The Road to Publishing Sweet Bliss

“How did you decide to write a book?” is a question I often hear when I tell someone I’m going to have my debut novel published this fall.

The thing is, I’ve always loved reading and writing. But somewhere between high school and now, life happened and took me in a direction that didn’t involve a lot of reading and writing. Well, not the fun kind, anyways. So one day, after having a thought of a story simmer in my brain for several weeks, I decided I would give creative writing a try. Just for fun. Just to see if I could actually do it. A friendly challenge from me to myself.

When I put the first 10,000 words on paper, I thought, “Huh, that wasn’t so hard.” At 20,000 words, I thought, “That’s almost half way to 50,000. Why stop now? I might as well finish this … whatever it ends up being.” And the story kept on growing. In my head, and on paper. At near full count, I thought, “Wow, I’m actually going to do this.”

When I finally wrote “The end” in my manuscript, I did some amazing cartwheels (in my head, at least, because I can’t actually do those in real life) and then slept. Writing is exhausting. Especially when you do it in the wee hours of the morning. My husband was both excited and relieved. Excited because of what I’d accomplished; relieved because he’d finally have his wife back. Or so he thought…

The twelve-plus months it took me to write my manuscript were so much fun. It was my “me” time. I don’t think I ever seriously thought I would make it to the finish line. But I did, and once I did, I couldn’t help but wonder, “What do I do next?” and also, “Am I crazy to think there is a next?” Because let’s be honest, “next” only happens to like 0.0847% of the aspiring writers population (okay, I totally made up that number, but you get the point).

So off I went on the road to finding a professional editor. That’s when I stumbled upon Jenny. Really, stars aligned. Jenny and Meghan started Tryst Books and were looking for new, promising manuscripts. Jenny loved Tessa, my main character, saw potential in my writing, and decided to take a chance on me. Am I ever thankful that she did!

After months and months of editing, re-writing, more editing, and proofreading, Sweet Bliss was finally done. Almost two years to the day since I started it all. It wasn’t until I saw the final cover version that it felt real. Like, “I wrote a book and it’s actually going to be published” real.

I’m feeling the jitters, for sure. It’s scary as hell. Because people are going to read my novel. But also, I’m smiling. (I’m pretty sure I walk around with a ginormous grin plastered on my face all the time). It’s extremely rewarding and exhilarating – I may be seriously inclined to go through all of this again. Oh, the story lines that are swirling in my head. Please don’t tell my husband.

I hope you enjoy Sweet Bliss when it finally hits the digital book shelves. I promise it will be sassy. And sexy. And sweet. I can’t at all be held responsible if it makes you crave cupcakes, sugar, and sexy times.

I know some of you will adore it, some will like it, and others will wonder how it ever made it into the publishing world. But that’s okay. Really, it is. Because in the end, it’s the journey that counts. And I loved every single minute of mine.

Thanks for reading!

Helena

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