Birthrights, book one in what was once The Awaking Trilogy, was the first novel I ever published, way back in the summer of 2011. The series was originally a trilogy that was meant to have a spin-off from one of the side-character's point of view (Beyond the Awakening). There was a lot of personal heartache involved in this series that kept it on the back burner for a great many years. Eventually, I pulled the trilogy from publication so that I could take my time in fixing early, novice mistakes that were made among other things.
When I first started working on this novel (series) in 2009, I hit roadblock after roadblock that were all down to confidence - the lack thereof. I was already published in the newspaper world and in poetry anthologies but putting my own work out there, with only my name backing it, was a scary proposition. It led to writer's block in a weird way. I think writer's block is a misnomer sometimes, in that my creativity wasn't blocked. I had plenty of ideas and directions I wanted to go. I just lacked the confidence to make any of them stick and ended up floundering. My friend at the newspaper where I worked, had written stories with me previously (for fun). So, I asked her to help me put this thing together and keep me focused.
Originally, I had intended for the story to be told in first person. Jennifer L. Oliver was a third person writer at the time, and didn't mesh well with first, so I rewrote what I already had in the third person to make it easier for her to help with the story.
When we were finished with Birthrights and started moving on to Revelations (book two), Jennifer and I decided to part ways. I took the series (The Awakening Trilogy) that I created and she took the series that she created that we'd been working on as well (The Haedyn Chronicles). Since the first book in my trilogy was already out, I chose to continue with it in the third person.
While writing the third book, Incarnations, my computer was damaged and the entire manuscript was lost two weeks prior to publication. It was my first lesson in always having a backup copy. I was left with nothing more than my notes and the memories of what I'd written before. The third book - in my opinion - was crap because it was literally me - as a novice author - trying to piece back together a book that had already been written. It was a heartbreaking lesson for me and made working on anything else in that series a pain in the butt.
There were also some family tragedies around this time, including my youngest daughter nearly dying and being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, finding out my boyfriend was a serial cheating psychopath (later a stalker), my ex-husband had stolen from me and invaded my privacy while my baby girl was in the hospital, and the aforementioned boyfriend became a stalker that forced me to move several times. To say this book/series had a lot of negativity attached to it was an understatement. I started and stopped the Beyond the Awakening spin-off so many times it wasn't funny. There are probably thirty different variations of the story and the biggest problem was that third person just didn't work for the story I wanted to tell.
So, I decided to change things up and completely re-do this series the way it was meant to be done initially. The problem was, every time I started to work on it, I had to set it aside to work on new books to help pay the bills, or something would happen that put everything on hold while I dealt with family, illness, and other issues. Life is tough sometimes, especially when you're basically a one-woman show! I promised to have this series done by certain times during 2022, and that got blown out of the water when I got sick with Covid the first time. Then I was injured, my daughter was back in the hospital, my editor had her own Diabetic emergencies, and then my son got Covid and gave it to my parents (before he realized he was sick). I had to care for all of them before getting sick again myself. Like I said, life is tough sometimes. It's been a wild (not in a good way) year for me.
Despite that, I finally have these books ready to start re-releasing! I'm so freaking happy to finally be at this stage because these are my babies. They are the books that started my career, and they deserve their time to shine again!