Thursday, March 31, 2016

A Moment of Reflection

Hey, all! Forgive me, as it’s been FOREVER since I blogged. I used to do it regularly until time and life got away. But I thought it was important to do one today because…

TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY. Yup, today is the first day of the last year of my twenties. It’s been a wild ride so far and I’m only excited for what’s ahead.

I decided I wanted to reflect today. I want to touch upon my life happenings as well as my goals as I enter this next phase of my life/ career. I will touch upon my author happenings as well as just life in general. I’ll try not to make this post too long, but I know posts like these help new writers and since I’ve been wanting to do one since I first hit publish I thought now would be a perfect time!

So let’s begin!

Something happened to me November 2012. I hit publish on my first written work. It was called “Holiday Fling” and a lot was happening during that time. I was in graduate school as I once thought I wanted to work in politics in another life, hehe, and I had just been rejected from a publisher. I was also accepted by one, but ultimately I decided to publish both works on my own. I submitted them both on Amazon within a few weeks of each other, and… not too much happened, lol. This was expected. I was new and needed to find my audience.

This was such a confusing time for me. I thought I wanted to be a writer as I found I got more joy writing books than I ever did pursuing a career in government. Me and the hubby had just gotten married a year prior. He was in school as well and we both just really didn’t know what we wanted to do with our lives. Financially, we were kids. We made kid decisions and paid for them. Meanwhile, I continued to write. I put out two more books in the same series, but as I watched those titles flounder and the genre I was in change around me I realized something:

I wasn’t writing what I wanted. I wasn’t feeling what I was writing so what did I do?

I changed what I wrote. I decided to write something for me. Something that made me feel. That book turned out to be THE SPACE BETWEEN and I wrote it in about two weeks. It was the easiest first draft I ever wrote. I loved everything about it. The problem was I had no idea what to do after that. I had this book I loved but didn’t know where to go with it. I put it out and it did a little better than my first series, but eventually the sales did level out. Meanwhile, in my life, things at school went very turbulent. I saw my priorities changing. I hated school. I hated every day I made myself go because that was time I could have spent writing. I found myself in class even writing in front of my professors! Ultimately, I decided to leave. I had only my Master’s thesis left. It was the craziest decision I ever made and very scary financially. I had no job as I was in school. I later found one, but it didn’t really give me much purpose. But I thank God every day for that job. It was there when my life changed.

I got the idea for FOUND BY YOU while working there which was the second easiest book I ever wrote. That one took about three weeks. I also cut off almost all my hair during that time. I felt myself changing spiritually and mentally. I wanted to start over. I wanted to find: ME, and that’s when my life started spinning in such an amazing way.

I put out FOUND BY YOU right after I put out the second/ third book in THE SPACE BETWEEN series. 

I was also interacting more online. I met so many wondering readers/ authors in Facebook groups and it was there I found my people yo! I was like: where have you been all my life!!! You all embraced me with open arms. I felt things happening for myself and not just career wise. 

I saw so much change in myself. I was embracing my new me. I had never seen my “real” hair before. I had perms since I was five so I don’t even remember it. It started to grow. The hair kept getting bigger and bigger, and so did my confidence. 

Me today!

Right around that time, I was also able to leave that other job as I’d gotten an offer to work somewhere more suited for my education. I actually think I got the offer the same week that I found out something…

FOUND BY YOU had hit number one in my genre, and not only that, THE SPACE BETWEEN BOXED SET was number two.

I tell you what: I cried. Like straight ugly tears. And it wasn’t just the books hitting, it was everything. The new job, finding myself, and just everything. Between my new job and my book sales, we were able to move to a nicer place. I started embracing me and who I was and it just felt like everything was coming in full circle. This was my life. This was it, and guys? I had never been happier.

I’m a new me from when I first turned twenty. I finally feel like I know who I am. I’m a girl who loves to write. I like the girly things like hair and makeup (also something new to me. I couldn’t even wear lip gloss two years ago!). I love the nerdy things like comics and video games.

And I FREAKING love Kpop! Haha. I discovered the genre while working on THE DIVIDING LINE and my life was forever changed. I love the brightness and excitement of it all, which was why I wrote my newest novel.

Today I officially published my fifteenth novel since 11/2012. It’s called SUGAR LOVE and it’s everything I am at twenty-nine years of age. And even though I go into my thirties with new goals (having my first child, buying my first house, visiting a foreign country), I will always value everything I did before. I needed those things. I needed those struggles. I made a LOT of mistakes. I made them in life, my career, financially, but I also made a lot of good choices too. Those choices allowed me so many opportunities. I never thought I’d be able to make a living telling my stories, but as it turns out that may be possible very soon.

I’ve published 15 titles, held top spots on Amazon, won a few awards, and sold over 30,000 paid units since that first little story in 2012. It’s more than I could have ever dreamed. If I could give any advice to new writers, I would say to find yourself. Find yourself and find your people. Find those folks because they will get you. They will get who you are and what you do. I thank every day for those people who gave me a chance on Facebook. They didn’t need to but they did and so many of them I am happy to call friends. Also, stay positive. It’s so easy to fall into pitfalls and compare yourself to others. Don’t. Do you. Set your own goals and be your own maker. You control your own ship. Don’t let others bring you down! Also, surround yourself with good people. A good squad will get you through!

RWA 2015

Here’s to the next phase of life and I have to say, I can’t wait for it :)

- V <3

If you'd like to check out SUGAR LOVE, head over to Amazon! It's currently available for FREE on Kindle Unlimited :)

Buy Link: Amazon

Images for the photo shoot!



That's some kind of name, isn't it?

It wasn't any type of name I'd heard of, but across the world, it seemed I was the only one.

You see, he's an international superstar, talented, sexy, and one day, he comes walking into my record store. He tells me he wants to buy some music, and later on, wants to get to know me a little better.

I had no idea he was here for his American debut, nor that he was one of the most successful rappers South Korean music had ever seen. If I had, I might not have been so frazzled when I found out and accidentally kidnapped him.

But then again...

Maybe that wouldn’t have mattered anyway.


Clare said...

<3 Victoria, I love you. I've been following you career since you signed with Curiosity Quills for The Crimson Hunt, and reading this blog post and seeing how far you've come in the past few years is so inspirational. Congratulations on all the success, both career-wise, and personally. I hope your final year as a twenty-something is excellent, and your thirties bring you just as much love, happiness and success!

Dorothy Irvin said...

Thank you Victoria for sharing your remarkable journey, I love the growth you've shown and Your determination and dedication to what you hold dear. I wish you continued success both professionally and personally.

One of your favorite fans
Dee Dee ��

Anonymous said...

It was nice reading this blog post, it's great being able to look into what motivates/inspires authors. If you have the time, can you write more posts about how you write?

I noticed you said you wrote 15 books....I don't see 15 books listed in your book page?

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Glad you found yourself and your calling. I also dropped out of University so I get how tough that decision can be. You are moving forward in your life with both happiness and success Victoria. Congratulations.



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