I am 26 years young and I have been blessed with so much already. It seems like a dream. I cannot convince myself that what has happened is reality, but I look through the pictures once again and I am reminded of it. Wow! I was born in Iowa and raised in a small town in Southern Indiana. I have visited some cities that I consider to be huge like Indianapolis, Chicago, and Las Vegas. I was not fully prepared for the magnitude of NYC.
For those of you that don't know, I was accompanied by my cousin and best friend, Ashley. We both grew up in the country as neighbors. We spent our summers riding bikes and four-wheelers, sunbathing and playing in the sprinkler, and swimming in her pool. In the fall we would explore the woods, climb in the old tree house, swing on the vines hanging from the trees, and spend our nights camped out in a tent (in the back yard!) I suppose you can say we grew up as "country girls". I love the smell of the fresh country air as well as the lakes and rolling hills, but for as long as I can remember I have always wanted to venture out into the world and experience something bigger.
Cousins and best friends! We were at a great bar on Bleecker Street called Wicked Willy's!
Another amazing little place on Bleecker Street, Peculier Pub!
Coffee with Seinfeld! It's the little things that make us smile, right?
Posing proudly for a selfie on our very first subway ride!
Yes, I had to get my pic taken before hopping on the subway!
In September, I received some spectacular news from an indie bookstore in NYC. They liked the story that I wrote for my debut and wanted to host an event in January. It seems like yesterday when I got that news, anxiously counting down the days until it became a reality. Now, I look back through pictures and recollect on memories and I am still shocked that such a thing happened to me!
Yes! That is my book, shelved for the very first time at Bluestockings Bookstore in NYC! I have them to thank for taking a chance on an author from a tiny Midwestern town. The look and feel of the bookstore felt like home. It was warm and welcoming, the staff amazing, and I felt confident! Truly remarkable, and I look forward to visiting them again for another event in the future.
Did I mention that I did a reading in front of a live audience? Yes, it's true. I read the last erotic scene of the book in front of people! For those of you that know me on a personal level, you can attest to the fact that I am shy. I write erotica, but writing and reading it out loud are two different things! In fact, anytime someone would ask what brought us to NYC I told them I wrote a book. They would then ask what it was about. Being shy, I replied "contemporary romance". Ha! Ashley would then say, "no, no, it's erotica". I would then blush! So doing a reading in front of people was a huge thing for me! I could not have done such a thing without the support and encouragement of Ashley, Lauren, Cindy, and the ladies at Bluestockings. Lauren flew up for the event from down South, and I am beyond thankful for her, Cindy, and Michele being at my event. I am blessed with great friends.
Keep calm and read on, right? I did just that. I sat in a chair before the audience, took a deep breath and a sip of my delicious coffee (courtesy of the staff at Bluestockings) and began reading. Once I started the nervousness disappeared and I allowed the beautifully erotic tale of Lyla and Everett come out of my mouth to form words to tell the story to my readers. It was such an incredible feeling, almost impossible to put into words.
Not only did I have the chance to meet Lauren, Cindy, Michele, and my readers, I also connected with an old friend from high school, LeAnn. She also followed a dream, working hard to achieve it. And now, she is a doctor, working and living in Brooklyn!
LeAnn and Ashley!
Ashley, me, LeAnn after the reading at the event. So thankful for these ladies! We celebrated at Times Square after, and it was fabulous!
Me at the NYC Public Library! One of my favorite places in the city!
Grand Central Station
Being in a city like NYC gave me so much inspiration. With so many people around I was fascinated, thinking that every unique individual hustling around me has a story of their own. Some heartbreaking and others romantic. It amazed me seeing so many people existing in a world of its own, living a true-life story. I most definitely will return to the city that never sleeps. It welcomed me with open arms and provided me with the best experience of my writing career. I am in love with that city and I look forward to returning in the future.