I've been sitting here for an hour, trying to articulate what I'm feeling at this moment, and I'm truly struggling.
How do I put into words what it feels like to see my book on a shelf after a lifetime of dreaming? How can I explain what it's like to get tweets, emails, Facebook messages, and more, from those of you who have already read DEFY and love it--after decades of writing and hoping and wishing, and eight years of struggling to get published, to finally reach this point, to make this dream a reality? How do I articulate the emotions that filled me when I walked into a bookstore for the first time and saw DEFY sitting on a shelf? Words are my craft, they are everything to me. But they are failing me right now.
There is no way I can truly put into words my excitement, my relief, my nervousness, and above all, my overwhelming joy as DEFY officially enters the world today. I have literally always wanted to be an author, to be published. I will never be able to fully express my gratitude to those who have made this day possible.
So many friends and family have supported me through all the years of struggling, rejection, perseverance, and ultimately success. I tried to name most of them in my acknowledgments, so I won't repeat that here. But to the key people who brought DEFY into the world, thank you. Truly, thank you.
To Josh, for believing and making it happen.
To Lisa, for loving this story as much as I do and for giving it wings.
To my children for being so patient and loving. I hope that someday you will be proud of what your mommy has accomplished, even if it meant she had to work sometimes, when you wished she could play. I may have given you life, but you three are my life. I love you more than I could ever say, and no book I have ever written or will ever write, is more important than the three beautiful, amazing spirits that I have the privilege of claiming as my own for these short years of childhood.
And above all, to my husband. Not only for always believing, no matter how impossible my dream seemed, but for loving me. I am infinitely more flawed than any character I have ever written, and I am so grateful to you for your unwavering devotion and support, despite that. And also, for claiming that you don't care when the house is a mess because I'm in the throes of a new draft or deep in the revision cave with a deadline looming. You are my everything.
I love this book. I love these characters, with all of their flaws and strengths. I love their journeys, and what they taught me as I wrote DEFY.
This story means so much to me. It is a part of me, and as I give it to the world, it takes with it a piece of my heart and soul.
But it is no longer mine. I may have written the words, but the story now belongs to you, my readers.
My only hope is that you will find a piece of yourself within these pages, and maybe, just maybe, a piece of your heart, too.