thank you for cheering me on. Many of you have been here with me since I started these social media accounts (and quite a few of you, even before). You’ve known me before I was published, when I was in query hell, when I was crippled with fear and writers block. You’ve been there to critique my work, to offer suggestions, to push me forward. You’ve been there, and I thank you. Thank you for encouraging me along the way, and celebrating every accomplishment, no matter how small.
To help celebrate this milestone, I’m offering a signed paperback copy of Ditch Flowers to one person (US only, please), and TWO Kindle copies of my new short story e-book The Peony and the Sun, so three prizes total for three separate winners. To enter comment here, OR on my Facebook post (pinned post) and tell me which prize you’d like to win. I will draw on this Saturday the 1st, in the morning at 8CST.
Thanks guys. I really, really appreciate it.