The “Delilah” excitement for others died down, but I was trying to write my second book. Year by year was ticking by me and I felt so much pressure and had major writer’s block. I felt I was letting everyone and myself down. Then I heard about a class at Barnes and Noble of how to get your self-published book into their store. That’s where I met Kelly Flemming, the manager who taught the class. He loved my book cover, saying that a book cover is half the battle of attracting people to your book. Every year they have an event for a few chosen self-published authors.
I applied and while I waited to find out if I would be one of the chosen few, I decided, now was the time to finish cleaning up the last few edits. And… to be brave and do something I had wanted in my book for twenty years.
In 1998, I worked in the Children’s department of the Cobb County Public Library in Marietta, GA (essentially Atlanta). I came across a fairy tale book called The Snow Queen. It was a newer version of the classic Hans Christian Andersen tale, by Neil Phillip. There was a quote that I knew would be perfect. I had xeroxed the page and kept it all those years with my beginning Delilah notes. I had also, during those twenty years, found a copy of the book. I thought about it all the time. Oh, how much I wanted that quote in the beginning of my book! But I was scared to death of infringing on copyrights and even though I tried to study about them and ask people questions, I was still too scared to actually go for it; thinking the Copyright Police would find me and tell me I did it wrong. But I was not going to let fear hold me back anymore.
I decided to google him and I found him! He was still alive and living in England. I wrote an email to him. So nervous. But the next day I got an enthusiastic reply. He said he would give me permission and gladly!
O. M. G! “Delilah” was bringing me so many dreams coming true. And so my third edition came about, better than ever with everything as it should be. All of my dream exactly as I wanted.
Then I found out I was chosen out of many to be a part of the January 2017 Chattanooga, TN Barnes & Noble event. There were seven of us ready to share our stories on that Saturday. We were each given an official Barnes and Noble event poster with our book cover on it. I could not believe how my “Delilah” journey was continuing. I sold fifteen out of my seventeen books that day. One lady came all the way across the store and found me. She said, “I saw your poster and just knew that is a book I would like to read.” And she got one for her friend too!
“Delilah” at Barnes & Noble.
Things died down after awhile. I thought I had lost my chance forever to get another book in Barnes and Noble. Felt like Kelly Flemming had forgotten me and I lost any future chance to be in the know. I was still struggling with writer’s block. But last year, I decided to join a book club with a new library that opened the year prior in Soddy Daisy, TN. And lo and behold the library was owned by none other than Kelly Flemming! This had to be Divine intervention. I could not believe it. And yet, the whole story came from God to begin with. Why would He let me down? Last summer, I got to choose the book the club would read for August and I chose Delilah. Our little group only hosted about five to six members, but in August, we had fourteen people show up to hear me talk about my book. And I was blessed with their love for it. I even read them the first chapter from the sequel.
Delilah is based on my own personal experiences. Though she is not exactly like me, she has many layers too. In the first book we only get to see a few layers. I wanted to open up more, but I didn’t know how, until after I spent a year in therapy. (A whole other blog someday, maybe.) August 22, 2019 was when I feel I was ‘born again’ or born for the first time. I have been coming out of writer’s block and am finally completing the sequel.
I plan to move my books from the original place I published with to Barnes and Noble Press. I plan to have photo shoots to revise the first book cover and make the second one also. I plan to get the third one photographed as well, while I have my “Delilah” available. (My cosplay friend Alexis.)
I plan to market, market, market. Thank you for joining me on this journey. This is my dream.