- Valerie’s Vow
- What I Wish I Could Tell You (featured author in anthology)
- Secret Scars
In 2014, I released my first book entitled Valerie’s Vow. While the book was originally published by SecondWind Publishing, it was re-released by Indigo Sea Press, a local Winston Salem publishing house that bought out SecondWind. Here is the speech I gave during my celebrated book launch. I hope that it gives you some insight into the novel and my own expectations for writing.
As most of you know, school is getting ready to start for me, so like all teachers I am getting ready for school this week. In preparation for class, I pulled up a PowerPoint that I use to teach my seniors. In this presentation, I have my students participate in a reflective exercise in which they state what their number one goal is.
As any good teacher knows, you need to give your students a good example of a goal—for the past 4 or 5 years since I’ve been teaching seniors I’ve used the same goal: publish a book. And that’s when it hit me. HEY! I have to change my PowerPoint and find a new number one goal, because though it may have taken a while, I have realized that goal at last. And I want to thank all of you for your support and for being here. It means more to me than you know, whether you read the book or not, that you’re here today celebrating this achievement with me.
The novel itself does have story behind it, so I’ll give you a quick rundown for those who don’t know it. This is the product of NaNo—which is National Novel Writing month. Now that being said, yes I did write a lot of it during the month of November, but that’s kind of an understatement because the idea had been bouncing in my brain for a couple of months before. In October I outlined the novel—but in order to have it ‘count’ as my NaNo book 50,000 words of the novel were written during the month of November alone, which, as it turns out, was exactly when I needed to be writing this novel.
As many of you are aware, a good friend of mine, of many of us, passed away in November. It is to her that I dedicated this novel and in a lot of ways the novel is an homage to her amazing legacy as seen through the friendship of Valerie, the main character, and Beth, her friend who has passed away.
That being said, I want to stress that I am not Valerie and Sarah is not Beth. Both Valerie and Beth are fictional characters, but as with all fiction there are echoes of reality as an honor to her memory and my friendship with her and others in my life.
The first passage I want to read is a flashback. Valerie is thinking about the first time she ever met Beth and what/why that friendship is so valuable to her [read page 2-4].
The second passage is very emotional for me and the main character, Valerie. She’s had a pretty rough holiday—the first without her friend, and it didn’t go well, so she’s a bet unstable when one of the love interests pops in for an unexpected visit and the result is a bit explosive. [read page 105-108]
The final passage is the vow and what drives Valerie psychologically through the story. It’s told as a flashback and I’ll only read part of it for you [read page 154-155].
So now you’ve had a little taste. Do you have any questions?