|The view from my living room window today!|
Looking back, I still can't believe things have panned out to where they are today. I have to pinch myself to confirm that it is not a dream. (Although I don't actually know if that works.) I get to do what I love for a living, and along the way, I have met some amazing people. I could also say that I have met some real bastards...but I want to focus on the positive. Maybe I will revisit the darker side of this at another time. It would be full of betrayals, lies, and vile hatred. Makes for a titillating read, but it can also make the writer seem like a venomous jerk. I try to rise above such things these days. It doesn't mean I don't feel them, but lambasting others is so petty. On to the good stuff...
By June of 2012, I was already scanning the classifieds. Sales were good...not great...and Denise was one of those people you heard about on the news. Masters degree and an accountant unable to find a job because she was "overqualified and probably prone to move on as soon as the economy improved." She was told that so many times and it was REALLY starting to discourage her. I was making enough to pay the bills almost, but we were still struggling to stay afloat. One car problem or medical issue and we were done for financially.
Any time she caught me looking for work, she shut it down saying that my books were gaining momentum and that was where I needed to focus my energy. It was around that time that I landed a pair of editing contracts that made all the difference in the world. (As you read this today, I am actually starting on my editing certification through UCSD distance education!)
I still remember the first time we broke 1,000 units sold in a single month. I was so happy. Sure, it wasn't King or Koontz money, but it was better than minimum wage and I was doing what I love. As the year pushed on, the numbers continued to grow (despite efforts from some) and with the release of DEAD: Siege & Survival (book 5 of the DEAD series) I saw my first appearance on the Amazon Top 100 Horror Books within a day of release. It was the first time I had a book release to triple digit sales the FIRST day! There was some dancing around the living room that night I can tell ya.
With each release, the sales were growing. At one point, book one, DEAD: The Ugly Beginning was actually on the top 100 at the same time as Book 5! And with that, the snowball began to grow. I also began to start to feel the pressure. I had a "best seller" of sorts and I had a growing audience that looked forward to the next release within days of the latest book becoming available. I was also smart enough to know that I had to start cultivating a new audience for when DEAD eventually concludes. My "That Ghoul Ava" series is where I have those hopes pinned. Horror/comedy with a dash of darkness...if you have not tried her yet, you really should.
|My little girl!|
As the year 2012 came to an end, I was blessed by spending it with my daughter Ronni who I had not seen since she was two. We have become so close in this past year...I really am the luckiest man in the world. Anyways, as 2013 arrived, Denise was getting small temp jobs and my books were still picking up steam. This is when many of you starting discovering the DEAD series. And I owe a great debt to those of you who had been along for the ride and told your friends, family, and random stranger about my little zombie series.
In November, Denise finally landed her dream job. My books were now being released on Audible by the amazing crew at Falcon which was opening me to an entirely new market and I started looking at the possibility of buying my first house (using my VA loan).
In February, I made the move. In March, Denise and I went to look at houses. The one she fell in love with just happened to be a house that I had delivered phone books to back in November of 2011. This was one of those houses mentioned in part one that I could never imagine living in. On Friday, April 4, 2013, I picked up the keys and drove out to see a sign in the front yard of MY new house.
|I just put my car in park and stared for almost 10 minutes at this sign.|
This house is amazing. I will post some pictures in the near future once all of the furniture arrives. But for now, take a peek at my backyard with a waterfall and koi pond and about 75-100 various species of plant. It is a dream come true. It is YOU and your support that made this happen.
So I want to thank you. Each of you who has read my books. Whether it was just one...or all of them. (20 titles at last count!) YOU made my dreams come true. For that, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I will never be too big or too successful to remember that it is YOU who make me what I am. It is YOU that I work for. I may be technically self-emloyed, but it is each of YOU that are my employer. I hope to continue to earn a place on your shelf or ereader or Audible.com playing device. So, do not take these two words lightly. They are meant with utmost sincerity...