Why the USA Today Bestseller List Means So Much to Me

usatodaycolorThis week something amazing happened to me. Something I had long dreamed of but had come to accept just probably wouldn’t ever happen. I hit a bestseller list. A BIG bestseller list. I hit the USA Today.

Hitting a major list (New York Times or USA Today) had been a dream of mine since I sold my first book to HarperCollins in 2004, but over the years I was told and began to believe that it would never happen for me. I wasn’t “talented” enough. I didn’t have enough “magic”. To protect my own mental health and well-being, I put those dreams away and accepted that this moment would very likely not happen.

This was not the worst thing in the world. I’ve made my living, a very good living, writing books. I’ve had readers contact me and share with me that my stories touched them. But in the back of my mind, buried deep, was that desire to see a book of mine hit one of the lists. And when it didn’t happen, over and over, I was sad.

The past year has been one of many changes. I left traditional publishing entirely. I lost two people I loved very deeply. My husband and I made the decision to move. I’m writing a lot and publishing a lot and seeing the fruits of my labor pay off.

And on Wednesday, April 29, almost on a whim, I decided to look at the USA Today Bestseller list. I had no real thought that The Widow Wager would be there. But there it was. The culmination of 51 books, heartache and triumph, nearly giving up entirely, somehow carrying on. There it was.

USAtodaycrybabyWhat did I do? Well, I cried. Harder than I ever thought I would. This is me sitting on my bathroom floor, unable to breathe, sobbing with joy. Somehow, even with everything that felt like it stood in my way, even with the discouraging words and moments, even with the deep loss personally and professionally, with all the decisions I’ve made… the moment was here.

And it means the world to me. So thank you, dearest, sweetest, most loyal readers, for sticking with me through thick and thin. For buying. For sharing. For reviewing. For allowing me to live my charmed life and now helping me achieve this dream. I hope it makes you remember that even dreams that have been put away can come true. That hard work can pay off. That all is not truly lost even when it sometimes looks like it is.

Thank you! I can’t wait to see where all this takes me next!

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