HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO ME! (and Teaser #6)

Today is my first anniversary as an author. We uploaded Between the Lines to Amazon on April 30, 2011, and it went live on May 1, 2011 - for 99 cents. I think I sold one book that day... to my husband, who bought it so we could make sure it didn't look like ass before anyone else bought it.

I had absolutely no idea what to expect of the coming year, as is evidenced by posts from a year ago, and memories like this one:

Me, arriving at work:  "OHMYGOD guesswhat guesswhat guesswhat???"

Coworker, eyes wide: "What?"

Me, utterly flabbergasted:  "I sold TWELVE COPIES of my book in the last 24 hours!"

Coworker, impressed:  "Really?? TWELVE? To people you don't know?"

Me, nodding:   "I have no idea! But I think they are probably total strangers!"

Coworker, still impressed:  "Wow!"

I wish I remembered what day this conversation occurred, but alas, I don't. I know that at the two week mark, I'd sold 34 copies total, which was pretty much what I expected to sell altogether, ever. The fact that people would keep buying it, that many of them would request/demand/buy a second and a third (and request/demand a fourth - we'll see, people) would have made my one-year-ago self pass out.

Easy is the book I've wanted to write for the past several years. But agents have always stated outright that publishers won't buy novels set in college. Since I'm not a crazy person, I would have probably found something else to do with my time if I'd not had the support of the readers of my first three books. Your emotional support let me know that I was doing something worthwhile, and that I was connecting with readers through these stories. Your financial support made it possible for me to quit my part-time job three months ago so I could write full-time. Giving up a steady paycheck was a leap of faith, but I still think it was the right decision.

So thank you to every one of you who've given me that enthusiastic support. I appreciate it greatly. You have no idea how much.

Tuesday Teaser #6:

“Next.”

I shook off my reverie and looked across the counter, prepared to give my usual order, and there stood the guy from Saturday night. The guy I’d avoided sitting next to this morning in economics. My mouth hung open but nothing came out. And just like this morning, Saturday night came flooding back. My face heated, remembering the position I’d been in, what he must have witnessed before he’d intervened, how foolish he must consider me.

But then, he’d said it wasn’t my fault. And he’d called me by my name. The name I no longer used, as of sixteen days ago.

My split-second wish that he wouldn’t recall who I was went ungranted. I returned his penetrating gaze and could see he remembered all of it, clearly. Every mortifying bit. My face burned.

“Are you ready to order?” His question pulled me from my disorientation. His voice was calm, but I felt the exasperation of the restless customers behind me.

“Grande caffé Americano. Please.” My words were so mumbled that I half expected him to ask me to repeat myself.

But he marked the cup, which was when I noted the two or three layers of thin white gauze wrapped around his knuckles. He passed the cup to the barista and rung up the drink as I handed over my card. “Doing okay today?” he asked, his words so seemingly casual, yet so full of meaning between us. He swiped my card and handed it back with the receipt.

“I’m fine.” The knuckles of his left hand were scuffed but not severely abraded. I took the card and receipt, his fingers grazing over mine. I snatched my hand away. “Thanks.”