This is going to be a bittersweet week for me. I’ve decided to remove my first book from publication. There are many reasons for this decision, but before I go there I want to talk a bit about what this book means to me.
I started it when I was 21, a recent college graduate. I had hit that pivotal moment of, “I’ve graduated. Now what?” I started writing this before I landed my first post college job, before I moved out of my parents’ house. I started because I had been writing fan fiction in college and I really enjoyed writing and wanted to try my hand at a full-fledged book. I took my favorite fan fiction piece, removed the fan part of it, and got to work.
I worked on that book over the next twelve years. That book was with me when I moved in with my boyfriend, changed jobs, bought a home, got married, adopted a cat, lost a cat, adopted three more cats, and had my son. That book would lay dormant for years, collect dust, then be brushed off and worked on again. That book was with me when I finally took that step from “I want to write a book” to “I’m really going to make this a reality.”
That book also very much represented who I was at 21, not who I was twelve years later when I finally clicked publish.
These characters are a part of me. I know them well, loved them for years. I had a full series planned out, a second book drafted, a third book started. But something happened along the way: I started reading more. I decided to write a new novel, a different novel, a full-fledged contemporary romance. My voice changed.
These first few changes become more changes. My craft grew by leaps and bounds, to the point where this first book doesn’t match my other books. And I fear if readers of my other books were to pick it up, they’d only be disappointed.
Therefore it is time to put this book back on the shelf. One day I could dust it off and rework it to match where my craft has grown. But I don’t have plans for it just yet.
I learned so much with this story, started meeting my first fellow authors, found the start of my voice. So even though I know this is the right decision for my brand and my career, I’m still sad.
Writing is personal but publishing is business. And the business side of me knows it’s time. Therefore at the end of this week I’ll be removing Lila’s Choice from publication. My intention is not to erase it, one really can’t in today’s day and age, but to continue moving forward. It will always have a spot of my physical shelf at home, and a place in my heart.
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