“Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue, and the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.” — E.Y. Harburg
I started writing this book in December 2012 and finished the entire series (two books) around September 2013. I never planned to publish it, even an e-book. It’s something I wrote for my wellbeing because the story was haunting me like a ghost. And I’m sure lots of writers would agree on how it feels when you have an untold story in your mind.
One fine day, my husband read the manuscript and pushed me to publish both the books. I found a good editor and a convenient publisher and when my first book of the series was about to publish, my publisher suggested me to submit my book into Los Angeles Book Festival. They thought the story is fresh and romance readers are tired of reading a-guy-meets-girl, a-guy-gets-girl kinda romance. A Silent Prayer was published in February 2014 and at the same time, I submitted my entry into Los Angeles Book Festival taking publisher’s advice and assuming it as an unseen dream (which would never come true). I checked my mail one day and they announced all the winners. When I saw my book’s title as a winner in romance category, I was shocked for a moment, my heart actually stopped beating for a while. It was unbelievable for me, going to LA and receiving a prestigious recognition for my book. I still don’t claim to be a writer as it’s something I never thought or dreamt. I am an avid reader just like most of the women of my age, who likes to read cheesy romance and enjoy it.
Attending the ceremony made me realize that I am nothing compared to all (experienced, established) writers who attended the ceremony as the winners in their own genre. Yet, I felt proud at the same time, because I was also selected as a winner, just like them. There were old writers (like really old) who had spent their entire lives writing. It gave me a sense of achievement being there, as there were hardly any young writers. When I was called to receive the award, I was completely blank at that time, wondering there’s something called ‘speech’ too. I’m quite sure I sucked big time, stammering at intervals as it felt like I was some celebrity, almost hundred pair of eyes watching me. I don’t know how actual celebrities take it? Especially when you lack confidence addressing so many people.
Not even a week was passed when my book went live into online bookstores and I submitted my entry. I’ve hardly ten reviews on amazon and getting recognition at such a primary stage…it’s something that I cannot express through words.
People ask me…how was it? For me, it was extraordinary and completely exciting event, which I would enjoy for the rest of my life.