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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Thinking of Thanks

Having just passed Thanksgiving weekend, I've been pondering the many gifts of this past year. First I am grateful for family and friends, the lovely people who give my life meaning every day. My children are spread out across the continent, but I have a son close by who hosted us at Thanksgiving this year. Instead of spending two days in the kitchen, I contributed a few small items to the dinner, half of which were prepared by my sweet husband, who is a fine cook in his own right and always makes the lemon meringue pie (yum!). All that made for a lovely, relaxing holiday we enjoyed very much.

Though my offspring and their little spring-offs are all dealing with day-to-day problems and inconveniences, everyone is happy and healthy. That is one huge blessing and I'm grateful.

As an author I have also experienced much to appreciate in 2013. Here's a short list:

Three new novels saw the light this year.  ZUCCHINI PIE: GRANNY'S RECIPE FOR LIFE appeared in June, a paperback release from Covenant Communications. My first two self-published, digital-only books appeared shortly thereafter, MAGGIE RISING in August and RETURN TO RAINBOW ROCK in September. I always feel my time is well spent when I can see the results that clearly.

Jane Dystel and Miriam Goderich at Dystel-Goderich Literary Management may not understand everything that's happening in the current publishing upheaval (no one does), but they come about as close as is humanly possible. They're hard-working, dedicated to serving their authors, and well enough situated in the business (after being in business since 1986) that they have some real power in the publishing world. I'm grateful for the day I met Jane Dystel and delighted to have her and her agency on my team.

Guessing how many people have actually read my books is tricky since some people download a book and never read it while others buy one paper copy and circulate it to everyone they know before passing it on to a hospital or retirement home where it will be read until it falls apart. Still it's easy to see that the numbers are growing and the range is growing, too. I now have readers in places like India and Turkey. How cool is that?

I'm grateful for TwitterPals and RTers. With more than 12,300 followers, I manage to get the word out when there's a new release, a sale, or something to celebrate. I'm also averaging about 14% retweeting on those messages, which I find positively thrilling.

Mostly I'm grateful for the fun I have when I listen to those voices in my head and let them take me to interesting, exciting places. Years like this make the writing worthwhile. Thanks to Janice and Alisa (you both know why!) and to all of you who have been part of it. My 2014 be even better for all of us.

Susan Aylworth is the author of 11 published novels now available for ebook readers. A 12th is scheduled for publication in June 2014. She lives in northern California with her husband of 43 years, a devoted old dog and two quirky cats. Her 22nd and 23rd grandchildren are expected next spring. She loves to hear from readers. Find her at (sign up for the newsletter too) or @SusanAylworth.

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