I was chatting with someone over Facebook recently, and I spoke about Thanksgiving. I had to tell them that we really don’t have anything similar to this holiday in Australia. We don’t have any day where we stop with our family and give thanks for the previous year.
In Australia we celebrate the normal Christian festivals of Christmas and Easter. On the 25th of April each year we also celebrate ANZAC day – a day where we remember those who’ve fought and died for our country. We also have Labor Day, which celebrates the introduction of an 8-hour working day, and as a Commonwealth country we also celebrate the Queen’s birthday.
The 26th of January is our Australia Day, the date given as the First Fleet (European) settlers arrived in Botany Bay. However we celebrate the day more like the American Independence Day, by enjoying things that we feel makes us “Aussie.”
I guess that now is a good time for me to take stock of the world, and give thanks for the wonderful things that have happened to me as an author. Most of them are going to be trite – because I’m sure many, many authors feel the same way as I do, but just because they are oft said, it doesn’t mean they are not well felt.
What I give thanks for:
1. I need to thank Dreamspinner for giving me the chance to publish. Seriously. There were some things that came before this, and many things that came after, but without Dreamspinner publishing my work, none of it would’ve made any difference.
2. I want to thank Nic Starr for being there from the beginning. With a single contract under my belt, and a six month wait until I hit editing, I really had nothing to cling to. NR Walker introduced me to Nic, saying that she too was about to publish her first story through DSP, and so Nic and I struck up a friendship. Nic held my hand, encouraged me when I needed it, cheered me on at every milestone, listened (endlessly!) to my woes, guided me when I was lost, brainstormed with me when I was stuck, and was always happy to talk.
3. I am grateful for coffee with M/M friends. I was nervous the first time I met someone in real life and said, “Yes, I’m the one behind those books,” but oh, it was wonderful to talk about books, authors and writing, and have others nod and understand. Thank you friends for meeting me: Donna Jones, RJ Jones, Sean Kennedy, Toni Griffin, Nic Starr, Beany Sparks, Lily Lamb, CM Corett, Pia Hoey.
4. Thank you for readers. Oh, wow. Can I ever express how much? I tell people that when I wrote Loving Jay, I never expected to publish it. I was “practicing” writing, with the hope that one day I could publish. I never expected Loving Jay to be good enough. Once it was finished, I thought to myself, “Wow – this isn’t half bad. I wonder if a publisher would take a chance on me?” After DSP gave me the contract, I had modest hopes for it. I hoped for 200 sales in the first 6 months, with 1000 sales being its all-time movement. Since I have over 2000 ratings on Goodreads, I think I made it.
But you readers. OMG. You take my work, you read and believe and love and adore. But most of all, you tell me about it (which is rather goddamn humbling!) and then you recommend me to friends.
I am immensely grateful for every single purchase, every single review, every single email.
In case you missed it, I’ll say it again: I am immensely grateful for every single purchase, every single review, every single email.
5. Thank you to my family for putting up with me. During the months of April to September, I’m a footy widow as my husband abandons me for the football game on each weekend. Now the tables are turned and my husband is an author widower, as I regularly abandon him and the TV for the thrill of writing about two men falling in love.
6. And finally, I’m grateful for every Facebook friend who chatted with me. You know who you are. You keep me sane. You’re there at every hour of the day. You tell me what you want. You tell me your dreams. You tell me your stories. You make me laugh. Thank you for being my friend.
They are the top blessings I have as an author. Thank you.
In other news, today I’m celebrating the anniversary of the release of Safe in His Arms. Twelve glorious months. It’s been a whole year since I introduced everyone to Lon and Casey. Thanks for the great experience.
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