First of all I want to wish you all a belated Happy and Healthy 2014. My website was down for two weeks because my youngest son made a programming mistake, which he was unable to reverse and the whole website turned into a series of empty links. My webmaster was enjoying the season festivities but – thank God – he got everything back into place yesterday. Only now I realise how much I have become attached to my website and blog over the past three years.
2014 is going to be the toughest year of my life. My 29-year old daughter is seriously, seriously ill with a very malignant tumour so we’re completely thrown out of our stride and forced to live on a day-to-day basis. Reasonably good days are cheerful ones and bad days are days we – her loved ones – dangle in mid-air not knowing how to alleviate her suffering and almost afraid to breathe. However, the Leitmotiv through it all is that we stand in awe of her courage, optimism and Faith. They say only great suffering and acute danger show someone’s true strength, well I see hers and it humbles me to the core.
My Facebook writer friends from around the globe and my own family and friends burn a candle for Joy every night at 10pm Dutch time to think of her and/or pray for her. This one in particular touched me deeply. A kind of shrine made by my friend Melissa Eyler’s son Michael in Carlsbad, New Mexico. All positive thoughts and love is important to us so please join in if you like. On the whole, however, I’m rather reluctant to speak openly about her illness as my daughter is a very reserved lady and doesn’t want her story to be all over the Internet.
The other big change this year is that I’ve decided to leave my publisher Taylor Street Publishing and “go Indie”. I have been thinking about taking this step for a long time as having a publisher in San Francisco didn’t really work for me. It is too far from the Netherlands (where I live) to build up a good working relationship despite all the online contact you can have these days. Plus many of my writer pals, who took the leap, are satisfied about it and advised me unanimously to take control of my own work. My debut novel didn’t sell very well and I blame it on the relaunch under the meaningless title and cover When The Ink Dries. The story partly takes place in Morocco but because my publisher feared anti-North African sentiment in the US, he stripped it of its oriental spiciness. Soon Casablanca, My Heart will see a hopefully successful second start.
On 13 January I will pay a visit to the local Chamber of Commerce to register my own publishing company Hannah’s Book Business. Apparently this is necessary to smooth possible tax issues. This will give me the opportunity to publish my own books, perhaps even that of other authors in future. Hiya!
More on this new venture in my next blog. I’m greatly indebted to my Indie friends who are helping me with every step on the way. Becoming my own publisher is an exciting, yet challenging path. I’m looking forward to learning the ropes.
2014: a year like no other, so much is sure!