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Reflections

 

 

The last few days have been, to say the least, quite eventful and exciting. As I sit here in my office, (built by the world’s most wonderful husband), I am thinking about how much my life has changed in the past eighteen months, five years, ten years, and I am just in awe of it all.

Ten years ago, I was adding two cans of water to a can of chicken soup to make it stretch. If we had crackers to put in it, we were feasting like kings. People think I joke about this, but the sad fact is, it is true.

Life was a struggle back then. Every morning was like playing Russian Roulette. Will they shut the power off today? How will I pay the water bill? How am I going to buy groceries this week? Where am I going to get the money for shoes for the kids?
I worked any job I could get my hands on. Grocery stores, gas stations, I waited tables, and worked in factories. But it seemed that no matter what I did, it wasn’t enough. I did not like where I was or where I saw my life heading. So I took a very big breath and made some very difficult decisions.

I decided to take control of my own life, my own destiny. I packed up my kids, our clothes, and left my husband of 19 years. It was a difficult decision, one that I didn’t make lightly. But it was the right decision.

I filed for divorce and applied to attend college all in the same day. A year later, I was working as a paralegal, making more money than I ever had at any job I had ever worked. I bought a car, got a cell phone, and was able, finally, to buy my kids new shoes!

In 2004 I met the man who is now my husband. We started dating the week of Labor Day, got engaged on Valentine’s Day, and were married tax day, all within seven months! That was the second smartest thing I ever did! ;o) A month later, I graduated college with a B average.

Kevin really is a great guy. I know that no one is perfect, but he is perfect for me! ;o) I can honestly say that without him, I would not be where I am today.

Suzan Tisdale Laiden's Daughter Image

So fast-forward to present day life. This past year has been a whirlwind of excitement! In December of 2011, I published my first book, Laiden’s Daughter.  I was actually discussing this yesterday, with my dear friend Vicky. We were talking about the release of book three and she asked me, “Did you ever think it would be like this?” My answer was a resounding “No!”

When I released Laiden’s, my hope was that maybe I could sell ten copies. I couldn’t see past that number. I thought ten copies would be really cool. Anything beyond that was just silly.

You can imagine how surprised I was when in February 2012 it hit Amazon’s Top 100 Best Sellers List! To date, more than 40,000 copies have been sold around the world. I still can’t wrap my head around it. Findley’s Lass has also sold thousands of copies and pops on and off that Top 100 list.

SUzan Tisdale Finley's Lass Image

I think what has surprised me the most is the number of reviews, emails and Facebook messages that I receive every day, from people who have read my books, people I’ve never met. (No, not everyone has been kind, but that is okay. I’m smart enough to know that there are people out there who, if you gave them $5,000, they would gripe that you didn’t gift wrap it.)

The outpouring of kind words from people, mostly women, who contact me to let me know that they loved my books, is mind-boggling. I never once thought the response would be what it is. For all of you, please know my heart and know that I am humbled and eternally grateful to each of you! Without you, I know that I would not be enjoying this beautiful ride!

So here I am, a little over a year later, and I am releasing my third book in a few days. The response has been amazing. I still can’t believe it how many people have been waiting for Wee William’s story!

Last October, I was able to give up my day job and now, I write full time. If anyone would have told me a year ago that I would be a full time writer and that my books would be as successful as they are, I would have laughed and said, “Silly bear!”

I love my life. Reflecting back on where I was ten years ago and comparing it to today, kind of makes my head spin and my heart happy, happy, happy.  Who would have thunk it? ;o)

Suzan Tisdale Wee William's Woman Image

I thank God every day for my blessings. Not just for how well my books are doing, but for everything. I look forward to each new day.  I no longer have to worry about where our next meal is coming from. I don’t have to worry about paying the power bill. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a millionaire, but I sure do feel like one! ;o)

From the bottom of my heart, I thank each and every one of you. You really are helping make my dreams come true. Thank you.

