Authors write books from our hearts. Our stories may sometimes be fiction, but within every story is a large dose of reality. It can be in the characters, the situations, or the details, but most of us put ourselves into our work. Sometimes it’s intentional, sometimes it’s not, but I haven’t met an author yet or read a book that was purely “fiction.”
When I started this journey almost a year ago now, I had no idea what would happen or how I would do. I didn’t know if anyone would even read my work. But, I gave it my all and wrote my story, my way… and for the most part people enjoyed it.
My first published book, my first book really, is Alluring Turmoil. It was a book that was in my head for about 10 years and I literally just sat down one day and got it out. I did extensive research and used what I’d learned from being a reader and editor to help me write. It was hard and exhausting and expensive, but it was also empowering and exhilarating.
Within literally days of releasing, people were messaging me about the book and how much they’d enjoyed reading it. How they liked that the characters were relatable (even though some were rock stars) and my work was being talked about by readers all over the world. It was an amazing and scary feeling.
Since last summer, I’ve produced 4 books. I’ve attended multiple events as a featured author. I’m made genuine friendships with other authors, bloggers, and readers from across the globe. I’m now able to call people I’ve admired for years and read and absorbed their words, my friends. How many people does that happen to? (Honestly more than you’d think.)
Almost a year ago I was a wife, mother, daughter, friend, part-time editor, etc… and now I’m still all of those things, but I’m also a bestselling published author. I still wake up every day and go, “Is this really my life? Am I really making a living doing something I not only enjoy, but absolutely LOVE?!”
I receive many, many messages, e-mails, Tweets, etc daily now. Some are creepy, some are mean, some are kind and awesome, and one or two have touched me and changed my life. Last November, I received an e-mail from a woman who’d read Alluring Turmoil and she said it changed her life so she had to message me and thank me. I’ve never been more moved and touched in my entire life than I was after receiving that message.
Mandy was the woman’s name and she reached out to me after suffering unimaginable pain, heartbreak, and loss. You can find her message HERE.
Occasionally, people come into our lives at exactly the right moment and reaffirm what we already know. This happened with Mandy. I was a “new” author and for the most part, people were loving my book, but there were those who just shredded and trashed me and the book. It was hard at first. As you learn and grow, you learn to let it roll off your back, but when you’re new… it stings and it makes you question things. You can have 200 great reviews and those 5 bad ones are the ones you focus on. (That doesn’t happen anymore.)
I was really down after a few bad reviews when I received Mandy’s message and wow… it really woke me up. It reaffirmed that I don’t write for haters and some people WILL hate on you. It’s unavoidable, yet those are not the people you write for. You write for the one’s that DO love your work. You write for the one’s that take the time to follow you and get to know you and support you. You write for the one’s like Mandy.
Last night, I was lying in bed with my husband and I got a ping on my phone alerting me to a new Google message. I checked it and recognized the sender. Immediately I checked the message and this is what I found:
“Dear Mrs. Turner,
It’s Mandy again. I hope this letter finds you well and I am not bothering you. I follow you on Facebook and Twitter now I am so happy for your success. You are an inspiration to me and I hope I can be as strong as you eventually. I’m getting there one day at a time.
I have bought and read all of your novels and I tell everyone to read them. I even tell them why I love you so much. I hope that is not weird. What I mean is I tell them that the reason I can walk around smiling and laughing is thanks to you. I was in a very dark place and as I told you before, I did not care if I lived or died. I thought about suicide a lot.
I wanted to give you an update on my life because in all honestly you and your book are the reason I am at this place and I just wanted to thank you again. I am so grateful for you and the book being brought into my life when it was.
I have started working again. I am a nurse. Did I tell you that? I am working at the hospital and I love it. I can help people every day. I often recommend your book to my patients who are just really feeling down. Many of them have taken that recommendation. I am also dating. I never thought I would date again. I thought Rick was my end, my soul mate. He was. He will always be the man who stole my heart as a child and never gave it back. He’s my star. But I am dating a friend of ours now. We’ve taken things very slow and have been dating about 3 months. He’s a good man and is very patient with me. He stays even with my baggage. In fact, he reminds me very much of both Jessie and Liam. He was a bad boy and has made some stupid choices in life but he cares for me. We make each other better.
All of your books touch me. They all make me smile, chuckle, and cry. They make me feel alive and I never thought I cold have that again. Thank you so much for writing. Thank you for being yourself and warm and open and inviting with others. I think the reason I love your books is because I can see myself in every book. I can feel that you are a genuine person and I think that it’s why you are so loved.
I think your calling was to do this. You wrote a book about second chances and I took a chance and read it and you saved my life.
Please don’t ever stop writing. You are one of the gems of the world and I am so grateful to you.
It took me 2 hours to get through this.
Thank you Mandy! Best Wishes and I am so thrilled for you.
We all write because we want others to read it. If we’re lucky, people do… If we’re really lucky, we touch people’s lives… and THAT is the best feeling in the world!