Soup and Validation

Since my books are self-published, I sometimes run into people who don’t really think of them as “real” books. Like the co-worker who said, “Oh, so they’re just things on the internet that anyone can download?”

“Yes,” I told her, “sort of like your college degree.”

Snarky responses aside, I really am enjoying being an “Indie Author.” I am constantly learning and growing (and failing from time to time) and the excitement is indescribable. It’s fun, plain and simple. And it’s a challenge to get better, to learn more, to reach more readers.

I am proud of my books. I don’t defend myself to the people who turn up their noses and assume that authors like me self-publish because we’re not good enough to be traditionally published. I honestly don’t believe I’ll ever convince those people to think otherwise, and I’d rather spend my time writing another book. I don’t need to prove myself to anyone.

Still, I sometimes wish I had that validation that comes with being traditionally published. The respect. Something to change the opinion of those who think self-published authors aren’t “real” authors.

And then, I got something in the mail that made me feel ridiculously validated as a writer.

I just got my “contributor’s copies” of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Angels and Miracles®.

soup

This is the first time I have sold a story to a major publication, and I freely admit that I am giddy and silly about the whole business. I keep taking pictures of the box of books. I keep talking about it, Tweeting about it, babbling about it until everyone I know is starting to duck into hallways and hide behind fat people when they see me coming their way.

Okay, I may have been a little boastful about it once or twice.

But c’mon, it’s Chicken Soup for The Soul, guys. As in THE Chicken Soup for The Soul. Who hasn’t heard of these books? Who hasn’t read at least one of them?

I wrote the true story of the car accident that changed my life in 2011. This moment is a first for me as an author. I’ve written and published five books, and I’ve sold a few articles to some random publications, but this is my first major sale. As crazy as it sounds, this makes me feel like I am finally a “real” writer.

And I am in great company, with my little story surrounded by 100 others. Please take a moment to check out the newest edition of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Angels and Miracles, available November 1, 2016. This one’s all about Angels and Miracles, and the stories will blow your mind.

Thanks!

Well, I survived my first real book-signing and had a fabulous time!

603802_1093553653993750_1454731173966033297_n

Everyone was so sweet and asked such wonderful questions that the time flew by much faster than I expected.  I talked a bit about my background and why I write what I write, shared a few opinions, and probably babbled a little more than I intended. Then the librarian asked me to read a couple of her favorite bits from Have a Goode One, and it was so rewarding to hear the chuckles and giggles from everyone. After that, it was time to answer questions and sign some books.

11225523_1093847500631032_1584359939_n11210321_1093847507297698_1548392512_n

One of the highlights was seeing a couple of fellow local authors who came out to support me. For such a small town, we seem to have an awful lot of artsy people.  Maybe something in the water?

Look! It's Connie Myres!
Look! It’s Connie Myres!

Afterward, I was asked to help put together a local writers’ group. I’m nervous about taking on that responsibility, but I’m thrilled at the prospect. I guess there’s no point in complaining about the lack of a support group if I’m not willing to start one myself!

My biggest fan: my sister!
My biggest fan: my sister! (It’s okay; I’m HER biggest fan, too!)

All in all, it was one of those experiences that I’m going to remember forever as one of the best days ever. I want to thank everyone who supported me, encouraged me, and helped push me just a little bit out of my comfort zone.

11216108_1093847477297701_642223465_n