Four years ago, yesterday, I published The Light. Several years before I wrote it, I had visions of Bria and Jonah standing on the side of a frozen highway. They were not speaking, not moving. They were doing nothing except standing there. This is how my writing works. Until I write it, I have no idea what happens. The timing for Bria and Jonah to enter my life was awful. I was working as a psychologist—at a job I loved and was good at. I had just become a mom to an exceptionally busy toddler. Eighteen months after he came home, and Bria and Jonah were still begging me to write about them, we flew with our then 3-year-old son across the world yet again to adopt another active toddler who was so loud our driver got a “headache” and never returned. After our return to the US, we packed and moved into a new house.
Those were some seriously crazy days. My patience was pushed beyond breaking so many days, and yet there stood Bria and Jonah unmoving in my head. For those first years, they appeared every once in a while, then they appeared more and more, and then it became clear I would either write about them or go to therapy myself. I say that as a joke, but I’m completely serious! I do not understand why they chose me, because I do feel very much as if I was chosen to tell their story, but I’m so grateful they did. Their entrance into my life changed my life almost as much as the entrance of my husband and each of our sons.
The other reason I delayed writing their story was that I did not view myself as a writer. I’m awful at all things grammar-related. I can’t diagram a sentence to save my life, and I never ever saw myself as creative. To top it off, I had tried to write a novel before The Light, and even my best friends wouldn’t read it. For the first many weeks, every time I wrote a word of The Light, I felt like a total failure. I reminded God over and over that, I wasn’t good at this and that I was far too busy anyway. Somehow I fought past the constant doubts. I carved out precious time—writing every night and any other spare second I could find.
About seventeen months after I started The Light, I published it. I made so many mistakes and learned so much from each of them. Four years later, here we are …
There are now 5 books in The Light Series and a short story. Awakening, the start of a new series, came out last week. Extraordinary, my children’s book and accompanying coloring book, came out earlier in June. My children are older and far more independent. Though we are still telling our 10-year-old to calm down on a fairly regular basis and at least a dozen times a day, we are reminding our 8-year-old not to be so loud (I had not thought of how similar they were to their toddler selves until just now 😊). I am no longer a practicing psychologist; there is only so much time in a day. Unfortunately, I continue to have self-doubt and am tempted to delete each book multiple times throughout the process, but I have gratefully never given in to that temptation.
It has been an incredible four years. I feel so blessed and grateful to each of you for your emails, reviews, love, and support. Please continue to keep me in your prayers. You are always in mine. For the next week (until the 14th), the ebook version of The Light is on sale for 99 cents. Please share it with your friends, and if you haven’t left a review yet, please do. I’m excited to see where we are in the next four years.
PS These are all the different covers The Light has had.