A Dreamy-Eyed Eight Year Old, A Scared Imaginary Friend and My Debt to Leona Lewis

Three years ago today, a piece of my soul transformed, forever changed.

I’m getting ahead of myself. Before I can tell you that part of the story, we have to go back to the beginning.

The year was 1988 and I was a little girl, fresh off the school bus with my purple backpack, filled with my latest discoveries from the book fair. My mom taught me to read when I was four and every day since, I’d used that gift as my superpower. I used it to fly, I used it to fight dragons, to understand the complications of first grade life and on this day in 1988, I used it to find the dream that would follow me the rest of my days.

I’d pulled out the first book, giggling at the cover before I dove in. I had no idea at the time, but this moment would be one I went back to often, never to be forgotten. What began as a simple, light-hearted afternoon quickly morphed into a mission. As the tears slid down my cheeks, the final words of the story sticking within my young mind never to leave, I dashed into the kitchen in search of an accomplice to my heartache.

“What’s the matter?” my mother had asked as I wiped my eyes clean, holding up the book.

“She didn’t make it,” I sobbed dramatically, wailing to the heavens wondering how my fragile heart would ever recover.

“Honey, I think she’s okay.”

“Nope. It’s all over,” I proclaimed, releasing a heavy breath of defeat. Moments passed, my mothers loving embrace the only thing holding me together before I pulled away, calmer. I had a plan. “Momma, do you think I could write a book someday?”

“I think you could do just about anything you want to, baby.”

In 2013, I finally did.

Recently recovered from a decade-long bout with writer’s block, I’d been hearing things for weeks. They began as whispers, faint promises I wasn’t yet ready to embrace. Within two or three weeks, the whispers became more. I’d been sitting in my truck at a gas pump when Bleeding Love by Leona Lewis came on, prompting me to sing along with all my heart.

“I don’t have time to talk to you right now,” I’d whispered. “My song is on.”

It didn’t matter, though. They were ready. It was time.

Six months later, I sat in front of my computer, tears streaming down my cheeks as I cried over the phone with my mom.

“Momma, I’m scared. I’m not sure I can do it.”

“Baby,” she’d whispered. “I think you can do just about anything you want to.”

I was terrified, exhausted and scared beyond words, but I did it. I hit publish on my first book, The Promise, which follows a scared, heartbroken girl who would inevitably change me forever, I just didn’t know it yet.

I hit publish, said goodnight to my mom and sobbed while I listened to Leona Lewis in the dark at my desk.

Three years later to the day at the same desk I’d sat at all those nights ago, my life is still the quiet affair it was when I pulled up to that gas pump, yet so many things have changed.

I’ve celebrated victories I wasn’t sure I’d ever see, endured loss I’m still not sure I’ll overcome and worked harder than I thought I was capable of. I’ve cried like a baby and laughed until muscles I didn’t know I had ached for hours. Because of that fateful day, I’ve experienced more in three years than some do in a lifetime and I’ve poured it all into an unbelievable thirteen books.

This has been one of the hardest, most emotional and terrifying things I’ve ever done and if I could go back to that day in that room in 1988, there isn’t a single thing I’d change.

This has been incredible, simply a dream come true and I feel like the luckiest girl in the world tonight.

As Leona Lewis plays in my headphones at my desk in the dark, I’m reminded that if we really want it, we can do just about anything we want to.

Thank you for coming with me on this journey. I can’t wait to see what’s next.

I love you.

XO Kate

 

The Promise *FREE TODAY*
US: http://amzn.to/23ZQ2zv
UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00H62TMJA
CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00H62TMJA
AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00H62TMJA

The rest of The Promise Series is currently FREE on KU and can be found on Kate’s Amazon page
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2h3n8vB

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