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Then you read what the readers have to say.
"I loved this book!" D. Lee wrote on Amazon. And countless other e-mails I received about this book just let me know that you can't please everybody.
It takes a lot to make it on the mid-list. I'm more than aware that there are plenty of people who'd like to be in my shoes. I'm thankful to have a contract, especially when Publishers Weekly constantly reminds you that the publishing industry is in big trouble with layoffs at big publishing houses. Maybe that's why being a bestseller has become part of my mission these days.
That's also why it's good to have friends and family on board with your dream. So many times my sister has been in Wal-Mart and sold my book to a shopper wandering around the book section. My mom sells my books in church -- and I'm certain we're going to hell for that because these novels are really steamy. When my dad was waiting for a kidney transplant and had to undergo dialysis, he got his nurses hooked on my books.
So, my plan for 2009 is to kick it up a notch. It's time to step out of my comfort zone and hit cities that I've never visited before to build a bigger fan base.
I'm hoping that if I make the right moves, then maybe I'll be able to write my own happy ending.