The Latest from Ana's Blog
Posted at Sep 30, 2015 1:17 pm
We all have them! And I’m not just talking about the ones that invade our sleep at nights. We have waking dreams, the kinds that haunt us on a daily basis. We all want to aspire to something, leave our mark on society, a legacy for our children, but sadly many of us stand by and watch our dreams sleep, slip through our fingers, die, or get crushed by others—sometimes unintentionally, and sometimes with intent.
Michelle Carter from The Doctor’s Secret Bride – Book 1 of Billionaire Brides of Granite Falls Series, had dreams, not just for herself, but also for the destitute kids in her neighborhood. Born into poverty on the wrong side of the tracks, she worked hard to climb out of the ditch she’d been dropped into. She brought her dreams to fruition, only to have them destroyed by the malicious, selfish acts of another.
As she struggled through her pain of betrayal, Michelle screamed. She cried. She ranted. She raged. She vented, but she never wished harm or tried to get revenge on the person who wronged her. Neither did she curl up in a defeated ball and die.
Instead, she went back to the planning board, and started creating another dream.
Michelle had no idea that her simple dream of just getting back on her feet would lead her into the path of handsome, sexy, billionaire Dr. Erik LaCrosse—the man of her—yes, you guessed it—Dreams…
Just imagine what would have, or not have happened if Michelle had been consumed with hate and spent her time plotting her revenge on the person who’d hurt her.
As I write these words, I think of my twenty-something-year-old dream of becoming a published romance author. Back in 1996, I was sure that the first story I wrote was going to make it big, and so I religiously submitted to several New York editors and agents. They loved my writing style, my plot, my premise, and my characters, but the story was “just not right” for them. Rejection after rejection came in. I cried. I sulked. I ranted, and raged… Why didn’t they want my story? What is a ‘right’ or a ‘good fit’? I rewrote and reedited the story over the years to try to make it fit their formula and categories. But nothing I did could convince those editors and agents that my story was worth publishing.
In the meantime, several of my fellow romance authors became published, some of them hit the USA Today and New York Times Bestsellers Lists, and all I had to my credits were a few published short stories.
Was I envious? Heck, yes. But I was happy for them, as well, because I knew they had gone through the same struggles I’d experienced. Their dreams had come true. I knew mine would in time. How did I know? I simply refused to give up.
Like Michelle, I kept my mind focused on my dreams. I ignored the naysayers, and those who asked, “Why don’t you write a real book?” What’s a real book? One without romance, sex, and Happily Ever After? Real or not, I kept rewriting my first story, and two others along the way. I kept submitting them to New York, to no avail.
Finally, it dawned on me that a big publishing house in New York City wasn’t the best channel for my story—a story that my friends finished reading in one to two days because they couldn’t put the manuscript down. Like me, they couldn’t understand why nobody wanted to buy it. Their encouragement and enthusiasm about my writing opened my eyes to the fact that I needed to take charge of my destiny. The era of self-publishing had just begun, and so like Michelle, I started working on a new plan. I self-published a short story at the end of 2011, and then three more in early 2012, just to test the waters.
In May of 2012, I self-published The Doctor’s Secret Bride – Book One of my Billionaire Brides of Granite Falls series. It was the best thing I’d done in years. I sold over 3,000 copies of TDSB in the first month and made three times the amount of advance I would have gotten from New York, and which would have taken me years to earn out before royalty checks began rolling in. The reviews were wonderful, and readers began asking for Book Two – The Mogul’s Reluctant Bride. My dream has come true, because I didn’t quit.
Michelle was not a quitter, either. She was a fighter, a survivor. When life tossed her pencils, she sketched. When it tossed her seeds, she planted. When it tossed her roses, she smelled them and smiled, but she knew from experience that the thorns on those stems could prick her delicate fingers and make her bleed.
And they did—Erik did break her heart; he hurt her. And even then, instead of becoming bitter and vengeful, Michelle whipped out her First-Aid kit and kept on fighting. She believed in her dreams. And eventually, they all came true. The best one was walking proudly down the path to Happily Ever After with Erik by her side.
My parting words to you, my readers: Dream! Dream big! Dream on! Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t, that you shouldn’t, that some other “real” dream is better than the one burning in your heart. Go forth with your head high and your fist tight, ready to tackle the obstacles in life!