Keep calm and let Kevin handle it

O hai!

Welcome back readers, fans, bloggers, friends, and other people just perusing the interwebs for interesting stories. What you’ve stumbled upon is another chapter of my publishing journey.

If you need some catching up, here’s the long and short of what you’ve missed.

I wrote a book (Surrender, The Ferryman + The Flame #1) and after trying the traditional route, I was picked up by small press Coscom Entertainment. That was July of 2011. They published the book, signed the second one, and in August of 2012 we parted ways. At the time Coscom was too busy to give their authors what they needed, so I took the rights back and self published my books.

2013 was a banner year for me, selling 50,000 copies of Surrender, releasing Justice, the novellas, and the prequels. I wrote the last book in The Ferryman + The Flame Series. I went to BEA, met David Levithan, and did a lot of shows, Chicago and Salt Lake City being the most awesome shows for me.

I wasn’t sure what would happen in 2014.

It wasn’t until Salt Lake City that I felt good enough for myself. I have a tendency to set the bar far too high for myself and then have trouble reaching my goals. In this case, I exceeded my goals, and had to make new goals.

I didn’t know what else I wanted to achieve, and the emptiness I felt was palpable.

Selling books doesn’t make me happy. Readers make me happy, the look on their faces when I remember their names, the feeling I get when they talk about certain parts of the books, or make props or costumes, or ask me to write novellas branching off into other characters. I like it when people are interested in what I do, when they think it’s cool and want to enjoy my work for the fandom it is.

So because I didn’t know what I wanted to achieve, I took time off to go to Disney World with my kids, catch up on some television (third season of Sherlock) and live like everyone else. I killed off some of my giant TBR list, and worked on other long term goals I hadn’t completed yet (like buy a house.)

Somewhere in all of this I thought it would be nice if someone would pick me up. I’ve seen it happen to other authors who had sold 10k, or 20k copies of their books, they’re with Atria, or Harlequin or were picked up by an agent, or small press. I sold 50k, queried a few more top agents who seemed interested but ultimately found reasons to say no, and so nothing really special happened to me.

No fanfare, no red carpets, no tiara or scepter, or really awesome poofy dresses.

And frankly, nobody caring is what made being self published suck.

Fast forward a few months to March 2014, where I’m moving to my new house, moving my store to a new location, running three events, traveling to one out of the city, and life is at the height of crazy cakes.

I joined Kevin J. Anderson’s group on Facebook (we met in 2012 and again in 2013 at shows,) and one day he posts a limited edition T-Shirt that says, “Keep Calm and Let Kevin Handle It” I laughed because when we were at Salt Lake City, he had a big booth display and it wasn’t just his books, he had a couple other authors there. I assumed he was only publishing his titles, I didn’t realize he and Rebecca had opened a small press and had published over 100 titles and were making waves in the industry.

So I posted: “LOL I was thinking that the other day ‘Man, publishing my books all by myself is so hard, I should let Kevin handle it.”

And by some crazy happenstance, the next day there’s a message in my Facebook inbox . . . from Kevin. And he’s saying, “I know you were kidding, but if you were thinking about it, let’s talk.”

Business woman in me tells me to stay calm, this could be nothing, while fangirl in me is like, holy shit did he just respond?

So I respond and we talk about trust, and what WordFire Press has been up to, and all the authors he has and all the cool things he can offer me. All the while saying things like, “if you think this can benefit you.”

And I’m thinking: UM YES . . . NO KIDDING . . . SOMEONE CARES!

I manage to reel in my inner fangirl, because in case you haven’t noticed, Kevin J. Anderson has written over 100 books, has 40 NYT Bestsellers out there, is one of the nicest people on the planet, and has something to do with the new Star Wars movies (I think, there was an article I’ll need to link you to.)

We basically unofficially agreed this would benefit both of us, and he unofficially signed me. He went to Emerald City Comic Con and told Emma Michaels he had picked me up, and a couple days later she congratulated me on Facebook and I’m all, “How did you find out, I don’t remember telling you?” and she’s all, “Kevin told me.” and I’m all . . . “OMG I CAN’T EVEN . . .”

And because life was insane, I was taking possession of my house, trying to keep up with e-mails from Kevin discussing details and heading to St. Louis for Wizard World where I clearly did not bring enough books (I sold out at noon on Saturday . . .)

As soon as I returned, Kevin went to Hollywood for Writers of the Future, but despite that he e-mailed on the day my movers showed up, wanting to Skype, and I’m all, “Hahahahahahaha so my fridge is in a truck . . .”

Go us.

Before Kevin went to Hollywood he announced me to his WordFire Press team, and it was UNANIMOUS. They are super excited to have me as part of their publishing family!

And that’s when business woman in me was like, “shut up and read the contract” and fangirl in me was like, “OMG is this really happening!?” I got this e-mail while I was at Captain America with Kristie and I was jumping as we were leaving the theatre. She was confused and I was out of breath so I told her and then she was jumping too.

I’m allowing myself a moment to say it’s incredibly cool to be signed by Kevin J. Anderson. He’s had an amazing career, writing books, teaching young authors, attending events, and plowing the way with WordFire Press. He’s community oriented, and I’m glad I was picked to be on his team!

Share, comment, like and you’ll be entered to win a Rhi Pie Prize Pack!

I’ll have details soon on the new release dates for the books, but Kevin is certain we can get them back on the shelf by mid May.

Cheers,
Rhi

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