A Year In The Life Of A Grateful New Author by AJ Adaire (2014 Lesbian Fiction Appreciation Event)

Jan 23, 2014 by

A Year In The Life Of A Grateful New Author by AJ Adaire (2014 Lesbian Fiction Appreciation Event)

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Wow! What an amazing roller coaster ride the last twelve months have been. Through my writing I’ve been fortunate to get to know some wonderful people, and have made friends with women across the country and around the world…more on that later.

The year began less than auspiciously when a popular publisher rejected my book. (That’s really no fun, just in case anyone wonders.) I’d originally written Sunset Island chronologically. Unfortunately, in order for the story to progress it became necessary to ‘kill off’ one of the major characters about a quarter of the way through the book. My partner called me a murderer for two weeks, and nobody seemed to like the demise as I’d written it. Beta readers, Lee Fitzsimmons and Kris K., worked with me as I revamped the story. In the new version, the reader learns of the character’s death through a flashback later in the story. Although the rewrite painfully eliminated about 20,000 words, it resulted in a stronger story.

Just before I finished the rewrite of Sunset Island, I had a second story rejected by the same publisher. Disheartened, I’d pretty much decided to give up. A couple of months later, in June, Lee Fitsimmons and Stein Willard started Desert Palm Press and my life changed dramatically. Lee offered me a contract for three books, and signed me on as a DPP author. We again tackled Sunset Island, gave it a final polish, and released it three months later. Sunset Island quickly shot to #1 in its category where it remained for several weeks.

In just six months Lee’s first three releases have managed to all be in the top twenty on Amazon at the same time. I know how hard she’s worked to achieve this, and I’m grateful for her friendship in addition to our working relationship. I’m also appreciative of Sue Hilliker’s presence in my life. She edited my books, reading them repeatedly until we got them right. Our working relationship has grown to a more personal one and has expanded the list of new friendships brought to me by my books to the land ‘down under.’

My favorite part of being a published author involves the opportunity to interact with those who have read my books. Receiving letters from readers in Canada, England, Ireland, and across the US has been a wonderful experience. My appreciation of them is heartfelt, and I’ve personally responded to everyone who contacted me to thank them for their comments. I’ve absolutely loved getting letters from the readers who told me how much they enjoyed the books. Some have written to ‘complain’ that I’ve kept them up too late at night, or have forced them to set their alarm for an earlier than normal hour so they could finish that last chapter before going to work. Others said they’d loved the little surprises I’ve included in my second book Awaiting My Assignment. One reader wrote to me just six hours after the book showed up on Amazon to tell me that she’d been very surprised by the ‘twists’ in the story and couldn’t wait to tell me how much she’d loved it. To me, knowing I’d entertained someone enough that they’d take the time to write me, or to write a review, has made all the effort involved in the writing process worth every moment.

When my books were accepted for publication, I ignorantly thought that my work was done. Little did I know, my tasks were just beginning. Rereading, editing, rewriting, rereading and rewriting again, proofing each step of the way—all these tasks made writing the book seem easy in comparison. Additionally, there’s publicity and trying to let people know that you have a book available for purchase. I had no clue how much work there would be involved in that…interviews, Twitter, Facebook, and book discussion groups. Each and every one of them takes time—time that I used to devote to writing. Writing the book, I have discovered, is only step one in a very long, difficult, but rewarding journey.

I’ve loved watching the progress of my first published work, Sunset Island (SI), as it climbed to number one, rejoiced when Kay Stigleman wrote me a very complimentary first review and when SI was reviewed by Amazon Vine reviewer, Christy Mahoney. I’m grateful for the support of others as well—Beni Gee for her friendship and for being the first to ‘retweet’ one of my posts on Twitter. Eden Glenn offered me my first interview and through that we’ve gotten to know each other. She was the first author I featured when I started interviewing authors on my website, an idea I loved and promptly borrowed (okay, blatantly stole) from her. Cindy Rizzo won a copy of Sunset Island in a contest and we became online buddies. Her book was released a couple of weeks before my second book, Awaiting My Assignment, came out. Together our books have worked their way up the list of ‘hot new releases’ on Amazon. It’s been fun having her to talk to as we’ve watched our books’ progress. She is only one of the authors I’ve met who has been helpful or offered support and suggestions this year.

This grateful new author has had a year exceeding all expectations. I’ve met and made friends with women from across the country and around the world, have a partner I adore, and two books on Amazon’s best sellers list. All these things are among blessings that are, at this point, too numerous to count. In conclusion, thank you everyone, especially to the readers who have purchased my books, left reviews or written notes, for making this a fabulous year—a year this new author will cherish and remember forever.




About the author:

Twenty years ago, I wrote my first book just to see if I could do it. The novel occupied space on my bookshelf, unread for nearly twenty years until, one day while in a cleaning frenzy, I considered disposing of the neatly stacked but now age-yellowed pages. As I began to read the long forgotten work, I was surprised to discover that the story was enjoyable. Editing and retyping the first book provided a new sense of accomplishment and additional tales followed. Completion of This is Fitting encouraged me to write four more romance novels. I Love My Life and Sunset Island were followed by Awaiting My Assignment and its sequel Anything Your Heart Desires. One Day Longer Than Forever is now complete and in the hands of first readers before the first big edit.

Now retired, there is all the time in the world to write. I live on the east coast with my partner of twenty-nine years. Because we love a challenge, we provide a loving home for two spoiled cats instead of a dog! In addition to writing, any spare time is devoted to reading, mastering new computer programs, and socializing with friends.

Visit my website: http://www.ajadaire.com

Visit My Amazon Author’s Page

Visit my book site ajadairebooks.com


  1. This is an awesome story that resonates well with my own experiences. And you have such a great attitude. Congrats on a year in the trenches!

  2. Sheila

    I’m glad you persevered. Too often authors quit after a rejection or two. We readers miss out on some wonderful books that way.

  3. What a roller-coaster! I’m happy for your success 🙂


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