One of my best friends and soul sisters, Jadie Jones, just recently had her first novel published by WiDo Publishing. For me, it was probably almost as exciting as when I published Bimini, The Romance; maybe even a little more so.
You want your friends to succeed. At least, I do. The way I look at life and view the world is that when the people we're close to do well, they elevate us and inspire us to do well also. Our successes and joys should always be cause for celebration and when "my" people are happy, so am I.
I was privileged to be able to read the first draft of Moonlit. When Jadie and I had first met three years ago and I'd told her I'd been struggling to finish my first book, she'd confided that she'd been working on one as well for quite some time and that she, like I had with mine, would work on it sporadically and then put it down for months at a time.
When she started working on it again, I hoped that she would finish it and she did. When I read it, I was completely blown away by the sheer force of her talent and her ability to draw the reader into a story... and this was just the rough draft.
I'm not particularly a fan of YA fiction, or I wasn't, but she changed my mind by engaging it in her story. That said, much as I love her wordsmithing and her imagination; it's been her sheer determination that has honestly impressed me more than anything.
I didn't have it easy with the writing of Bimini, The Romance. I worked two jobs, I'm a mom, and had various other things going on in my life at that time; but Jadie, wasn't just a mom... she was a BRAND NEW MOM and she didn't just work two jobs, she worked THREE. She's also a wife and a pretty damn awesome friend. I don't know how she found the time to pound that book out with everything that she was doing outside of writing, but she did.
A few months ago, Jadie, our other soul sister Ashley and I went to Kitty Hawk, NC on a research trip for Moonlit's sequel so I was able to witness first hand the enormous dedication she has to her craft. Long after Ashley and I had gone to bed, she sat up two of the three nights of our trip working until the wee morning hours on the rough draft for book two. During the day, even while we were sight seeing, she was gathering information. Her mind never wandered and she never became distracted from what she was there to do. As I drove part of the way home, she sat beside me in the front seat and typed the final few words of the sequel. Her shout of joy almost caused me to sideswipe the line of traffic in the other lanes, but it was worth the near heart attack to know that she'd completed what she'd set out to do when we left Georgia for North Carolina just a few days before and it will always be one of my favorite memories. Had it been me, I know that I wouldn't have done it. I'm too easily distracted; too easily thrown off course by the thought of a good time.
While she is working on the edits for the sequel now, the first book, Moonlit, is for sale and Jadie will have her launch party at Barnes & Noble this coming Thursday. I'll be there; nothing short of death would make me miss it and even under that circumstance, I would still do my best to find away to watch her come in to her own. She's going to be a best seller. I may not be the best writer in the world, but I am a pretty great reader and I know a good story when I read one.