Posted in The Ponderings of Life, Words Upon Words

The War Within: Published!

I’m so excited to announce that The War Within is officially published as of yesterday!!

There are always a lot of emotions that go into self-publishing: joy, exhaustion, pride, anxiety. Usually there’s a bit of frustration toward the end due to the complications of the formatting process, but this time things went really smoothly, all things considered (except when I was working on the cover, but it’s fine, it’s fine). Just like in the past, I’ve felt all the above mentioned emotions in the past couple weeks.

Now that it’s finally published, I feel some anxiety (will people actually read it? will they like what they read?), but mostly joy. It’s so thrilling and so fulfilling to self-publish a novel. I haven’t felt these feelings in a long time and it’s strange to feel the familiar, yet somehow still different, feelings again. Then as soon as all is said and done (every single time) I come to the conclusion that I must self-publish again–soon! I’ve been looking at the other novels I have finished in my documents and thinking how soon I can get the next one ready for self-publication, because it’s just so fun. But I know each novel takes its own time and I just need to be patient through the editing process. (I still hope to do it again faster than four and a half years, though. 😉 )

Well, back to The War Within. It’s available for purchase on Amazon for $9.99! I’d love it if you’d let me know if you get a copy and what you think after you’ve read it! ❤ Check out the official cover below!

The_War_Within_COVER_COVER 2         received_204106724350855

Posted in The Ponderings of Life, Words Upon Words

The War Within: Proof Ordered!

Good morning, everyone!

Since announcing that I have begun the self-publishing process for The War Within about a week and a half ago, I’m ecstatic to update you on the latest developments! About 10 days ago, my sister, Sandrine, finished painting the absolutely gorgeous cover. It came out even better than I was anticipating! (Keep reading for a cover reveal!) I finished touching up the manuscript a few days ago and let it sit before scanning it again yesterday. After one last look, I uploaded the cover and manuscript on KDP and just like that, I was ready to order the proof!

The proof copy should arrive this Saturday at which time I will flip through it and make sure everything looks the way it’s supposed to. Needless to say, my original release date of Tuesday, March 31st, is tentatively rescheduled to Sunday, April 5th. Regardless, it should be available for purchase on Amazon by this weekend–what a crazy thought!

After I ordered the proof last night, we went on a walk around the neighborhood (something we’ve been trying to do every day since Quarantine began a couple weeks ago), and as we walked, I realized that within a week, my book will be published. I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. For the first time in over 4 years, I’m self-publishing again! It’s been a long, arduous process with lots of breaks in between to focus on school, but at last, the day is almost here! I truly think The War Within is probably the best story I’ve ever written and because of this, I cannot wait to share it with everyone and hear their thoughts!

With these types of things, the work is hard, but the reward is great. There’s nothing like holding your own words in your hands…I suppose it’s a glimpse to what holding your newborn baby is like. But maybe that’s stretching it. 😉

Last, but not least, before I finish this post, I want to reveal the amazing cover Sandrine painted for me…

The War Within - Cover Final

Ta-da! Isn’t it beautiful?! ❤

Hopefully the next time I blog, it’ll be the official announcement of The War Within  being available to order on Amazon!!!

Posted in The Ponderings of Life, Words Upon Words

The War Within: An Exciting Update

{ Photo credit : Liana Mikah }

With all the craziness concerning COVID-19 going around, I thought it was about time to change things up and let you know something super exciting happening over here that has absolutely nothing to do with a virus. 🙂

As some of you will remember, in the fall of 2017, I wrote a short story and entered it in a fairy tale retelling contest. The following April, I got an honorable mention for it. I was very content with my honorable mention, but since my story wasn’t picked for the compilation novel Rooglewood Press was putting together and I still wanted to hold it in my hands, I decided it was time to self-publish again.

Later that summer, I added another 10,000-15,000 words to flesh out the story and turn it into a novella. Then I spent the last two years editing it with my aunt on and off while pursuing my BA in History. There have been ups and downs and everything in between (mostly in betweens 😉 ), but after earning 6 credits in this past January and February, I decided I needed a brain break and it was about time The War Within got its day in the spotlight.

Once I was officially confined to my home this week, then I knew I really had no excuse. 😉 SO the process on CreateSpace (which has now been merged with Kindle Direct Publishing) has begun, my sister is currently painting another beautiful cover and I’m putting the finishing touches on my manuscript.

It’s really, really hard to believe that within a few short weeks, I’ll be holding another book of mine–again. I haven’t self-published since December, 2015–almost five years! There was a time in 2018 when I thought I might be on the road to traditional publication, and when that fell through, I became really discouraged and didn’t write or edit anything for almost a year. But with the support of family and friends, I got back on my laptop and now I’m on the verge of not only self-publishing The War Within, but also finally finishing writing Endeavoring (and that’s another blog post for another day).

In conclusion, I wanted to give you all an update on The War Within and let you know that it’s almost ready to order on Amazon! My current “release date” is Tuesday, March 31st, although release dates are pretty flexible when it comes to self-publishing. Either way, I’m so, so excited to share another story with all of you and I can’t wait to hear your thoughts soon!

Keep an eye out for future updates and have a safe, healthy day. 🙂

Posted in The Ponderings of Life, Words Upon Words

Happy 6th Anniversary, Bridget’s Journey!

Yesterday was Bridget’s Journey’s 6th Anniversary! Wow. It’s so hard to believe it’s been 6 years already since I self-published for the first time with my baby novel. Over the years I’ve had many conversations with friends and family about this novel and the different ways it’s impacted them. Those conversations mean the world to me, but what’s funny about it is that I didn’t write it to impact anyone. I was only 14 when I wrote it, barely 16 when I self-published it. The only thing I had in my mind was to write a story and finish it and print it so I could hold it in my hands. And that’s exactly what I accomplished–and so much more.

Back then, I’d only just started my writing journey. Over the past 6 years, I’m happy to say I’ve changed and grown as a writer. I’ve self-published Everlasting, written three other novels and entered a short story contest in which I got an honorable mention! I’m a much better writer now than when I first wrote Bridget’s Journey, but the simplicity and purity of that story is still special even today. And it will always be my first, no matter how many stories I write from here on out. Self-publishing has changed my life in the best possible way and I hope to be able to do it again soon (stay tuned for details)!

To celebrate Bridget’s Journey’s anniversary, it’s FREE to download on your Kindle or Kindle app TODAY THROUGH SUNDAY! Take advantage of this discount and tell your friends!


P.S. Please excuse my smudgy mirror, but here’s a picture of 16 year old Valerie SO EXCITED (can you tell?) to be holding a piece of her work in her hands. ❤

Posted in For Fellow Writers, The Ponderings of Life

My Journey as a Self-Published Author

As most of you saw on my Facebook page, yesterday marked my fourth anniversary of self-publishing Bridget’s Journey on Amazon and CreateSpace.

Wow. It really seems like yesterday I was editing this book with a friend of Mom’s in her kitchen, pestering Sandrine to finish painting the cover and crying over how difficult it was to get the formatting just right. It seems like yesterday that I held this book in my hands for the first time. It seems like yesterday that friends and family overwhelmed me with their support and encouragement. For once, I believed in myself as much as they believed in me.

Now, four years later, I’ve sold probably about 40 (or 50? I’m not good with numbers) of paperbacks, countless Kindle editions and I even published a second novel. Four years later, my books are still up on Amazon for anyone (friend or stranger) to pick up and read the words that I wrote. Four years later, my books are in my church and public libraries. Four years later and I’ve written three and a half more novels. Four years later and I still love to write.

Continue reading “My Journey as a Self-Published Author”