With humble gratitude and thanks,

Suzan

Suzan Tisdale Author Photo

About Suzan Tisdale
Suzan lives in the Midwest with her verra handsome carpenter husband, the last of their four children. Monetary donations are currently being accepted to help feed their 15 year old, 6'2", built-like-a-linebacker son and keep him in shoes.

Some people say she is obsessed with writing. Suzan prefers to think of it as a passion. While there is great joy in writing, the biggest joy comes in sharing what you've written with the world. So she writes passionately and shares her work joyfully with the intent of bringing smiles to her readers' faces.

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10 Comments on "Reflections"

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  1. Thank you so much for sharing your story, Suzan! It was so inspiring. My first novel was published on 1/3/13 and while the reviews on Goodreads and Amazon are very positive, sales are not what I hoped they would be. I’m putting in much more time and money trying to get the word out than I think I’ll ever get back. But you reminded me that the joy of great conversations with readers and knowing that people are enjoying your work and get the message you hoped they’d get from it is its own reward – a beautiful one! Thanks again!
    Patricia Mann
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KT6uSuyFIuM

    • Thank you for your kind words Patricia. ;o) Keep in mind, your book has only been out two months…I published my first, Laiden’s Daughter, in December 2011. It didn’t start to sell well until February 2012. ;o) Just don’t give up. Remember, it can sometimes take 25 years to be an overnight success! ;o) Just keep writing.

      Hugs,
      Suzan

  2. Great post, Suzan. I think so many of us writers can relate to a lot of what you mention in this post. Congrats on your success and hope you have many more productive and fun years of book writing ahead of you!

  3. Terrance Leon Austin says:

    Hello Suzan. I read your story on Indie Book week, and I must say it was awesome! I am an unpublished aspiring author. And reading your story(reflections) motivates me to keep writing. You are a blessing Suzan. Thanks, and May GOD continue to prosper you and your family.

    • AWww! Thank you Terrance! Never give up. People say you only live once. I don’t think that is true. You only die once…you get to live every day until then. So live it! ;o)

      Bless you!

      Suzan

  4. This is exciting to read and really inspiring! I’m just at the start of my publishing journey: my novel has been out for six weeks and amazingly has made it to no1 in the Amazon romance chart, and no7 in the overall UK Amazon chart. Self publishing is an exhilarating (and terrifying) experience! I can’t quite believe so many people want to read the story I wrote. And I’m so excited that for me life really does seem to begin at 40 – I left my marriage, too, and started again. Good luck Suzan! What a brilliant story!

  5. Kelly Hand says:

    Suzan–Congratulations on your success! I think all of us would love to hear more about HOW your book began to sell well. Was it purely word of mouth or did you do a lot of proactive marketing to make it happen? I published my novel, Au Pair Report, in late December 2012, and I’m still trying to figure out how to reach my target audience of moms who love to read (without the benefit of a more specific genre such as historical romance).

  6. Hi Kelly!

    I didn’t do ANY marketing. I posted at Facebook and sent a couple of tweets. So purely word of mouth. ;o) I started it at $4.99 in December and realized that was wrong. So I lowered it to 99cents in January. In February it took off and has done amazingly well ever since. Price point was huge. So that first book, Laiden’s Daughter, will always be 99 cents. I figure people are willing to take a 99 cent chance on an unknown author. If they like it, then they won’t balk at $2.99 for the rest of my books. ;o) I look at it this way: I’d rather sell 60,000 books at 99 cents than 100 books at $4.99. ;o) So that is my advice. ;o)

    I am also going to have my books available in audio format. I just hired my voice actor tonight! So excited. Audio books are taking off BIG TIME. So you might want to consider that.

    Also, I know that my experience is not the norm. God has blessed me beyond all comprehension. My success is not the norm. Many of my author friends refer to my story as a Cinderella story and to a certain extent that is true. ;o) I did get to marry my Prince Charming and I am living happily ever after! ;o)

    My next bit of advice is to keep writing. Write until your fingers hurt and your brain turns to mush. I was writing my third book the day I released my second. And I was writing book four before book three was released. ;o)

    Write from your heart, write honestly, passionately and with zeal and fervor. Your heart will never let you down. ;O)

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