How is your spring going so far? What’s the weather like where you’re at? May began with temps in the thirties and some mornings with frost on the ground, but I’m happy to report it’s finally sixty and sunny in Minnesota. I’ve been taking advantage of every second in the evenings by taking long walks with the pups. I also intend to spend much of this spring and the beginning of summer searching for the perfect house to buy.
As noted in previous blogs, my living situation is a bit up in the air, but I’m working to find a new place. The housing market is crazy right now and properties are going as quick as they’re put on sale. There were a few great ones that I would’ve loved to have taken but the time and price wasn’t right. That just leads me to believe that the one for me is still out there and I’ll know when to get that offer on the table. In the meantime, I’m trying to move forward again with a few things, so read on to find out the latest updates.
After battling with ACX for nearly two months to get the problems with the audio scripts sorted out, I’m happy to report that potential narrators can now download them again without issue. While I waited for that situation to resolve, I weighed the pros and cons of having the same narrator for each series. After much consideration, I’m going to pursue different narrators for each book. My ultimate goal is to get them produced before the end of this year and to avoid ALL the issues I had with Kodi. I think the easiest way to do that is to go with the narrator who meets all of my criteria for each book rather than trying to find someone who might be a fit for one book, but isn’t ideal for another one in the series.
As much as it pains me to stay tied to Kodi as the narrator of Conflicted, it’s going to save me a lot of time, energy, money, and stress to just swallow what happened and dissolve the contract once the seven years are up on it. I hate that she’ll make a profit off Conflicted, but it is what it is and karma always comes around—that’s what I keep telling myself anyway. I’m choosing to look on the positive side and am excited to move forward with this new plan in place. I’ve received some great auditions over the past year and look forward to putting some offers on the table with some narrators I really liked. Let’s all cross our fingers that whoever I pick will be willing to accept my offers and can produce the audiobook in a timely fashion.
As noted in previous blogs, I’ll be at the Mall of America in Minnesota on August 6th for the Royal Readers Event. I’ve done this signing in the past and enjoyed it. I’m thrilled to do it again and to bring my bestie’s daughter as my assistant. She’s stoked to join me, and we hope to see you there! You can learn more about the event here → https://www.royaltouchphotography.com/event.
On a final note and a subject that is dear to my heart, May is Mental Health Awareness month. After losing someone very close to me in the last six months, I have an even greater appreciation for self-care and taking care of yourself physically and mentally more than ever. Discussing our mental health and struggles is still such a difficult task in this country and it really shouldn’t be. We're still so far away from where we need to be when it comes to having a better understanding of the struggles people go through when it comes to mental health. We’ve been trained to NOT talk about those kinds of problems and to be ashamed of them, which is a travesty.
As someone who has had their anxiety skyrocket in the wake of loss and dealing with grief as well as a degree of OCD, mental health is something VERY personal to me. It’s part of the reason I wrote the Someday Series in the first place. All three books dive into mental health for teenagers and young adults and the struggles they endure while trying to cope with mental health issues that are often misunderstood. Although I don't have the degree of anxiety Bri does, I know a lot of people who do and how difficult it is to cope some days. Because of what I have seen and what I have experienced, I wanted to shed light on it and why it's so important for people to talk about their mental health issues and seek help when needed.
Throughout Fighting for Someday, Waiting for Someday, and Finding Our Someday, I do my best to show readers the depths of Bri's anxiety and how it affects her life in varying ways. On the surface, she’s picture perfect—as many people are who struggle with anxiety—but underneath she struggles on a daily basis to find balance. Finding Our Someday dives into her struggles the most and you really get to see how devastating anxiety attacks can be and what can happen to you if you don't get proper help to deal with them.
My heart broke so many times for Bri while writing those scenes, but it was something I really wanted to show the reader, so people who do struggle with any form of mental health issues find the strength to seek help. If you live in Minnesota, you can seek assistance with Mental Health Minnesota 800.862.1799. All it takes is a phone call or Goggle search to find the best resource near you. If you're struggling on your own, I urge you to take action now and seek support. The biggest thing to remember is you're not alone!
Next month I'll have more to report on the status of Taming J with Monica and the progress I'm making on Saving Us. Stay tuned!