This is some mind-bendy, Matrix level stuff.
Out of the Picture was released last week. Today, it was spotted in the wild at a Hallmark store, flanked beautifully by other recently released Hallmark books.
I'm still trying to wrap my brain around this.
For years -- since I was a kid, really, but in earnest the last couple decades -- I've dreamed of having a book I wrote on shelves in stores. Sometime in the last handful of years, the dream went from being a silly idea, to an all-consuming endeavor, to a crushing failure, to a filed-away, unfulfilled wish in the index of my life.
For so long, I refused to let myself consider any possibility other than the dream happening. But we all have a breaking point. When I hit mine, I did my absolute best to put the dream away. I stowed it in a sturdy, tightly sealed box, and refocused my energy on other things.
I did okay. I kept the box in the furthest corner of my mind, but I could not forget what was in it. But I left it sealed, for my own mental health.
When my agent (see multiple other blog posts regarding Superhero Agent) pushed me to pitch Hallmark with this little idea of three mystery solving sisters in a lakeside town, I did it without expectations.
I still have the voicemail saved in my phone from when Fran called to tell me she had news from Hallmark.
When I signed the book contract, I remember thinking, 'Wow, this is pretty damn cool.'
When I finished content edits (which I thoroughly enjoyed; Hallmark editor Stacey Donovan and Out of the Picture editor Rhonda Merwarth are brilliant, amazing women who seriously know their stuff), then line edits, I still had reservations: What if it wasn't good? What if Hallmark changed their mind? What if advance readers hated it?
Reviews came in, and they were overwhelmingly good.
Now, the book is on a shelf in a store. Many, many stores, if you can believe that. I'm still having trouble with that one. Imposter syndrome is real, guys.
I'm going to Barnes & Noble tonight to see for myself.
I think this is real life, but it's crazy. Like, absolutely crazy, and so far beyond what I ever let myself believe could happen.
If anyone sees me, please don't pinch me. If this isn't real life, I don't care, I'm staying.