Post Book Launch Eve Post

Hi everyone!  This is a bit late.  I usually do a post the evening before a book launches, where I wax philosophical about what I learned from writing the book, and where this whole crazy writing journey has taken me.  My book came out a week and a half ago.  Due to a number of circumstances, good and bad, I’m just now in an emotional state to sit down and self-reflect about anything.

I guess what I learned from this book was resilience.  We wound up moving this spring (the Dallas rental housing market has gone nuts – we moved basically to the country, because it was the only place we could afford to buy).  This means Jake has an hour long commute each way, and life has been hectic.  I was already behind – I had promised A Chocolate is Announced as a spring release, and the move felt like one thing too many, so I bumped it back to summer.  Rather than taking this as a failure, I admitted the delay to the folks asking for the book, and did my best to put aside the panic and produce the best book I could.  A number of reviewers have said it is the best in the series, which is a welcome balm after all the difficulties getting the book written and edited.

And then.  Oh, and then.  On launch day, it soon became clear that the wrong e-book file had been uploaded.  I was able to get it fixed with relatively little damage, but it involved a phone call with one of my biggest fans who had already read most of the way through the book.  I was, needless to say, embarrassed and distraught, but she was patient and his since posted a glowing review of the book – despite the less than optimal original reading experience.  That, more than anything, fills me with a sense of grace with myself and everything in my life that has been in flux, from family illness to lingering anxiety issues after the pandemic.

I was in Hawaii when the book was launched, away from my usual space and safety nets, and I was unable to get graphics to my husband, who usually does the newsletter and website stuff.  Hence, the lateness of this post and the newsletter which I will be sending out later.  But I am hoping you will also show me grace, as one person can only do so much, and sometimes, even when you are scrambling to keep things together, they fall out from under you.

This may be a bit ironic, since in A Chocolate is Announced (the seventh book in my Bean to Bar Mysteries Series), my protagonist Felicity is finally coming into her own.  She’s chosen a love interest and a direction in her life, and she is moving forward, embracing her calling as an amateur sleuth and  standing up for herself and her place in her fiancé’s family (despite their questioning her suitability). So I guess, if anything, this time around, I learned that resilience really can be a thing, and that though there may be setbacks (after all, don’t we throw everything imaginable at our protagonists to test them?) if you keep moving forward, there will eventually be a moment where things start to be okay again.  I love that Felicity has found that, and that everything I have planned to throw at her in the next few books won’t be enough to take away the hard-won progress she has found.

I hope all of you can find a bit of encouragement in that, and if you’re facing difficult moments right now, you can give yourself a bit of grace too.  I’ve talked to so many writers who, since the pandemic, have had trouble finding their writing groove again.  I get it.  It can be hard to be creative in the face of uncertainty.  This week, I’ve been refilling my own creative well with comforting and familiar narratives through watching movies I’ve seen a million times.  (This all started because of the tour of Kuoloa ranch I took while in Hawaii, where about 200 movies and television series have filmed.)  I’ve come out of it with some ideas for the editing I need to do next week, and the outline for the next Bean to Bar Book, which will have a component involving a movie being filmed across the way from the Tokyo chocolate festival Felicity has been invited to.  It feels like I’ve gained something from this latest trip, and this latest book, despite myself.  I hope you enjoy reading it too.

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