The act of writing is such a solitary journey, but publishing an anthology with 16 other authors was a remarkable adventure.
On June 2, 2015, my debut young adult novel, Accidental Butterfly, released as part of a boxed set called Dirty Boys of Summer. This anthology included 16 full-length sweet and sexy young adult and new adult novels.
On June 10, 2015, sometime in the late afternoon and early evening, my phone and email blew up with the exciting – and heart-stopping – news that our anthology had hit both the New York Times and the USA Today best sellers lists!
I couldn’t breathe. I might have cried. I kept typing THANK YOU!!! to everyone. So many people encouraged me along the way, and as Ernest Hemingway said, “Writing, at its best, is a lonely life.” He was right.
So was Robert De Niro during the 2014 Oscars when he said, “The mind of a writer can be a truly terrifying thing: isolated, neurotic, caffeine-addled, crippled by procrastination and consumed by feelings of panic, self-loathing and soul-crushing inadequacy. And that’s on a good day.”
I am that writer. The crazy one who can live inside her head for days at a time and not come out for a decent conversation with anyone no matter if her world is set on fire…
… and to my hubby I repeatedly promise not to forget how he’s captivated me and wrapped chains around my chaos, held me tight through my storm, and secured my madness with an anchor so strong I felt safe, even as I spiraled out of control…
… and so… in the middle of celebrating with sushi and champagne and wondering how I’d ended up connecting with such amazing authors and supportive readers, my hubby lifted his flute and said, “Congratulations, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Marisa Cleveland,” and I realized that this actually happened.