Everyone experiences a time in life when validation occurs.
A cop might walk a beat for a week, but then he feels like a cop when he makes that first arrest. Then when he rises to detective, it happens again the first time he not only makes the arrest but sees a conviction after his testimony in court.
A dentist graduates from dental school and although she’s done all kinds of usual procedures on patients (such as a filling or a crown), that first root canal comes along and, with no one looking over her shoulder, bing! She got paid for a complicated procedure that’s part skill and part artistry. That’s dentistry!
An architect (who drew like crazy and built all kinds of things with Legos growing up) finally sees his dream realized when he stands across the street from a high rise built from his plans.
A teacher attends new teacher orientation, draws up seating charts, creates lesson plans, and pulls parent car loop duty. But then a couple of weeks into the year when she’s working one on one with a student, she sees that light bulb moment—the frustration that turns into a beaming smile across his face as he gets it. She herself smiles. Yes, she really is a teacher.
I had my Author Validation moment not too long ago.
My debut medieval historical romance came out in May. I’ll admit I couldn’t help but call it up on Amazon several times that first day, just to SEE IT in all its glory. My beautiful cover (thanks a million times, Ramona Lockwood!). Its description. Even typing in Music For My Soul and having it pop up. That seemed the essence of oozing cool.
You’d think that was my moment of feeling like Mary Tyler Moore—tossing my hat up in the air. I’d made it on my own. And it was a landmark moment for my fledging career as I ventured out to tread in deep waters.
But my watershed moment happened the other day. My wonderful editor Debby sent me the final galley for Outlaw Muse, my western historical that will be released October 9. Once again, thanks to Covers by Ramona, I had a breathtaking, romantic cover. All edits had been done. I just needed to look over this final galley to be sure all was well.
Title page? Check. My name spelled right? Yes. Copyright info? It’s there. Dedication to my parents? Ah . . . just right.
But True Author Validation hit me at the end of the book. After 351 pages, Daman and Serena arrive at their Happily Ever After (Isn’t it nice in romance that it’s not a spoiler to shout from the rooftops that your hero and heroine wind up together, forever?).
And then . . .
Page 352. Other titles by Lauren Linwood Available Now. And there was an entire page dedicated to Music For My Soul. Its description. The buy link to click on.
And … it got even better. TWO PAGES (353 and 354) that stated:
Available January, 2014. A Game of Chance. Then the back cover blurb about Jed & Lily and their wonderful story set in San Francisco.
Folks, I had arrived as an author! Me. Lauren Linwood. Somewhere out there in Reader Land, someone will finish reading Outlaw Muse. And then she’ll see that I have another book already out there. And another one being released in less than three months.
Yes, it was my WOW moment. Author Validation. Gosh, it felt pretty darn good. To have a track record. A history. As a published author. I liken it in my mind to my Red Carpet moment. I’ll bet there are actors out there that are nominated for an Academy Award, and no matter how many film roles they’ve taken on, the moment their foot leaves the limo and hits the Red Carpet, they know . . . they have arrived in their business, and nothing will ever be the same again. From now on, in interviews and coming attractions, they will have Academy Award Nominee (and maybe Winner!) attached to their name.
That’s what I experienced looking at Pages 352, 353, and 354. Sigh . . .
In the words of the famous Sheldon Cooper? Bazinga!