This is for John Kane, who told me I need to blog more. I'll start with the career, which continues to be something akin to a dream come true.
I released a new Darren Street book in February, called "Justice Lost." It's done well, as has the entire series. We've sold more than 360,000 of the Darren Street series (three books) over the past couple of years. It's published and marketed by Thomas & Mercer, which is an Amazon publishing company, and they've been great to work with. I'm not sure whether I'll do another Street book. That'll depend on how much time I have and whether Thomas & Mercer wants me to do another one.
I have a new Dillard book ready to go. It'll be released May 3, and is called "Due Process." I like the story, like the book, and I hope readers do, too. I'm nervous about it, as always. As I've said before, sending a new book out into the world is like sending one of your children off to college or to a job in another city or state for the first time. You hope you've done your best raising them and you hope things turn out well, but you never know for sure. The Dillard series has been tremendously successful, especially for an independently-published author. We've sold right at 2.5 million of them now, and the numbers get better each year. I get emails constantly now from other indie authors wanting to know how I've managed to achieve the success I've achieved. The answer is pretty easy. I've written thirteen books now and people have liked them. Having a son who is a marketing genius when it comes to ebook sales and who has studied Amazon like a professional researcher has been a tremendous help. Many of those writers have written one book, maybe two, and they think I can give them the keys to the kingdom and make them rich. I can't, but I offer what help I can. I usually refer them to Dylan, but nobody wants to pay him. I pay him. I pay him a lot, because he's worth every dime.
I recently signed a contract to write a three-book series for Audible. The protagonist is a woman named Presley Carter, and the series is set in Nashville. They're talking about getting a well-known actress to record it, which would be tremendously cool as far as I'm concerned. The way my deal with Audible works is that they get to release the Audible book first. They promote it and have exclusive rights for four months. After four months, I'll publish the ebook and paper editions through our publishing company, Phoenix Flying, LLC, and make it available on Amazon. Dylan will be in charge of the marketing of the ebooks and paper, and I expect that series to go BOOM.
So the career is going great. On the home front, things are fluid. Kristy stopped taking treatments for her breast cancer back in mid-January. They'd basically run out of options and they put her on an old, harsh chemotherapy that almost killed her a couple of times. So she stopped. She's gained 18 pounds since she stopped the treatment. She isn't nearly as strong as she once was, but she still has a great sense of humor and a good attitude. I've said this many times, but I'll say it again. I've never met anyone as tough as Kristy and I've never met anyone with a stronger will to live. She is truly amazing.
My son-in-law, Andy, will graduate from medical school in May. In July, he and my daughter, Kody, and two of my grandchildren, Jonah and Zoey, will move to Cincinnati, Ohio, for six years while Andy goes through his pediatric residency program and a fellowship program that will train him to work in a Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit. He wants to take care of sick babies. I'm extremely proud of him, but it's going to be very difficult to see them go. They bought a house up there last week. It's happening, and it's happening quickly. I love it and I hate it. My oldest son, Jeremiah, recently got a job as a fireman. He's wanted that for a long time, and I'm so happy for him. His goal is to become a fire chief someday, and I have absolutely no doubt that he'll do so. He and his wife, Meghan, along with their beautiful, four-year-old daughter, Adley, live in Knoxville, Iowa. They'll be here this summer, I hope. I can't wait to see them.
Life is life, right? There's good and there's bad, there are ups and there are downs. I'm trying to manage a lot of things right now. Some days it seems like I just can't do it, but you know what? I can. I'm living and before it's over, I plan to live even better than I am now. I wish each and every person who reads this a good life. Don't give in to despair. Don't give in to self-doubt. Live. Love. Live some more. Love some more. Best wishes from me and mine to you and yours.