Sunday, April 27, 2014

Persistence be Thy Name

"My experience is that there is, you know, surprisingly, always hope." Doctor Who

This last week has been full of incredible ups and downs, complete with hurl inducing wicked twists and turns but I can say that it's also been on the most exciting of my life! And the fantastic part? There is more to come!

I've always operated under the theory that one should write to tell, not to sell. If you're looking to become a fantabulously wealthy author with countless cars, credit cards and cache, keep trucking. Yep! There ARE instances obviously, writers who have achieved that very status BUT fairly certain they didn't set out that way to begin with. They were burning inside with stories and passion and desperate to put what we see in our minds eye down onto something that perhaps would survive the ages, something of our immortality what would linger in the halls of time.

There was a time when I sat, simply inert, and waited for the universe to happily hand me what I felt was my due. To give over the portion of success and happiness that I saw happening around me.  This wasn't to say I was a complete bitch, just horribly blind and selfish. I didn't think, in my arrogant youth, that I'd have to actually work for it! Not pour blood, sweat and tears into at least trying! What the hell? I didn't sign up for that!

But you all know THAT story.

I'm here to share the latest leg of my journey, to tell you it is possible to have dreams true. That, yeah, if you don't give up no matter how many times you fall ass over elbows, that your ceaseless persistence and stubborn will may very well jiggle the lock on the door of your deepest desire.

Firstly, I went to a local Barnes and Noble last weekend, to speak with the manager about getting Timeless Night on their shelves. I was nervous and scared as I stood there in my finest pj bottoms and top, hair pulled up in a scrunched bun of untidy proportions.  But in my defense, it was my best pair of pj pants! *grins*  The manager was helpful and gave me the business card of the store's Community Relations Liasion and highly encouraged me to email the woman as soon as possible.  I thanked her and then went home to do what I do best when people tell me what to do...I procrastinated. I'm super good at it. Olympic level for certain. That was last Saturday, April 19th.

April 21st, that following Monday, I sucked up my fear and doubt (after all yes, I am Torie James, but honestly who the hell has ever heard of me outside of Facebook and my home? Yes, I had a published book. Three actually. But let's be realistic...most of the world has no clue who I am. They probably know that pig from the Geico commercials better!) and sat down to write a short email  explaining who I was and dashing off my inquiry about TN being on their selves possibly. I hit send, OD'd on chocolate and tried to push it the back of my mind. I did not expect an answer. At best, perhaps, a thank you for asking but "come back when you're in the King, Kenyon, Harris, Rowling, Patterson leagues."

I was prepared for rejection. Hope for the best, expect the worst. My motto. It would make me sad should that happen, yeah. wouldn't stop me from doing what I do!

So imagine my surprise when I was curled up in bed Friday afternoon, watching Doctor Who and day dreaming of Time and Space and my phone burst out with my notification alert (Star Wars Theme, by the way. What? That cannot have truly surprised anyone.) I picked it up, saw it was from Barnes and Noble and my stomach did a triple Lindy ...twice! I sighed, steeling myself for the answer and opened the email. Read it....

Barnes & Noble Orange
Apr 25 (2 days ago)

to me
Hi Torie,

Congratulations on the publication of your book. You must be so excited! Your title is readily available in our system - would you be interested in a local author signing at our store?

We are hosting a bookfair for the Orange Public Library the second week of July and should have heavier traffic in our store because of it. I could schedule you for a couple hours during the evening of Wednesday July 9 or Thursday July 10.

If either of those dates works for you please let me know and we'll move forward with planning.

 Ms. Shannon "Shay" Beckman
Community Relations Manager

Barnes & Noble
791 S. Main St. #100
Orange, CA 92868

I blinked. Read it again. Then again. I screamed for my mother who came running, all wild eyed. Pointed to the message, watched her read it...and blink. Then look at me. I read it once more...

And burst into happy tears. After I'd calmed down from my Snoopy Dance and massive hugs from Mum, I quickly replied that that would be simply....wonderful. I thanked her profusely for the chance and moments later received the confirmation of my appearance date and that she'd get back to as things became finalized on their end.

THAT ...had been awesome! I sat on the news for a few hours, you know, just in case, I was having some weird cheese and chocolate induced dream. Then I shared with my publisher, my family and my other friends!

Many happies ensued! I was on cloud nine! No..screw cloud nine! I was on!! YESH!

Then it got better...

My friend, Tracey, messaged me, on my wall, on Facebook to tell me I had made the RONE finals! Um...WTF???? No! No! Yes? So off I ran to the InD'Tale Magazine website to check and there it was! The public voters had spoken and the following people were going to the last and final round, which is a panel of reviewers judging our works and deciding on the winners, to be announced in Nevada, July 11th at the RONE convention!  I scrolled down to the Paranormal Category....and there it was...Timeless Night by Torie James.....FINALIST! 

Then came the confirmation Email! 

Tonya Smalley
Apr 26 (1 day ago)

to Karen, Brenda, Carolyn, me, Rowena, Charlene, Catherine, Kym
Dear RONE Award finalist,

CONGRATULATIONS!!! Your book has now moved on to the final judging round for the 2014 RONE Awards. It is now being read and rated by a panel of professional judges which will determine the winner of the “Best Indie or Small Published book of 2014”.

Winners will be presented at the gala RONE awards ceremony on July 11th, 2014 at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas, NV, in conjunction with the Romance Novel Convention.   We sincerely hope that you will be able to attend the gala event! It will be an exciting evening for one and all, and we would love to see each and every one of you there!

I burst into my second set of the happiest tears I can remember shedding. Breathless, scared and ecstatic. To even be considered humbles me. To know I have made it to the last round? I am filled with this sense of ....gratitude. How the hell did I get to this place?

I didn't give up. I persisted. I worked hard...and I DO work hard. Make no doubt. From the moment I wake until the second my eyes close at night, I am always writing, marketing, promoting and researching. I may work hard but let me just say it's NOT a job. How can I say something as trivial as that? Writing is my passion...never a burden.  I believe we're all given a gift in this life. Sometimes, we find it, sometimes we don't. Sometimes, we don't try hard enough because we are full of doubt and fear.

And sometimes? Sometimes, we just say fuck it and embrace it.

If we're lucky, it embraces us right back.

I can't wait to see what my future holds! But I don't for one moment, lose sight of my present or those in it. And I definitely know that I will always be grateful to so many for their love, support and help. I built New Camelot to soothe an ache inside of me. And you guys? You are making me into a worthy Once and Future Queen who will never forget one moment of this, or you. No matter what happens.

So! Lots of changes are in the wind! Coming with? 

Rock on my sexies! And Blessed Be!

Sending love from New Camelot!


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