Seven years ago today, I began Livi’s publishing journey with Solomon’s Seal.
I set that date intentionally. It was just over a month after Oblivion concluded that series (I would not, now, have releases so close together, but I wanted it clear and done when Livi started). Traditional book releases are Tuesdays, and my birthday is the 21st, so the 20th was kind of like happy birthday to me as I launched a book I pinned a lot of hope on. It was the most commercial of anything I’d written and I thought it was my best chance to start making more of a living at writing.
The release was on Tuesday the 20th, and my good friend Danni was visiting from Australia the next day, to stay a few days for my birthday, so I had a little local book launch on Wed the 21st, which was also like a birthday party.
…then my niece died. On my birthday. The next couple of days were very rough for that side of my family.
So I don’t really look back at that time with much fondness (though I am still so grateful for all the love and support Danni provided; that will always be with me…also she made me get fitted properly for a bra and bought me fancy ones, which in itself was life-changing).
This makes it a very weird thing to reflect about, but it’s been seven years and I thought Livi’s book birthday deserved an acknowledgment.
In some ways, clearly, it did not meet my hopes. I still desperately love this series, these characters, this world, despite how hard it is to reconnect with it now. It has done much better than my other books, but that is still…not great lol. It probably wasn’t ever realistic to think it could get much traction in a genre where short books rapidly released are the expectation. I think, given my interactions with some people and experiences, I’ve become much more jaded now than when I launched the first book, and there’s a part of me I won’t get back again that I mourn sometimes. There are also some very personal reasons why these books hurt a lot for me to write, which I won’t get into, but that ache never goes away.
There is so much good, though.
Amid the hatemail and that, I still get those quiet little comments from people who bought the books and say how much Livi means to them. (One of you, you know who you are, said you listen to the playlists and think about the characters sometimes, and I swear I coasted on that for days.) Who have loved the books as they are instead of them not being x, y, z, and who just really have enjoyed the journey. It’s always my hope that these stories, which are so very real to me, can live with someone else just a fraction of the way they consume me–knowing that was achieved helps me a lot.
And there are still people finding them.
A few words of personal recommendation a popular blog still sends a few dozen new people over to buy the books (like, even as recently as the first of this month!). Some come over to Patreon. Livi keeps breathing life into my career just by existing.
Even in my darkest moments, where I have a tremendous number of regrets, I am glad I hit publish on that book seven years ago. Grateful for the people it brought to my life, the folks who went on to support the writing of new books, those extra dollars I get sometimes to go toward vet bills. It didn’t meet the hopes I had for the series, and it’s ending too soon, but this is the book that brought so many of you to my work, and I would not be here without you. This book is a big reason why half of my income comes from writing now. This has given me so very much I am grateful for, and I thank Livi for that.
Happy anniversary, girl.