The most frequent question I get is how did you write these so fast. So today, on the heels of the release of the final installment of the Being Me series, I wanted to give you a history of how these books came to be.
While it appeared that I cranked out four installments in two years, the books are a product of eight years of effort. I began writing in 2008, not coincidentally the summer of my high school reunion and first join to social media. My three kids were young and I stayed home with them. During the evenings, I needed an outlet. With all my pent up memories of high school and college, I created a character who was strong and fearless, if not a bit naive.
I started writing in a composition book. Weaving scenes into a plot, I created a world for Amanda, a college freshman full of excitement. My husband watched me scribble on my pages each night and replaced them with a laptop. For four years, I wrote. In 2012, I reluctantly let my sister-in-law and another editor friend read the, then 200,000 word, story. While rough, they saw potential.
I hired an editor and over the course of nine months, I refined the work, splitting it into two manuscripts that became Is This Me? and If I Could Fly. Feeling I had to give the traditional publishing route a shot, I spent three months querying agents. With little results, the manuscript went through final edits. I hired a formatter and cover designer, and Is This Me? came to fruition.
My journey as a young adult is fictionalized and weaved through much of this series. Like Amanda, and many of us, my path was littered with challenges and I lost my way for a bit. The point for me was to create a world that entertained the reader while also inspiring and comforting, much like your best friend would. So yes, there were many tears during this process, and a little sweat too. But the sad tears and happy tears made the journey rich.
I have many people to thank for supporting my efforts to see this series fly. I hope you laugh, cry, cheer on, yell at, maybe even fall in love with the characters of the Being Me series, I certainly have.
All the best,