My friend and fellow author, Christy Pastore, inspired me to share with everyone my journey in publishing Perfectly Imperfect. I have always been a writer; for personal reasons writing was my escape. Years ago, while I was living in Spain, I wrote a scene. Up to this point my writing consisted mostly of poetry and short descriptive narratives and reflections, but one day I had a scene stuck in my head I had to get out. I did what any writer would do and released the thoughts stuck in my head dying to be let free. I wrote a wedding scene with many emotions and beautiful descriptions (I kind of wished it was my wedding).
After rereading it, I shocked myself when I thought, “hey, this could be a book.” A what? I’m sorry I think I lost my mind. NEVER had I thought myself capable of writing a book. I was great at creative writing, but the length of a novel and use of dialogue quite frankly scared me. I decided to try it out. I outlined what the storyline would be, short scenes to use, and then saved it on my laptop to collect electronic dust. That laptop pretty much but died before I moved back from Spain at the end of that year, so that document stayed there, for years, desperately dying to free itself again. I never forgot about it, but what did I know about writing a book? Great I’d write, then what? In 2009 self-publishing wasn’t as common as it is now, so I had no idea that was an option. Maybe it wasn’t back then.
Well, last year I decided I was going to turn on that old laptop and save that file onto a USB. No joke, my laptop overheated and shut off right as I was transferring the files. I figured if it transferred it was meant to be, and if it didn’t, well I wasn’t sure what course of action I’d take. I was hell bent on recreating that scene. Fortunately, it saved on the USB.
Revisiting that scene I had written three and a half years prior was interesting to say the least. Every time I would reread something I wrote in the past, I would hate it. It would no longer resonate with me. This was different. This was mine. This story was such a part of me, that I needed to write it. You all want to know what happened when I started to write it?
A totally different story came to me. Perfectly Imperfect was born. The only things that were used in Perfectly Imperfect from this original idea are the name Mia for my main character and her career. This was not my original story, but I needed to listen to that voice inside of me saying “write your story.” So I did. I risked a lot. I risked letting people read a part of me many didn’t know, but I wrote my story. Of course, it’s not all about me and my life. I am not Mia, and I haven’t met my Grayson-Yet (he’s out there somewhere, right? Book boyfriends really do exist?), but many things in that story are a part of me. Doesn’t every writer use a piece of themselves in everything they write?
I wrote this book for fun; as a way of expressing myself and as a part of my own personal journey and growth. By the time I finished, I had decided I was going to publish. I researched how to go about it, and this time I had done my homework and knew about self-publishing.
Then the questions came. What would people think of my book? What would my family think if they read it? My friends? Fabiola wrote a romance novel? I could just hear the whispers. BUT, I’ve never been one to follow rules (sound familiar?) so I thought heck yeah I’m publishing a romance novel. Let’s have some fun with this. It’s on my bucket list after all, you can’t die without fulfilling your bucket list- and that’s one rule I will always follow. Bucket lists are not meant to be broken, they’re meant to be filled! Remember that kids.
I went through the process, cover design, editing, teasers, oh, I needed to do a cover reveal? No idea what I was doing, but I had a blast. I had the Thelma to my Louise by my side, my great friend Veronica, helping me throughout it all. Down to what picture I’d use for the cover, to reading my manuscript, to creating teasers. Poor girl, I drive her crazy, but I pay her with Gin so she’s happy.
I remember the day I hit publish. I still wake up to this day and think to myself, “Crap, I’m a published author.” Damn straight I am, and I’m proud. Now, what started as a hobby, as a one time thing, became a full-time job. I have met amazing people. I’ve made fabulous friendships, and I’d never turn back.
With that being said, that first wedding scene I told y’all about never fit into Perfectly Imperfect. I never wrote that story, remember? That story was more personal and emotional for me, and I figured I wouldn’t write it. It was too much for me to deal with. Well, I’ve got news for you. It’s being written. As we speak. Will that original scene make it? I’m not sure yet, but I hope so. The rest of the story is the same outline I had created and then some. I’ve cried writing this story like I’ve never cried before. I’m a tough cookie, but it hits close to home. I love that it gets me emotional. So after Perfectly Imperfect (my first love) has been published for nearly three months, Restoring Us (my first born) is being worked on.
What started off as just for fun became a lifestyle. It became what I have been seeking my whole life. I found my place, and I hope to continue to bring you stories that resonate with you all one way or another. Stories that allow you to reflect and grow with. Of course, always with a little smut to make things interesting. So I want to say thank you for supporting me, for believing in me, and for giving me the trust and honor of being a part of your life. I am forever grateful.