Tuesday, September 4, 2012

My headlines: DBF, hotter than he** and the NYT

When I left my house Friday morning, my biggest concerns were missing my husband, forgetting to pack something important like 17 extra pairs of underwear and not succumbing to the cold I had taken on Thursday.  Little did I know what was ahead...

First of all, I got to spend Friday evening with some of the most talented authors the world has ever seen, as well as some of the most amazing people I've ever known.  We ate great BBQ at a restaurant where my shoes stuck to the floor.  I'm a risk-taker like that;)  Here we are after having closed down the joint.

From the left: Kris, Gloria, Courtney, Fisher, me, Nancy, Amy (bottom) Charlotte, Georgia and Shelly

After a comedy of errors involving the post office and a man that was mean to Fisher, Saturday morning found us setting up our tent in Decatur at the book festival.  The thing is, no one warned us that Atlanta in early September is directly adjacent to the ninth ring of hell, only with more humidity.  I have never, EVER sweated so much in my life!  No lie!  I'm pretty sure I nearly expired.  Here we are in our "Kissing Booth" tent. 

Me, Fisher and Courtney

As you can see, I'm completely wilted and goofy looking by 9 am, whilst they are simply fabulous.  *sigh* 

Anyway, after this picture was taken, we spent the day sweltering in a 412-degree tent all day.  There were highlights other than near-death, though.  I got to meet some readers I've known for months on-line, like these couple of girls, Kathryn and Heather. 

Bless their hearts, I hope they didn't mind my sweaty-author costume:P

I also got to meet an author I've never met.  Her name is Sarah Ross.  She's awesome and lovely and was remarkably dry.  I still don't know how she managed that.

I also got to see my wonderful friend, Autumn, again.  I'm pretty sure I soiled the entire left side of her body to get this picture:)  hehe

All in all, it was hotter than Hades and Fisher, Courtney and I swore we'd never do it again, but still it had some definite highlights.  I got to meet people like Nancy Straight, Shelli Johannes, Jessie Harrell, Charlotte Abel, Liz Reinhardt, J. L. Bryan, Colleen Hoover and Kathleen Tucker (seen below drinking from a caraffe and making me spew my drink everywhere) along with a zillion others. 

I also got to re-see (I love non-words) people like Tiffany King, Carol and Adam Kunz, Heather Robbins, Brittni Guillien, Heather Self, Abbi Glines, Nichole Chase, Michelle Muto, Laura Elliott, Amy Jones, Heather Hildenbrand, Tess Watson and so, so, sooo many more!  For that reason, I can only really call it a good day.

Sunday, Fisher, Courtney and I went to brunch at Restaurant 57, which was PHE-NOM-ENAL!  After that, we went back to the festival to tool around and remind each other how glad we were that we didn't set up our tent again that day.  hehe 

Okay, so here's where it gets SUPER, life-changingly interesting.  Eeeeeeeep!

As we moved around talking to other authors, I got to meet a great girl named Becca Donovan.  She asked me an odd question that would start a chain of events that led to one of the best nights of my entire life.  She asked me something about being a New York Times Bestselling Author.  I still can't remember exactly how that conversation went, mainly because I was so taken off guard. I can't really remember the next 10 or 15 minutes, because I was still wondering about it.  Anyway, when I got back to the hotel room, I called my husband before I got in the shower AGAIN and I told him about my day and about that odd conversation.  After checking out the NYT site, he went on to tell me the most exciting, fulfilling, earth-shattering, ground-breaking, overwhelmingly awesome news of my entire career.  For the week of September 9th, 2012, The Wild Ones appears at #34 on the New York Times Bestselling eBooks.

Yes, I barely squeaked on there, but still...  There are few things, professionally, that could mean more to me.  For the rest of my life, I can lay my head down on my pillow at night and say to myself that I wrote something that made the New York Times Bestseller's list, that I am now and will forever be a New York Times Bestselling author.  I still smile when I think of it that way.  No one will ever be able to take away this honor, this moment or this humbling, gratifying experience.  It's mine.  Forever.  And I'm more thankful than I could ever, ever, EVER say.  Yes, God got me here, but He used every single reader that went out and bought my book to do it.  In other words, YOU!  For that, I am eternally, deeply, profoundly grateful.  To say "thank you" sounds so inadequate I'm almost embarrassed to say it.  But I will anyway.

THANK YOU!  For giving me a reality that is more like the best kind of dream in the world. 

That night, I got to celebrate the news with some of the planet's most incredible people, those who have become like family to me over the past months.  This is us at The Brickstore Pub.

From left: Shelly, Georgia, Gloria, Adam, me, Amy, Kris and Carol

This is before the champagne toast.  About 10 of my friends are missing from this one.  We couldn't all squeeze into the picture:(
And this is me in my natural state:  laughing with my mouth wide open:D

It was a weekend of extremes, but it was amazing nonetheless.  I got to close it out with the likes of Courtney Cole and Fisher Amelie, the best friends a girl could ever ask for.  I just wish Tiffany could've been there:(

And yes, in case you were wondering, I am the Earth's least photogenic person, but you know what?  I'm posting these anyway.  I wanted you to be able to share in this simply wonderful experience.  Maybe next time you can be there for real.  Just not in the summer.  Unless it's in Alaska:)

Love you all and I hope you have a great, great week!!