Monday, August 1, 2011

A book birthday, a contest winner, and a lot of gratitude

Throughout the weekend, people sent photos of my book on the shelves at WalMarts around the nation.

This morning I've been getting messages from people letting me know Making Waves has downloaded to their Kindles.

It's been out for a couple weeks in Barnes & Noble and Powell's and Amazon, so I guess it's official – Making Waves has released.

If anyone had told me a year ago how chaotic life would be in the days surrounding the release of my debut novel, I might have called my agent and asked if we could trade the book contract for something more relaxing. Electrified nipple clamps, maybe.

That's not to say I'm not giddy and grateful and delighted beyond words.

But I'm also utterly exhausted.

And while it's fresh in my mind, I'll tell you a few things that are helping me keep my sanity right now. Maybe it'll be helpful to those of you with book releases on the horizon, or maybe it'll help someone facing any sort of crazy stressful schedule.

Forgive yourself
You know how I usually write my blog posts the night before and set them to go up at 2:30 a.m.? You can see from the time on this post that I missed the boat today. I hate that. I also hate staring at the big, glossy alumni magazine from my college with its lovely feature on great summer reads. Making Waves isn't on the list, not because they hate me, but because I neglected to tell them about it. I forgot.

You know what? It's not the end of the world. The late blog posts, the missed PR opportunities, the deadlines that have blown past no matter how many late nights and early mornings I've put in these past few weeks. My writing career won't be made or lost based on things like this, and I have to remind myself of that constantly.

My Making Waves pose on Paulina Lake.
Give yourself a break
I had planned to devote my weekend to tackling edits and blog posts and some of the promo tasks sent to me by the amazing publicist at Sourcebooks. Then a friend called. "We're thinking of taking the boat up to Paulina Lake for the afternoon. Want to come?"

The answer to that question should always be YES! Even when you're busy. Especially when you're busy. Your brain can only produce so much, and then it becomes a puddle of cereal mush at the bottom of the garbage disposal. You need mental health breaks. You need a change of scenery. You need to be in the company of friends and loved ones and beautiful things that make you happy and keep you refreshed.

Besides, how cool is this photo of my feet in a semi-sorta reenactment of my book cover?

Let other people help you
I'm not good at accepting help that's offered, and I'm really not good at asking for help in the first place, but I did both this past weekend, and I've gotta tell you – it feels amazing.

My dad spits cherry pits to pick a contest winner.
I love to cook. It's one of my favorite hobbies, but even hobbies can feel overwhelming when you're stressed. When a text message showed up yesterday afternoon that began, "I'm bringing dinner tonight," I literally bawled with gratitude.

And since I was on a roll with the help thing, I called my parents and asked if they'd be willing to go through all the entries in last week's blog contest and address the envelopes to everyone who earned a signed envelope. Not only did they jump right on that task, they offered to pick the winner who will receive the added bonus of a signed copy of Making Waves, along with an advance reading copy of Believe it or Not when it becomes available.

Their selection process involved writing all the entrants' names on a sheet of paper and spitting cherry pits at it. A brilliant solution, so congratulations to Ara Grigorian (who actually wrote a lovely review of Making Waves just last week). Send me your snail mail address and I'll hook you up with your prize).

Thanks so much to all of you who've read the blog, entered the contests, read the book, and posted glowing reviews on Amazon and Goodreads and all over the blogosphere. I am eternally grateful for all the support and kind words you've showered on me through this challenging and thrilling time in my life.

You rock so hard you make me seasick.


Jennifer Delamere said...

Congratulations on the release! Glad you took the mental health break, too. You also have my vote for Most Original Way to Pick a Winner.
My copy of Making Waves is somewhere between Amazon and my house. Can't wait to read it!

Michelle Wolfson said...


Shouldn't there be another set of feet sticking out of that boat??

Julie Glover said...

I'll add to your list: I downloaded Making Waves onto my nook this weekend. I'm not usually a romance reader, but I've enjoyed your blog so much I'm giving it a shot! Congratulations.

Trisha Leigh said...

Congrats on the release. I've ordered my "real" copy and can't wait to coo at it :)

You're a lucky woman to have so many people in your life willing to see when you could use a hand, and then to come and give it. In the end, that's what matters.

The deal for your fantastic book is just the icing on top of the cake.

Elizabeth Flora Ross said...

Just downloaded my copy to my nook! Can't wait to read! Woohoo! Happy Book Birthday, my friend!

Judy,Judy,Judy. said...

I got my copy of Making Waves from amazon last week. Sat down and read it in one sitting. Loved it!
Thanks for the good story, lovable characters and especially for the laughs.
Can't wait for Believe It Or Not!

Ara Grigorian said...

This is unreal! I never win anything. And this prize is actually a real prize. Once I won a cup of coffee at work. But that doesn't count, because coffee is free at work, so my friend was just being a smartass (possibly an ass). I digress. Thank you. I'm off to send you an email!

Thanks again and congrats on your book.


Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Went to my favorite B&N this morning, and doggone it, they didn't have your book. But after I fussed and told 'em it was GREAT, they promised to order some copies. In the meantime, guess I'll try Walmart and/or another B&N tomorrow. I WILL buy that book!!!

Unknown said...

Woo-hoo! Congrats on the release.
So Making Waves is on my way. The bad news is that I'll have to wait like 2 months to get it :(
(The post office sucks here!)
Anyway, so happy for you!! <3

Gabriela Lessa said...

Congratulations on the release, Tawna! Making Waves is uploaded on my Kindle and I can't wait to start reading it.

Christine Tyler said...

Congrats on the release! I've enjoyed your blog so much this may actually be the first romance novel I buy!

Way to go taking care of yourself at this time too. Water can't be drawn from an empty well. Great advice. And I can't believe you're taking the "gradual release" so well. Changes in plans can really make or break a person.

Lynnanne said...

Congrats! Have to chase down Wi-Fi before downloading books on the nooks. did that tonight after work… i'm another one, who, because of your blog and the humor in it went for the book… that and seeing the sample on amazon a few week's back. again, congrats! take a deep breath and enjoy the journey! (easier said than done, i suppose.) :)

Robena Grant said...

Congratulations! I was reading a non-fiction on my Kindle last night, and went to turn it off, saw Making Waves had loaded and I thought, hmmmm, let's just take a quick peek.
All in all I'm not too bleary-eyed today, and I did get some work done. Now I think it's time for a reading break. ; )