Call it serendipity. Call it the universe aligning. Call it what you will, but it’s official: I have a date for my book launch.

The Dating Intervention will be on virtual shelves August 1. (It’s the story of Delaney Collins, who is so terrible at dating that her best friends take over her dating life.)

I started writing this novel a year and a half ago, with hopes of landing an agent and having it traditionally published. As many writers know, that’s a long road.

Last September, I went to a writers conference with one of my best friends, Rachelle (who also happens to be my Partner in Believing). Of course, I came away from that experience newly inspired. Then, I stumbled across this awesome collection of books about self-publishing. In it, the authors explained the pros and cons (from their POV, of course) of traditional publishing vs. self-publishing.

Of course I’d love to be traditionally published. But self-publishing would allow me to give this novel-writing thing a go – to see if people like reading what I write. It would give me the chance to share my stories. I have more than one story inside of me – so I can always continue to pursue traditional publishing if I want to.

I made a decision: I would write 2 more books to create a trilogy out of The Dating Intervention, and I’d self-publish them, all at once, so people can buy the second and third books right after finishing the first. 

Well, no goal is complete without a deadline, but since this is my first time, I figured I’d take things at my own pace.

Well, we all know how that goes.

Last month, I finished the first draft of Book 3. My friend, the brilliant graphic designer Bree, invited me to partake in the “local authors” section of the upcoming issue of the magazine here in town. It comes out the first week of August. And the stars aligned. I have a release date.

Naturally, I’m freaking out.

I believe I have plenty of time to revise and edit the manuscripts, so it’s not getting things done that worries me.

So what does worry me? This is it: this is me putting myself out there. It’s me asking people to spend a few of their dollars and a few hours of their time on a story I wrote. Maybe I was hyped up on caffeine or sipping wine or eating a brownie. Maybe I sneaked in a couple hundred words while my kids were watching Teen Titans Go or sword fighting or hiding under my desk. I missed out on sleep and exercise and talking to my husband so I could get this story down on paper.

Sometimes, reading through drafts, I think, Ohmygod thisissostupid. Sometimes I think, Wow, that was so clever of me to write that!  Sometimes I think I can’t bear to see another use of the word “laugh.” Sometimes I can’t wait to hear what a reader has to say. Sometimes I cringe thinking about what they might say in reviews (“She used the word ‘laugh’ like 8 million times!”)

The bottom line is that this book release idea is putting me way outside of my comfort zone.

That being said, I’m going big. Watch out for my big magazine appearance as well as a blog tour – in which different bloggers can review or post about The Dating Intervention – starting August 1.

Also watch out for selfies of me drinking wine to alleviate the stress and celebrate the excitement.