News on book 3 and a diary entry
I’ve never been the queen of social media. Not as a teenager. Not as a mother. Not even as an author, though I understand its importance and make an adequate effort to do my part. But even for me, my online presence over the past few months has been horrible. I only wish I had a happier reason why.
I WISH I could say that I was busy celebrating my 32nd birthday. Or getting lost in my third book. Or enjoying my first Christmas with my beautiful baby girl. But the truth is that I spent the holidays half blind (literally) and terrified.
It started with what seemed to be a tiny smudge on my contact lens — only when the contact lens came out, the smudge didn’t leave along with it. I didn’t think much of it at first. I was just tired … or had run into a very persistent speck of dust. Surely, it would disappear in a day or two, just as mysteriously as it had come.
Over those next few days, however, the smudge ballooned into a thick gray curtain that blocked out half my world. Through the afflicted eye, I couldn’t see my husband’s hand one centimeter in front of my face. I couldn’t see the bright red numbers on my bedside clock, even with my nosed pressed up against the glass. I clung to my daughter every second, terrified that the loss of sight would become permanent … or spread to my other eye as well … ending my life just when it was truly beginning.
Over the course of a week, I saw several doctors, endured many needles, and shed an ocean of tears. Then, finally, I was diagnosed with optic neuritis.
First came the good news: My sight, for the most part, would return. It might never be exactly what it had been, but with time I’d barely notice the difference.
Then, bad news, as Dr. Google had already let me know: Optic neuritis is often the first sign of multiple sclerosis — especially for women in their 20s and 30s who live in the Northeast. Can I call bingo?
So to everyone who sent a message or an email asking when the next book would be out, my reply night have been a bit cryptic. I could blame that on MRIs and neurology appointments and the worst nights of my still-pretty-darn-young life. I could blame it on denial too. But in the end, I just wasn’t ready to make such a heavy and personal announcement. (Okay, and perhaps a little bit of denial.) Still, I want you to know that your interest and support meant the world to me during an extremely difficult time.
Now, I have both a promise and an apology.
Not long ago, I wrote that Book Three in the series would come out later this year. And while I do hope this remains the timeline, I won’t downplay the damage the last few months have done. Rest assured, Book Three is on my mind constantly. But writing opportunities have been scarce and I refuse to put out a finale that’s less than what I intended it to be. I’m very proud of this series thus far, and I intend to end it that way too.
Right now, my primary focus must be on my health, my family, and a host of lifestyle changes reputed to keep autoimmune diseases at bay. But Belle, Rapunzel, Dawn, Penny, Cindy, and Snow are like sisters to me. I need them now more than ever before, and I promise to finish their stories as quickly as possible without sacrificing what I originally envisioned. I sincerely apologize if that takes us into next year, but cramming chapters into half-distracted writing sessions that should be four times longer would be a disservice to everyone.
In short, this curveball has already stolen my peace of mind for the future (a wishful illusion to begin with). I refuse to let it commandeer my writing — or my imagination — as well.
Some say that while we plan, God laughs. Well, I’m not blaming God for this. But having to deal with an incurable disease wasn’t something I factored into my timeline for Desperately Ever After. In truth, I always hoped my first big announcement here would be that a huge publishing house had offered to buy my series, reprint it with a massive advance, and turn it into a mega Hollywood blockbuster on the side.
Oh well. Maybe that’ll be my second big announcement. After all, there’s no telling what the world will look like in the morning…