Five years ago, on October 21, 2009, my birthday, my life changed in an amazing way. On that day, I became a published author. I'd had a few short stories out prior, but this was different, bigger, even more special. It was the release day of my very first novel, Conquest.
I had started writing Conquest a few years prior in 2005, but it took time to build courage and polish the story before I really felt confident presenting it to publishers. It's been a wild ride these past five years, many highs, a few lows, but through all this time, all the stories I've written since, Conquest continues to have a special place in my heart and I know it always will.
I've said before that I credit the main character of Conquest, Jesse Alexander, with making me the author I am, and I still do. When I had returned to college to finish my Bachelor's degree in English/Creative Writing, despite having taken some years off from school, I still didn't have a strong focus to become an author. I was dabbling in fantasy, thought that was the direction I was going in, then it all changed. Jesse came to me as a force stronger than anyone or anything I'd ever written about. And with him he brought Evan, Brandon, all those he knew and cared for. He also brought focus and direction, and as I worked on Conquest, I knew then where my heart was for storytelling.
From Conquest came the other books in the series. Then I began other works, the Instincts, the Terra series, some stand alone stories here and there. But it all began with Conquest and it's been the most amazing journey.
Along this journey, I've met some of the most incredible people. Authors and readers who inspire me, and whose kindness and support continue to touch my heart. I'm grateful to everyone who's joined me on this journey. Some of you have been with me since it began, some have joined recently. There really aren't adequate words to fully express how much it means to have you all be part of this journey with me. I'm so very thankful.
So here, on the five year anniversary of Conquest being published, I'm sending out love and gratitude to everyone who has let me share my stories with you. I'm giving my thanks to Jesse who began it all, and every character whose told me their story since. Here's to the journey continuing on.