My week as a Spotlight Author has ended, and I've had a little time to reflect upon it all, so I wanted to share some of my thoughts with you. :-)
When I tweeted about each day of my journey, I stated that I was a wallflower. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, it means that I tend to hide in the background. I don't like having attention on me. It's weird because I have many friends and am very social when I am around them, but I prefer that the attention is on them. So, I let them shine and stay in the background. I have just as much fun as they, mostly because I don't have to worry about others looking my way.
That leads me to my anxiety issues. I was recently diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, which was no surprise to me given how I've felt the past several years. I don't handle the unknown very well, and I especially don't handle confrontation (even if it's not negative) very well. My heart speeds up; my head either feels very heavy or very light. It's been an interesting few years. Lol!
This year, I told myself that I was going to embrace change and face my fears, and wouldn't you know it that the Rave Reviews Book Club (RRBC) would honor me with the Spotlight Author recognition! I was (and am) honored to have been chosen for this moment. For those of you who aren't sure what that means, it means that RRBC decided to focus its attention on my novels and me for an entire week! I felt like I'd won the literary lottery!
Seven different bloggers wrote a blog on their web site to share my novels and me with their followers. I even was given the opportunity to be a guest on Rave Waves - an Internet-based radio that shares information about authors and their novels. Then, the members of RRBC tweeted and retweeted about those blogs all week long. They commented on the blogs and interacted with me through the various web sites and Twitter. Some of them even shared the blogs on their own web sites! I am truly humbled by the amount of support and interest that these authors and readers showered upon me during this week.
It was nerve-wrecking for me, but it was worth it. The writing was the easy part. I wrote eight different blogs to be shared on the various sites. I focused some of them on my writing process and how I got into writing, and the rest of the blogs were focused on my Diasodz. I was a little worried that my blogs wouldn't be interesting to others. I'm new at having my own web site and don't post as often as I know that I should, so I was worried that other bloggers would hesitate in sharing my writing. Luckily, my fears were for nothing. My writing was not only welcomed but praised, and I'm so grateful for their encouragement.
The most anxious part for me was the Rave Waves interview. I couldn't hide behind a keyboard for that. I had to speak in real time which meant that I had no time to think about my answers. For someone with anxiety issues (like me), that is a huge issue. Some of you are probably wondering how I can be a high school teacher and speak in front of students all day long or speak at conferences and not have the anxiety issues that I was having over a thirty minute radio interview. As a teacher, I am wearing a different "hat," as I like to say. I am performing in front of my students, and they only see the me that I want them to see - the teacher me. As an author, I feel exposed. I feel that everything that I write is being scrutinized and judged, and I've poured my heart and soul into my writing. So, speaking about my novels or my role as an author just seems like I'm standing in a busy airport completely naked for the world to see. Pretty scary. Lol!
I had nothing to fear, though. The host, Bill Ward, was so easy to speak with and was great at keeping the conversation going. I won't lie - my heart was beating ninety to nothing during the entire interview, but I was able to keep it in check and take it all in. Those who were listening were tweeting about it and helping me to sit back and accept that I didn't sound like a complete fool, and that definitely helped as well.
And now the week is over (I survived!), and I can look back and reflect on how absolutely wonderful it was to share my novels and my writing with so many of you. I am beyond grateful to all of you commented on one of the blogs (or all of them) and to all of you who have tweeted and retweeted about my novels. There are way too many people who supported me throughout this week to list all of their names, but I made sure to promote their works via Twitter with my own followers. That was the best way that I could think of thanking each of them.
I am eternally grateful to those who hosted me on their pages (their web sites, their twitter accounts, and a link to their books are all listed on my previous post). And I'm forever grateful to Rave Reviews Book Club! When I joined them, I didn't really know much about them, but they have truly changed my life as an author, and I am so thankful that I found them when I did.
If you are an author or an avid reader, I would HIGHLY recommend that you join the Rave Reviews Book Club. They are a group of readers and writers who love everything literary. They believe in sharing their writing with the world, but most importantly, they believe in sharing the writing of others with the world as well. There are SO many amazing authors in RRBC (trust me, I've read many of their books). We buy each other's books and leave extremely honest reviews. We promote one another's novels, and we help one another improve upon our writing. RRBC isn't just for the published author; it's for anyone who loves to read or write.
There are several writing contests throughout the year. They promote authors through various programs - Books of the Month, Member of the Month, Member of the Week, PUSH Tuesday, Spotlight Author, etc. They publish anthologies of the written works of their members. They have fun blog parties where we travel to different blogs throughout a specific month and help promote one another. And this year they are hosting a Writer's Conference and Book Expo online! The bottom line - RRBC is the club that you really want to join! You know you want to be a part of something that fun, so check them out: https://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com/.
In closing, my heart is filled with gratitude, so thank you for making me feel special. Thank you for sharing my novels. And for those of you who decide to read the Chronicles of the Diasodz, I look forward to reading your reviews. Blessed be, everyone! :-)