My Favorite Things in 2016

As some of you may have seen on the old BookFace, there’s a blog post going around that’s being shared and applauded by quite a few authors, readers and other bloggers. The blog post essentially listed what they hated about the industry in 2016 and what they wanted to see go away in 2017. One of those things was models turned author. Being a model turned author, it obviously caught my attention.

Now, do these ladies have every right in the world to share their opinion? Of course. 100%. I wouldn’t have joined the Army and defended that right if I thought otherwise. But in that same breath, I have the right to counter.

First off, who celebrates the holiday season by making a list of things they hated about the year? It’s counterproductive, and so ridiculously Bah Humbug. It should be all the time, but especially this time of year, we should be celebrating each other, not tearing each other down.

A model wants to become an author… great! A photographer wants to try their hand at modeling… bring it on! A cover designer wants to photograph... I’m all for it! You get my point. We all start somewhere, and many of your favorite authors today started as readers. Many don’t have writing degrees. So what is the standard to be accepted as a legitimate writer? Who set those standards to begin with? Writing is something ingrained in you from birth. Writing is the time in fifth grade I turned in a twenty-five-page story when only three pages were required, for the sheer joy of writing alone. God knows I was no teacher’s pet. Writing is dropping a finance major to pursue one in writing instead in order to chase a dream. We are all blessed with many different abilities over many different spectrums, and I say we should spend a lifetime exploring each and every one of them.

But in the end, I don’t need to defend my work. I think, the most important voice a writer can have is right between the covers. What I will do is counter this whole “here’s all the things I hate” BS with all the things I loved about 2016.

 

1.     The Book Splash cruise was the first one I have ever been on and I couldn’t imagine a better group of individuals to spend it with. I had an incredible time with a passionate, creative and ridiculously fun group of authors, photographers, models and readers. I wish you all could’ve felt what I felt when I received those awards. I was buzzing. It was completely unexpected and so incredibly special. It was unforgettable!

2.     Meeting and befriending so many amazing individuals in this industry, to include; Chris Correia, Reggie Deanching, Shauna Kruse, Mikey Lee, David Michael, Daryl Banner, Seth King and SD Hildreth (Both of whom I better actually get to meet soon!), Amy Briggs, Cassy Roop, Jess Epps, Jennifer Armentrout, Sara Eirew, Heidi McLaughlin and so many more who have made this year truly special. That’s not to include those I met in 2015. I could fill an entire blog post with the names of people who have made this year what it’s been. Thank you!

3.     EVERY 2016 signing I went to was sensational. Seriously, signings are my favorite thing in this world and I leave each one on an incredible natural high! I will always cherish my time spent with you amazing readers and my book family.

4.     Let’s hear it for PAs! What in the world would we do without them? I’m so incredibly lucky to have Cara, Cat and Laura helping me behind the scenes and working their butts off day in and day out. Cheers to all the selfless, hardworking Pas out there!

5.     Cutting edge covers!!! My Facebook feed has been pretty much owned by the romance world since getting into the industry, which I’m very much okay with, but that means I’ve seen my fair share of book covers, and I have to say, there’s been more covers this year I’ve been absolutely floored by than ever before. A few that come to mind are Soulless by TM Frazier, El Diablo by M. Robinson, Killer by Heather Leigh, and Tiger Shark by LP Lovell, to name a few. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Right behind the actual story, there’s nothing I love more than a unique, interesting and cutting edge cover. Can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store!

6.     The entire romance community because regardless of a few bad apples, this is the best thing I’ve ever been a part of. There is so much love and support within this industry. I’m blown away, time and time again, by how kind and compassionate most of this community can be. It’s been an honor getting to know you all and being able to share pieces of myself with you. I write for YOU.

I can’t wait to see what 2017 brings for us all… because like my boy, Golden, said… I’m not f’n going anywhere.