There were two.
The first: holding the “draft copy” of Last Chance Rescue. I was in awe. I caressed the cover; I kept opening the front flap to look at my name inside. The hundreds of hours, the agonizing over edits, and the painstaking care I’d taken in the details of the book and its presentation (cover, layout, etc.) were suddenly all worth it. (Never mind that no one had seen it yet!)
The second: being named as a Finalist in the 2009 Indie Awards. I had struggled with getting the word out about Last Chance Rescue – the requisite “self promotion” doesn’t come naturally. But here was someone else (not just me) saying the book was good! It was validation in its truest sense, and came at a pivotal time.
And now…I can’t wait to do it again! (Novel #2 is about a military officer’s harrowing experience at the hand of terrorists, and his personal journey to learn what is truly worth fighting for, and what True Surrender means.)
And that, more than anything else, may just be the true mark of an author. Because writing is hard work – and it doesn’t pay the bills for many of us. I do it because there are stories that refuse NOT to be told. There are times I think to myself, ‘why in the world would I want to do that again?’ and yet…I can’t resist.
So perhaps there’s a third defining moment that is ongoing!