By: Marie Force
The books are in the warehouse! With those six words from our Casablanca publicist Danielle Jackson last week, my excitement level reached an all-time high. Just when I thought I couldn't be more pumped up for the launch of "Line of Scrimmage," something else happens! Now that the printed copies are in, they will begin shipping to Amazon, Borders, B&N and other outlets. Within the next few days, I might see a copy in my local bookstore. I'm starting to believe this is really going to happen!
As a card-carrying member of the Worst-Case Scenario Club, I own the handbook and according to my kids, I'm always anticipating disaster (they're starting to wise up to my disaster planning and like to call me on it, but that's another post). If there's something to worry about, I've got it covered. The country will suddenly run out of paper, a tornado will suck up the truck carrying my books and send it to Oz, or, worse yet, no one will like it. I'm starting to feel better about that last one. Booklist said, "Ryan has taken some hard hits on the playing field, but nothing prepared him for the break-up of his marriage. Now he’s throwing Super Bowl level energy into a reconciliation, and this is one game he’s determined to win. With its humor and endearing characters, Force’s charming novel will appeal to a broad spectrum of readers, reaching far beyond sports fans." That was nice!
Most of us spend years hoping and praying that one day the books we've slaved over will be published. We imagine all the ways our lives will change (come on, don't tell me you haven't pictured live-in help!) So what has really changed in the year since I got "the call?" Well, frankly, everything. Right up until I got the word that the books were printed and in the warehouse, this seemed like a far-off dream that might come true "someday." That day has now arrived, and I can assure you it's even more exciting than anything I ever imagined.
The last year has also brought a bevy of new friends, most of them my fellow Casablanca authors, who have supported me and pumped me up during the long year since the call. Meeting these talented, supportive, funny ladies has been a special gift that I never saw coming (the photo is many of the Casa gals in San Francisco with our editor, publisher and publicist). The sale of "Line of Scrimmage" also opened the door to RWA's Published Author Network (PAN) and allowed me to wear that oh-so-exciting First Sale ribbon at National. (Since I was also sporting a First Timer ribbon, I had to tell a few people who raised an eyebrow at the combination that "I was late coming to RWA, LOS was my seventh book, and I paid my dues! I swear!" LOL)
Finally, this last year has filled me with a sense of peace about my writing and my journey. It wasn't easy. In fact, the trip was often downright painful. But I'm so glad I never gave up. I'm so glad I didn't throw my hands up in defeat when my new career didn't take off as quickly as I wanted it to. I'm glad I didn't listen to those who would've told me that sports heroes are a no-no. I'm glad I kept writing while I waited to sell because the third book I wrote is now in line to go next. I'm glad I wrote my first book, the book of my heart, because it led me here. It led me to Ryan and Susannah. It led me to "Line of Scrimmage." It started me on a winding path full of twists and turns and adventures and new friends. The dream has come true, and everything has changed.