So the first book I ever wrote — the first piece of fiction in fact — was relaunched this October 15th by my new family at Simon & Schuster. The pictures started coming in from readers as early as this past weekend, pictures they had snapped at bookstores from Portland OR to Orlando FL. My book, The Unidentified Redhead, next to my other book, Wallbanger.

For a new author, this is like crack. Or Pringles. Sour cream and onion Pringles if anyone needs to know. You know, the ones that make your breath terrifying.

Seeing my actual book on an actual shelf, especially in this world of downloadable everything, is a heady thing. I dragged my pneumonia ridden self to my local Barnes and Noble and took this picture myself:

photo

If I hadn’t been riddled with antibiotics and a chest cavity full of goo I would have turned cartwheels right there and then. To be fair, I was doing mental cartwheels. When I first started writing The Redhead Series, I had no idea where it was going to take me. The idea that I’d one day make a living telling stories, naughty stories especially, was nothing I had ever imagined. And now there’s not one, but two Alice Clayton books on an actual shelf. And more on their way. Oh yeah chickens, I’ve got lots more up my sleeve. Including Kleenex, because as I mentioned, I am celebrating my book launch this week with pneumonia…

I found my voice later in life, but I found it! And it’s literally changed my entire world. What began as a fun story told in serial form became The Redhead Series, something I’m so very proud of. Jack and Grace are fun, they’re sexy, they’re silly, they’re steamy, and they’re people I’d love to spend time with. And because they do what I tell them to do, I get to spend time with them whenever I want!

What’s the lesson here? You could make a case for several I suppose. Never stop dreaming? Sure sure, but that’s a little Hallmark for me. Alice loves Pringles? Yes, and in fact if you bring me some at my next book signing I’ll sign your boobs. Yep, you read that right.

I suppose what it boils down to for me is be aware. Recognize when things happen in a purposeful way, recognize when a path presents itself. And trust your voice, always trust it. And then make sure you always have Altoids, because you don’t want to meet someone like Jack Hamilton or Simon Wallbanger after you just finished a can of sour cream and onion Pringles. Because seriously — terrifying breath.