The week that changed everything

This blog post was a long time coming and is tied into so many emotions for me. In May, my novel UNLEASHED went out on submission. This is usually a hugely stressful time for authors, waiting to see if the book they’ve spent countless hours toiling over will sell, if a publisher will love it enough to make an offer to publish it. Usually, it’s a time spent obsessing over your inbox, waiting anxiously for news.

As my book baby went out to publishers, my mom entered hospice care in the final stages of cancer. I was traveling back and forth to Massachusetts to visit her, spending as much time with her as I could. At the same time, I struggled to prepare our house, which had been on the market for a whole year, for showing after showing, while my son was having a major crisis at school.

So this is the background for the week that changed everything. Crazy, right? Yeah, it really was. Then came the call from the hospice house: it was time to prepare for the end. Somewhat numb, I booked my plane ticket from NC, while my sister booked hers from her home in FL. On that last day in North Carolina, I found and enrolled my son in a new school, then I kissed him goodbye and headed to Massachusetts to say goodbye to my mom.

As I sat at my mom’s bedside, I had this odd feeling like big things were about to happen. It was the absolute worst time, as I was away from home, away from my family, waiting for my mom to die. So I almost wasn’t surprised when I got a call that we’d received an offer on the house. It was a good offer too, and we quickly signed a contract to sell the house.

Me and my Mom

My sister and I continued our bedside vigil, and my mom hung on much longer than the doctors had expected. On Thursday night, a week after leaving North Carolina, my lovely agent Sarah delivered more unbelievable news: I had just been offered a three-book contract from Grand Central Publishing, a lifelong dream come true!

My mom was unconscious at this point, but the hospice staff felt that she could still hear us, so I shared my amazing news with her. I was going to be a published author.

The next morning, on her sixty-fourth birthday, my mom passed away.

So, yes, this week changed my life in many and profound ways. My mom was a big supporter of my writing, and I’m so grateful I was able to share my news with her before she passed away.

This one’s for you, Mom…

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