Are you brave? I don’t mean riding roller coasters, or taking leaps out of perfectly good airplanes. I mean taking a leap of faith and stepping out of your comfort zone. Putting yourself out there, trying something new.
Last week when I sent in the last pass on Midnight Hour, my final book in the Shadow Falls series, I remembered when the editor called me and asked if I would write a young adult series. I didn’t write YA. I didn’t read YA. I didn’t even particularly like young adults. LOL. (Don’t worry, I’ve grown to love you.) But the point is that I came so close to saying no. I wasn’t going to do it.
The reason was simple. And I kind of hate to even admit it. You see, I was scared. Not trembling I’m-gonna-die kind of scared like I’d feel jumping out of airplane—or being pushed out of one, because I would NOT jump—but the kind of fear that is even more harmful. The kind of fear that can rip away opportunities. The kind of fear that robs you of your dreams. The kind of fear that holds so many of us back from meeting our true potential.
Yup, I was scared of try something new. Scared of failing. I was writing romance novels, and I had that figured out. My books were doing well. I had my career ladder built and was already on the climb. I asked myself, Why risk it?. Why not just stick to what I knew how to do?
Oddly enough, the same thing that was holding me back was what ultimately pushed me forward.
Have you ever met anyone who had so much potential and yet, they never tried. They buried their dreams, their possibilities so deep that they no longer think about them. They quit wanting them. Those two words, “what if” aren’t even part of their vocabulary. They stopped being dreamers and started being accepters. They accept what is, the almost good, the bad, the ho-hum.
When I was young, naïve, and in an abusive marriage, I was one of those people. I had started accepting. With the help of others, I found a new way. I found my way back to dreaming.
And while I wasn’t anywhere close to that dark place when that phone call came in from my editor to write YA. I realized that I had allowed myself get really cozy in my comfort zone. I’d stopped taking risks, stopped dreaming big.
When I think I could have missed it all because I was frightened to take a chance, to try something new, it makes me crazy. It makes me even more courageous. It makes me want to reach out and make sure I light of fire under other settlers. It makes me want to write about characters who are fighting to make their own dreams come true.
Midnight Hour will be my ninth novel, tenth, if you count Almost Midnight, the anthology of five novellas. This series has taken me the New York Times list, to the USA Today list. It brought me to a world I didn’t know existed. The wonderful world of Shadow Falls. It brought all of you into my world.
So, I want to encourage you to stop and check the place where you are. Are you in a comfort zone? Have you stopped dreaming? Have you started accepting? Are you settling?
Today, one person who can tell me how they are pushing past fear and trying to make their dreams come true, will win my very first ARC of Midnight Hour. That’s right, you’ll get to read Miranda’s book and her story of how she finally moved past her fear and the hurdles of being dyslexic, and started reaching her true potential. A second person will win a hardback, signed copy, of E. Katherine Kottaras’s novel, How to Be Brave, which is all about a girl who is trying to overcome her fear, find the life she deserves, and finally learn how to be brave. (Sorry this giveaway is for US residents only. If you’re reading this on Goodreads, you must leave a comment on my website blog to enter. )
Hope you are enjoying your summer.
Winners from my Beach Book Bonanza!!!
The winners from last week’s ebook giveaway are Seline Bala, Lisa V and Sue Chi. Email me at email@example.com to claim your book, and please tell me if you prefer the NOOK or Kindle version.
I want to thank everyone who left a comment on my Beach Book Bonanza blogs. I hope you all learned a bit about some new authors and plan to read their books. The winner of my awesome beach tote is Victoria Flores.You have one week to claim your beach tote. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your mailing address.
And from my Street Team for posting so much, Judy Hodes also gets a beach tote!