In his poem Harlem, Langston Hughes poses the question: What happens to a dream deferred? In my case, it festered.
This March, it’ll be 10 years since my middle son was in a horseback riding accident that changed all of our lives. It was a devastating experience, but one that I believe God worked for our good. The story of Blake’s accident and of my dream are intertwined, for it was after I left my corporate job to care for him that my publisher found me and my dream of being an author came to life.
The next few years had their share of hardships, but in many ways, they were my happiest. We were living on a little homestead in the Missouri hills. I was in the thick of raising my boys—my greatest joys have come from being their mother. I was writing full-time, my books were doing well, and I was working for my publisher.
I’ve actually been pretty blessed with my career. Not so much with moving up the ladder or making tons of money—I move around too much for that—but I’ve had some amazing experiences and made true friends along the way. But with Booktrope and my books, I was in my element. It was that beautiful thing where you work really hard and a lot, but you love it so much you don’t even notice. With Booktrope, I found my people.
So it was devastating to me on so many levels when they folded in 2016. I lost my job, my friends were scattered, my books were delisted, and it was the final nail in the coffin for my marriage. I went back to corporate life because kids like to eat (the divas). I self-pubbed my books on Amazon so they wouldn’t go away entirely, and I didn’t publish again for five years. The books became little more than an interesting conversation piece at the random meeting.
Don’t get me wrong; I’ve had some pretty cool jobs since then. As before, I had amazing experiences and made true friends along the way. But it was always there—that deferred dream festering in my soul.
I have journals filled with ramblings. A hard drive full of book ideas and partially finished stories. Every now and then I’d put forth a burst of effort. I’d make a promise to my readers and promptly break it because life always got in the way. But really, down deep, it felt like my dream had passed me by.
And that ate at me.
I truly believe I did well for the companies I worked for. I gave them my all, drove revenue, and learned much. But that didn’t change the fact that as long as I wasn’t doing what I was created to do, a piece of me was missing. The longer it wore on, the more miserable I became.
And then COVID happened, and I found myself at a forced crossroads. I no longer had the corporate job and I had a choice to make: scramble to find a new one or return to my books. My kids aren’t little anymore; they no longer depend on me quite like they used to. Number one is grown. Number two is moving out in the spring. Number three has a year left. I talked to all three of them and we made a family decision that it was time for me to revive my dream.
As it happened, a couple of friends who are still deeply immersed in the book world reached out because they knew of a successful women’s fiction author who needed a second set of hands to keep up with her platform. Introductions were made, friendships formed, and one thing kind of led to another. Ultimately, two big things came from that meeting.
The first is that I launched my own small business putting my knowledge of publishing, editing, and marketing to use so I could keep my head above water (and a roof over it). Dolittle Author Services got its name because friends jokingly call me Ms Dolittle and it lent itself to the tagline “Because sometimes you just need a little help,” which amused me.
The second is that my existing books got cleaned up interiors, reorganized to better align with their various genres, and they got gorgeous new covers. They’re being relaunched (this week, in fact!) in hopes of breathing new life into them before the launch of my next book.
Last week, my editor and I met to put together a game plan to get the next book done on time (I’m not making that announcement until I’m 1000% sure we can meet the goal; I will not do that to my readers again!) But it is coming. Soon. I actually have a full publication schedule mapped out for 2021.
After a five year drought, there will be new books. Lots and lots of books.
Because I do not want to defer my dream any longer. I don’t want it to dry up or fester because the damage done to me when that happens is too much to bear.
So, wish me luck. And, you know, buy my books.
So, it's been a while since I've done a cover reveal on this site, but this series is too good to keep to myself. I first got the books for my boys, but I quickly got sucked into the fantastical world created by author Kandi J. Wyatt. If you haven't read the first four books of the series yet, you can get them here.
Be sure to scroll all the way down to enter the giveaway!
About the book:
Is there really a right way to braid leather? Ruskya doesn’t know anymore. Is it worth fighting over? Twenty-one winters ago, he was ready to take on the turquoise dragon rider, but now he fears facing his oldest son.
Kyn, Ruskya’s youngling, wonders if he’s going crazy when an image begins haunting his dreams. Soon, he realizes it may be the key to helping not only Ruskya and his son Ardyn, but all younglings and their trainers as they adjust to growing up.
Will Kyn be able to help Ruskya, Ardyn, and the other young riders? Follow your favorite characters from the exciting Dragon Courage series as they empower the next generation and give dragons to their posterity.
About the author:
Even as a young girl, Kandi J Wyatt, had a knack for words. She loved to read them, even if it was on a shampoo bottle! By high school Kandi had learned to put words together on paper to create stories for those she loved. Nowadays, she writes for her kids, whether that's her own five or the hundreds of students she's been lucky to teach. When Kandi's not spinning words to create stories, she's using them to teach students about Spanish, life, and leadership.
As my books slowly find their way back to all of the retailers, I can't help but be a bit giddy. Add to that the fact that I have three stories bumping around my brain at the moment - AND my mare had an adorable, healthy filly this spring - and I can't help but be a bit excited. I want to share my happy with you, so I'm giving away some adorable jewelry that inspired the jewelry in my latest book, Finding Broken Arrow. It's made byDee's Creations, and I have to say their prices, quality, and customer service cannot be beat. Fair disclosure, they're family, but down here in the Ozarks, everyone is a cousin somehow or another...so anyway, you can enter to win below. Good luck!
*contest open in US only
Join My Newsletter
Sign up for my newsletter and get an ebook of Tails, California, the first installment of the Lakeport Romance series, for FREE!
You'll also get behind-the-scenes stories, the occasional free short story, AND the latest on new releases, events, and giveaways.
And pictures of my puppy because he's adorable. (Not that I'm at all biased.)
Please check your email to confirm your subscription.