This year, my husband and I declared it as, "The year of adventure!" I quit my job. We moved out of Boone, NC, which I called home for almost 8 years. We downsized and headed to London for three months. While there, we traveled to the Netherlands, Romania, Italy, Greece, Portugal, Scottland, Ireland, Saint Ives, and explored my favorite city of all time: London. If we could have figured out the complex visa situation, we would have loved to call London home, but as it was too tricky, we looked towards the next best thing.
Portland, Oregon was on the horizon. We spent two months getting things in order, bouncing from one family's home to another. We lived out of our car, continuously unpacking and packing our things from one place to the next. Finally, in August, we packed everything we owned into our car and started the trek out west. What we imagined to be a short stay in Tempe, Arizona, quickly turned into a few months.
Arizona is not a place I ever envisioned for myself to live, but it has been an absolute pleasant surprise. Since here, I've met an array of authors and fellow writers. I've connected like I never have before with people who share the same passion as me. I've learned more in the past five months about the industry than I have in the time I've been a writer leading up to this point. I'm so grateful for what Arizona has gifted me in this. We plan to stay here at least until the summer, but we aren't putting a cap on our time here either. Portland is still calling our name, but right now, I am embracing the magic of the desert life. Sure, I've only seen rain once since I've moved here, but I'm soaking in the sun while I have the opportunity.
I wrote my second novel in 2017 (Title still to be decided), and I am so excited to share it with the world! I have beta readers reading it and making notes as I take a step back from the novel for now. Here's a little tease of what my new realistic young adult novel is about:
Mercer is an artsy, athletic, family oriented senior in high school who is hoping to make it to the end of the year and off to college in one piece. Something at her core tugs hard and she wonders what makes her different from so many others. She battles with accepting herself as she is and hopes desperately that her family can do the same.
Through love and friendship, Mercer takes on her last year of high school with her best friends, Camille: the feisty, outspoken beauty, Jed: the mature, intelligent, cool guy, Lainey: the perfect, hard-working, driven blonde, and Eli: the zesty, flamboyant Korean-American flaky friend, who all face their own troubles of relationships and the daunting task of figuring out what’s next.
I'm going to continue working on my first novel, Jasper's Mountain, with my editor. My goal is to have it printed and formatted into an ebook by the end of this year so that you can finally read the finished product.
2018 is looking bright, and I'm ready to take my writing career to the next level. I hope you're pumped about this year too! Cheers to working hard and enjoying every minute of it.