On September 30, 2013, my life changed forever, but in a good way. That was the day I got an email from Champlain Avenue Books, telling me that they wanted to publish my novel, Mending Dreams. It’s been a wild ride since.
On the glorious day I held an honest-to-God copy of my novel, I barely had time to savor the moment before launching into my first-ever marketing campaign, which has become a never-ending process.
The best thing about being published? Hands down, it’s connecting with readers, listening to their take on the novel, answering (or trying to answer) their questions. I have been so gratified by the response to Mending Dreams. My writer friends and colleagues have really come through for me, too: they’ve written reviews, told their friends to buy it, and so on. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: the writing community is one of the most generous in the world, and I feel blessed to be a part of this wacky but wonderful profession.
So, 2013 ended on a high note, and January 2014 saw the actual release of my novel. I tell you, typing my name in the Amazon search box and seeing my novel come up was one of the highlights of my life. I just stared at the computer screen for a while as reality sank in. I felt so validated.
Things went downhill from there for a while. In February, I lost one of my best friends, my 12-year-old German shepherd, Echo, to bone cancer. It was a rough ending to her life, and my beauty endured it with more courage and grace than I did. Reeling from that loss, I faced another: my 15-year-old kitty, Elvie, succumbed to squamous cell carcinoma, and suddenly my animal family was cut in half.
I was grateful for the distraction of my writing career as I immersed myself in marketing Mending Dreams; getting my website up and running, meeting with book club members and participating in “local author” events, approaching librarians and bookstore managers about carrying my book and letting me do a talk in their venue. Meanwhile, I finished a solid draft of my next novel, with the help of my online critique group, and once it “cools”, I’m ready to clean it up and start the dance all over again.
And last September–almost a year to the day since that exhilarating email from Champlain Avenue Books–I found my new best friend, a little whirlwind of white fur and puppy teeth: Thunder, a Swiss shepherd who has all the makings of a great dog if I don’t mess up her training completely. She has definitely halted my writing process for the moment, but the pages are sitting in plain sight, calling my name, and any day now, while Thunder’s taking a rare nap, I’ll sit down at the table and dive back into the fictional world I’ve been building.
9 thoughts on “Catching Up with Bonnie Schroeder”
So happy about your book publication–it's a great book you've written! It is sooo hard losing our animal family members… But welcoming a new member to the family, I think is a wonderful way to honor their memories.
Continued success, Bonnie!
Thanks for revealing all your emotions this last year or so – writers can do that so well. It makes us all feel closer to you and your struggles. I can't wait to see that next book, and the glorious cover on it, as well. I also can't wait to read what you will post here… marketing surprises, writing glories and ghosts, how the dog ate your homework… er I mean writing life. See ya soon!
Thanks, Mad! I know you've been there too.
Thanks, Jackie! You have always supported and encouraged me–like I said, writers are the best!
This past year has had its ups and downs, but the memories of those good things will find their way into your writing even if you draw upon some of the down times, too. But having your books in print will make it all seem right. Best of everything with your writing. The books are memorable.
You're right that we writers can use the bad stuff along with the good; helps redeem it a little, huh? Thanks, Gayle, for all your kind words and good wishes. Your friendship has gotten me through many of those ups and downs.
What a year you've had, Bonnie! Glad to hear about the good stuff. Congrats on your book, and also welcome to Thunder!
Thanks, Linda! You've had a rather busy year yourself, and it was big fun “sharing the stage” with you at the Union Oil Alumni lunch this year.
You really have put so much of yourself in this novel – which is what makes it such a rich read. And you've also become an accomplished speaker! Well done on both counts….