I’m celebrating this weekend: I just finished the last book of the Doomsday Kids/Ashes, Ashes series.
It will go live on Amazon.com on February 22, 2017. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N6TUACM
Writing these books has been the culmination of an incredible personal journey for me, with as many twists and turns as the tale of survival recounted in the books themselves. Like the kids, I almost gave up. I had a very dark moment of depression where I questioned whether I was a good enough writer and whether anyone cared about the work I was trying to do. I can tell you the exact moment of this deep existential doubt: May 25, 2015.
I was in New York City, at the Book Expo of America #BEA conference at the Javitz Center. The room was full of thousands and thousands of books. The Doomsday Kids were there too– I had paid thousands for them to be represented through the Independent Book Publishers Association’s booth… and thousands more to bring myself and my family up for the event.
I’d been to BEA before… and not found it particularly rewarding. But it’s one of those events that people in traditional publishing encourage and I thought I would try it again.
Good God. And I mean that. God is Good… even when He/She/It rips your heart out and stomps on it.
I have never felt so demoralized. So insignificant.So unloved. Nothing worked out for me with that trip. I didn’t even get to meet the authors I admired– many of whom sign books at BEA. The only good things about the trip were my husband and daughter, who bolstered my flagging morale.
I came home and tried to write Survivors Stories… but it was a losing battle. I didn’t believe anyone cared. I finished it, but it wasn’t very good. Readers blasted me. I got my first bad reviews…
And for a year, I stopped. I just decided to take a break.
God opened a window: a friend who is involved with film and TV suggested I adapt the first book into a screenplay. I loved trying to learn something new and I got good feedback from my efforts. I met a manager, who said “You need to come up with a new title. I can’t help you sell this as Doomsday Kids. It’s too young for the content.” I came up with Ashes, Ashes… which she didn’t like either, but I did. I changed the covers on the ebooks and forgot about it.
And then, because God loves surrender, many of you discovered the books under the new title and started reading. A whole new fan base opened up… and I started making money, which is nice. But to me, the more important thing were the emails asking, “When are you going to write the last book?”
I’ve written it. I cried through most of it– this story has brought me so much, changed me so much. I’m grateful to the kids for coming to me and through me… and to all of you for following their adventure.
Mostly, though I’m thankful to you, the readers– and to God for the gift of this ability to tell stories and for His/Her/Its infinite patience with me.
There will be a new book soon called Paradise– another futuristic tale featuring one our Doomsday survivors, but only in passing. It’s a new world and new people are already populating my brain to be a part of this new story.
I hope you’ll join me in Paradise!