I have a white streak or two in my hair. Maybe it’s because I’m turning 40 this year (yikes, I don’t feel that old!) Or maybe it’s Taylon playing with his magic spells again (if so, he could’ve picked a better color).
But really, it’s been a hard year for us. It all started Thanksgiving 2013 when, one by one, each member of our family got this horrible cold. Five days of fever + five days of having no voice + weeks to recuperate. My tonsils felt like the size of golf balls. It was horrid.
Then December brought bladder infections and the stomach flu while we were trying to release Breaking Angelina.
Breaking Angelina’s sales were as horrid as golf-ball-sized tonsils. Only smaller. We gave away 30 or more ARC copies and only got 10 reviews. We had parties, teaser graphics, blitzes, and book tours, but saying sales trickled in is exaggerating how many books actually sold. Disappointing. Frustrating. Discouraging.
And then January — on the day of our 13th wedding anniversary — we had to rush a child with a high fever and a kidney infection to the hospital. Five days later, we bring her home and start wondering how we’re going to pay $5000 to the hospital. Ugh, that was $5000 AFTER insurance paid their part.
A week later, another child had 3 days of vomiting, likely something she picked up in the hospital waiting room.
February, we were burned out on marketing and so started revamping how we do business. This meant creating a new website, setting up a newsletter, writing better blog posts, revamping all of our social media, and studying everything we could on marketing. Putting out Taking Chances when nobody would buy would be a waste of time. We needed to work smarter not harder, and so we pushed ourselves to learn and improve.
In the meantime, we continued to get random illnesses once or twice a month. We couldn’t get a break!
And then we found out that TJ’s dad’s body was rejecting his lung transplant he had had about five years ago. He was deteriorating fast, and none of us were ready to lose him. He was always strong, stubborn, and full of life. Losing him was just … wrong. So around illnesses, we visited Papa and Memaw several times over the spring and summer. We wanted every last chance we could get.
We lost Papa in August. Heartbroken, we went to the funeral in Pennsylvania while I had a fever and a scratchy throat, which ended up in bronchitis that lasted 6 weeks. I have food issues (8 food allergies + a gluten intolerance), and all the travel led to breaking the food rules, which led to a lowered immune system.
And in the midst of all of this, I still went to my day job and still worked on writing and marketing and all the stuff you have to do to run a business and still did my best to take care of my home and still helped TJ with the homeschooling every chance I got.
With all of that, we finally finished the first draft in September, sent the revised copy to the editor in October, and started planning our release. OMG, it’s been a hard year.
That all being said, we are now setting our Taking Chances (which I had thought we’d have out last spring, and then last summer, and then this fall) release date to …
January 7, 2015
Party, blog tour, thunderclap, release blitz will actually happen on February 9th. This way, we’ll have one month of giveaways and partying for loyal fans before we make the big release announcement to the world, and we’ll have extra time to build up reviews before the big day.
Stay tuned for ARC signups next week! On January 7th, we’ll be gifting 100 copies to fans.