One year today.

A year ago today I nervously stumbled around my day job, rushing around trying launch my novel at 12:00pm exactly. We were short staffed that day, but I wouldn’t let that stop me. I ran out the back and jumped on instagram. I selected my photo that was taken the weekend before. I copied my caption which I wrote the night prior. I selected the pages I wanted to post it on and all the other social media that I had secretly set up in preparation for this launch.

I had worked so hard last year leading up to October 12th to get everything organised for the launch. I had worked with editors to get my novel polished and worked with the lovely Bianca O’neill who dotted tirelessly on my cover art. I researched and researched and researched all there was to know about publishing. From setting up and designing this very website and all its photographs and content, to understanding what an ISBN is and what my tax obligations were for selling a book overseas.

All that hard work paid off. I posted it, I shared it, and then I had to put my phone down and run back to work because it was busy. I was sweating bricks, but I continued my work.

The following 24 hours was surreal. My instagram post got over 1000 likes and tens of comments. Friends and family were quick to support, which I am completely thankful for. And then those who I didn’t personally know began to purchase it. People congratulated me and I felt completely proud of what I had achieved.

Weeks had past and I began to get messages from people, some friends, some family, and some readers. They told me they loved the book and that they cried.

I never thought I’d be happy about making other people cry.

But it meant that what I wrote truly touched them, and what I wrote wasn’t for nothing. And at the end of the day, that’s all I could ever ask for in being a writer.

The following months were interesting trying to navigate the ‘marketing’ world. More importantly, I didn’t exactly know how to. But I gave it a crack anyway since at one point, I didn’t know how to write a novel or publish a book, yet here we are. In hindsight, this could’ve been done much better. But hey, what’s a gal to do.

It hasn’t all been sunshine and rainbows, though. I didn’t become a multimillionaire from sales, but more importantly, some writers grants that I applied for I had been knocked back. On the plus, having my novel be seen around the world, having strangers message me and tell me how they loved the book, and starting my next novel is more than I could imagine.

This is only the start of my writing career, and I can’t wait to share my next piece with you.

Thank you to all who have taken the time to read my novel. It truly means everything to me.

Love, Simon

I've yet to post something to my website since I published my very first novel 6 months ago. Today, something tugged with my heart strings enough to remind me why I ever began this wild adventure in the first place.

This afternoon, one of my best friends and I went to see Love, Simon. It was such a beautiful story, one which hasn't been told on our big screens, but something that so many of us have gone through.

I was 16 when I decided that I wanted to write a young adult/coming of age story that inspired and brought hope. I didn't know what that story was going to be or how the hell I was going to do it, but I knew I wanted to. The real reason behind it was because I was going through such a dark time in my life with coming out and there wasn't a single story/movie/novel that I found that I could truly relate to. I'm sure it was out there somewhere, but nothing was 'mainstream'. 

Love, Simon was the movie my 16 year old self needed back in the day. And today, its reminded me of why I began this life of writing; to create something so special it inspires and gives hope to people. I'm so proud of this movie and I can only dare to dream that my novel will bring hope to a fraction of those that this movie/novel did.

So thank you to Becky Albertalli, for this movie wouldn't be possible without you. 

I'm days away from telling the world about my baby.

Everything is happening! Cue mild freak out of nerves and excitement.

I have copies of my novel, I've ordered bulk copies and waiting for them to arrive. I've already published my novel (which was a slight mishap and wasn't the plan I originally had but thats ok) Its just finalising and polishing little bits, like my website, my marketing and social media.

I've technically sold my first book, too. My best friend wanted to be the first to buy it, so I directed him to the amazon website. Yes, its out to the world. Amazon is probably laughing at my right now because its been released for almost a month and only sold one copy.

This entire process has been one of nerves, love, laughter and excitement. Its cemented that this is what I truly want to do with my life. I am itching to get cracking on book number 2. Before I spill any beans on book number 2, I should probably just get book number 1 out in the world. 

The end is near. I can't believe the end is near. Its been a long, wonderful 7 years. 

I have my first ever book in my hands.

Its been a completely surreal experience. I've been writing/editing/proofing/dreaming about this book for years. And now I finally have a physical, printed, binded, with a beautiful jacket, in my hands. Holy fucking shit. 

It's so pretty and I can't stop looking at it. 

How do I look after my new baby though? Am I meant to feed it regularly? Take it for walks? I don't know man, but I'm one proud parent. 

2 months til the launch

Oh wow. Oh wow oh wow oh wow oh wow. 2 months??????????????????! Holy shit.

Am I prepared? Not really. Do I think I'm going to be prepared? I hope so.

I'm kidding. Everything in regards to the actual novel is pretty much done. Just a couple fine tuning things. I even ordered a mock copy of the book, however I do believe that the cover will be printing slightly off. But thats ok because we can fix that. I have my very own book on its way to me. I'm so fucking excited!!!!

I cried when I saw the final cover art. It was truly beautiful and Bianca did an exceptional job and I am so happy with it. 

All jokes and panic aside, I think I might actually be prepared for an October 20th Launch. I do however need to get my butt into gear as the announcement is 1 month away. That means my website, my social media, 

I also had another option in promoting my novel, one which I never really thought was a promising concept as my novel could be seen as, uh, controversial. And thats getting my novel into schools. Yes, it is a young adult novel, however it is also a pretty controversial one at that which deals with mixed issues that young adults may face today. It would be an amazing opportunity if it did get into the 2018 school curriculum, and would help me get my novel published traditionally. But we will see. Nothing is impossible at this stage. 

3 months til the launch

Both my personal, work and writing life are going crazy right now, but I wouldn't change it for the world. My first and foremost priority is this book and getting ready for the launch. My plan is to have everything ready by september 20th, 1 month before the release of my novel. Thats when I plan on announcing my novel and kickstarting the marketing campaign. I have 2 months to get my shit together. 

So where am I now... I've received the manuscript back from the editor after its proof read. I have another friend proof reading it after that (who's currently reading and telling me theres more errors, though much much less than the last time he read it) which means I almost, ALMOST have a complete, finished, ready for the printer, manuscript. I still can't edit to save my life. Nor can I wrap my head around grammar/punctuation. But one day I'll change that. 

My wonderful friend Bianca is working hard on getting the cover art finished. Its almost complete. Just a few hiccups, but I'm super excited to see the final product. I've also picked out the font I want to use for the cover art as well. I'm hoping that in one month's time I will have my very first mock cover in my hands. I plan on being a sobbing mess when I do. 

Next week I'm meeting with the accountant to make sure the business side of self publishing is up to scratch. I've previously set up an ABN, however I wouldn't have a clue of the implications, and quite simply, I don't have the time. 

I have a little hiccup last week at home too where my internet was cut off. Now that its back on, I can have a play around with the website design. I have no idea what I'm going to do for it but heres hoping that it'll look all pretty in 2 months time when I launch. 

I'm also getting in contact with a friend who's a photographer who will help with the professional photos/marketing photos/make me look pretty so people will buy my book.

Tomorrow night I will be catching up with my brother to help with the launch party which I'm planning on being the weekend before the release. I have no idea how to plan a party. 

I have lists, post it notes and an entire diary dedicated to this launch. Im still working full-time, and still will be working full-time up until (and after) the launch. And working out 5 times a week. No, I don't have a social life right now, thanks for asking. 

I'm so thankful to have so many people in my life who can help in all their different ways.