A few months ago, I entered a writing contest on Craigslist. They were asking for stories about rescue cats, and it was the perfect story for me to write. I wrote this story about the day I got Juno, and submitted it. The ad on Craigslist had said that they would be looking for the best 16 stories submitted. Part of me thought this could potentially be a scam, but they weren't asking for any personal information, so I went for it. I submitted my story that evening, and then I waited.
And then I got an email that said I had been selected! They asked me for a photo of Juno to use in their e-book, and I had to sign a legal release for publication...because I wasn't going to make any money from this story in their book, and they had to have legal allowance to use one of my photos. I sent them a picture of Juno in her signature pose - laying on her back like a baby otter - and signed the release. I asked how long it might take to be available on Amazon, and was told 7-8 weeks.
So I waited.
Then on Friday, I received an email that the book was complete and available for free download on Amazon! I jumped out of bed and onto my laptop, downloaded my copy, and opened it in the Kindle reader app on my computer...and there it was! 16 stories of rescued cats, with MINE right in the middle of it! I was so excited I couldn't think to do anything else but post on Facebook, email my mom, and message a couple of my best friends.
Everyone I talked to all day told me how proud they were of me, how happy they were for me, and were really encouraging and supportive, and I spent the entire day just beaming. Because here's the thing - despite the fact that I won't make any money from this book, and that it is not in print, just online - I am published. In a real book. And that is honestly, my life dream. Has been for as long as I can remember. When I was little, I wrote stories and told my parents I was going to write books. In high school, I submitted writing samples to contests all over the place. In college, I chose writing as a major, knowing it would never get me anywhere financially but that it would get me to my dream: publication. This is what I have always been reaching for, and it has really felt like an unrealistic goal at times; the impossibility of being published has been unmotivating and frustrating.
But with this win, I feel like I can do it. I feel like I will sit down and write that children's book I've always dreamed of writing, that I will have it published, and that my cousins will be able to purchase it at a bookstore (or maybe I'll give them all an autographed copy). In any case, I feel like I did it. I accomplished my dream, and it's pushed me to keep shooting for the next one.
Thank you for all of the support and encouraging words, for reading my blog, for following it and commenting on it, for laughing with me when I write something funny, and for understanding when I write something sad. I am seriously just still, a week later, on cloud nine over this.
Go. Download. Read. And write a review!
RESCUED KITTIES is now available in the Amazon Kindle store! It looks great, and I know you’re going to be so proud to be part of it. You can download your personal copy now. You may also want to encourage your friends & family to take advantage of it being free for the next 5 days. We’re hoping that the “free promotion” will generate interest and a lot of great reviews. J If you don’t have a Kindle, you can simply download a free Kindle Reader app onto your computer. (https://kindle.amazon.com)
Your story about Juno really blessed us, Veronica, and we know the readers are going to love it too. Congratulations again on being one of the 15 chosen authors!