Signs Along the Journey, by Lisa Kessler

Sep 1, 2011 by

I wrote my first book when I was in 6th grade.  My elementary school “published” it for me in hardcover…  All nine pages!

Into adulthood I still wrote, but never a book.  Writing a novel seemed like an insurmountable goal to me.  For years, I wrote ongoing stories for characters in my head.  I tried my hand at some fan fiction, and even interactive writing with online friends.

It was all “just for fun”.

That changed the night I visited a palm reader in New Orleans.

Sounds like the beginning of a paranormal novel, doesn’t it?   But it really happened.

I went into a shop in the French Quarter and met an amazing woman who shocked me with her accuracy.  I had pocketed my wedding rings, my kids were back at the hotel with their Dad, and I stepped into her parlor not sure what to expect.

Sitting across from her with my outstretched hand, I watched her study the lines and tell me I had two children an older daughter and a younger son.  That got my attention.  Then she told me I would have two great loves in my life.

That made me nervous.

She jotted down notes for me on a 3” X 5” card and started to walk me out.  When I got to the door, I turned to thank her and she said, “Can I ask you something?”

“Sure.”

“Are you a writer?”

“Not really.”  My brow furrowed and I finally nodded with a shrug.  “I do write every night, but it’s just for fun.”

She smiled and I swear her eyes sparkled.  “You’re going to be a famous writer one day.”

I walked back to the hotel in a daze.  I couldn’t process how I would ever write a book or get published, but she’d planted the seed that night.  For the rest of our stay in New Orleans, I kept thinking about what I would write.

At the time I loved reading vampire books, but I was tiring of the typical European trope.  I’d read before that you should write what you know, so I thought about San Diego.  The oldest building in San Diego is the Mission De Alcala, founded by priests from Spain in the 1700’s.   (More pics from the Night Walker world on my blog…)

The more I thought about it, the idea grew to include the Mayans, and by the time we were in the New Orleans airport to fly home, I had written the original plotline for Night Walker on cocktail napkins.  (I didn’t own a laptop back then! LOL)

I wrote the first version of the book in about five months.  It consumed me at the time.  I found an agent and felt like I was on the cusp of reaching my future.

Instead, my marriage crumbled and when angry lawyer letters flew, it became apparent I needed to set my dream aside for a while and focus on my kids.  I gave up my agent and my dream.

But I never stopped writing.

In fact, I met my current husband (the second and final love in my life) in an online writer’s group.  With his encouragement, I kept writing and submitting Night Walker, but the right publishing home eluded me.  I set the series aside and focused on something new.

Until the signs started appearing.

Night Walker has a central theme about fate and that if something is meant to be, destiny will put you on that path.  When I started seeing the announcements about Entangled Publishing and their new publishing model, it got my attention.  I wanted to submit.

But my new series I’d been working on was tied up in a contest with Kensington Publishing.  I signed a contract not to submit it anywhere until the contest was over.  But I didn’t want to miss the opportunity with Entangled.

So my Night Walker series was my only choice.  I sent it in and held my breath.

When I got the call from Heather Howland, my heart raced like crazy.  I tried so hard to stay calm, but I’m pretty sure my nervous giggles gave me away.  Her enthusiasm for my book made me giddy, and her favorite scene in the book turned out to be my favorite as well.  How cool is that?

And something in the back of my mind whispered, “Maybe this was meant to be…”

Then Entangled hired a new editor who just happens to be a woman I really admire and trust.  She emailed me that she was assigned to my book!  My jaw dropped.

The day I emailed my first round edits back to her, I walked out of my house to find this…

This is the first Romneya (Matilija Poppy) bloom that I have ever had in April.  The Romneya flowers are a prominent symbol in Night Walker.  I planted two while I wrote the book and they bloom every year in the middle of May.

Except this year.

One flower opened for me the day I turned the book back in to the publisher.  It seemed like a very good sign!

Later I got an invitation from Entangled’s director of Marketing to blog here.  Misa asked me if I would blog and we could unveil the Night Walker cover.  She offered me two different Fridays, one of which was today, Friday the 13th.

I know some people dread Friday the 13th, but it’s always been a super lucky day for me.  I couldn’t believe that would be the day that my cover for Night Walker would be unveiled!!!  What were the chances of having a Friday the 13th in the month of my cover unveiling?

Perfect!

So without anymore delay, I’m so excited share my amazing cover…

Night Walker will be released on August 5th, just in time for my birthday!  How’s that for a good sign?

Best. Gift. Ever.

Thanks for sharing my journey with me!  Have you ever noticed signposts in your life that turned out to be fate guiding you?  I’d love to hear your stories!

Lisa

 

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