Do you believe it’s October already? The year is flying past quickly. Much too fast for me.
In August, I teamed up with authors Marilyn Baron, Melissa Klein, and Kenney Ryan to speak at the Decatur Book Festival over the Labor Day weekend. Kennedy and I had met before, we belong to a local writing organization, but never really spent time together before joining forces to present, “Tackling Sensitive Topics in Fiction.”
All went well. We had a nice crowd. We had fun!
And I discovered that Kennedy is a woman passionate about life, helping others, and writing. Her latest release: LOVING YOU ALWAYS is out TODAY!
Please meet Kennedy Ryan:
Things I Keep Learning
I think sometimes life has a way of making sure we’ve learned certain lessons. Like a teacher might ask you the same basic question in several different ways to be sure you’ve truly grasped the material, life does that. Life is that thorough instructor constantly reframing the same questions to ensure we truly know the answers.
I saw this over the last year in the process of releasing my debut novel, WHEN YOU ARE MINE. Certain questions I had settled and lessons I had learned, I found myself circling back to. Life’s way of saying “just making sure.” These are three of those lessons.
1. Never expect anyone to work harder for you than you are willing to work for yourself.
I signed a three-book deal with one of the large publishing houses, Hachette. There are advantages that come with that, but there is no resting on the proverbial laurels. I have worked harder than I ever have, maybe in my life, over the last year. With such a saturated market, it’s hard to penetrate. Hard to be heard. Hard to stand out. Writing a good book is the best thing you can do, but it is certainly not the only thing expected of writers anymore. I never expected my editor, my publicist, or anyone on my team to do more than I was willing to do to promote my book. I hustled. Researched trends. Developed relationships. Spent my own money. When it comes to my career, if there is a work bar to be raised? I will raise it!
2. Don’t look to the left or to the right. Look in the mirror.
What does that even mean? So many times, we look to the left and to the right. We think someone owes us something or we pout because such and such gets more and has it easier. There are factors we can’t control which propel some into NYT rarefied air, and leave some less lauded. One of my favorite quotes comes from Iyanla Vazant. “Comparison is an act of violence against the self.” Do not torture yourself with the success of others. Make. Your. Own. The insidious danger of comparison is that it whittles away your confidence and allows you excuses for achieving, not less than someone else, but less than what you could achieve. Define what success means for you, figure out strategically what it will take for you to reach that, and pursue it relentlessly. Don’t look back. And definitely don’t look at anyone else.
3. Relationships are the true world currency.
So many times over the last year, I have rediscovered this principle. I have not, like so many, been slaving away at this for years. I wrote a book, and the first agent I pitched to signed me, and the first editor, bought my book. That sounds good, but I had zero knowledge of the publishing landscape. To put it in Twitter terms, I had no klout…clout. You know what I mean! LOL! I approached this new venture the way I approach every other aspect of my life. Make friends. Look for opportunities to help others. Treat others as you would want them to treat you. Those lessons, you NEVER stop learning. They are so fundamental to how I define success as a person, I take refresher courses in them. I didn’t target influencers, or set out to network with an agenda for what people could give me. I just followed those three principles that I cherish IRL. Before I knew it, bloggers with big numbers, bestselling authors, and industry influencers were looking for ways to help me. That is humbling. I have not arrived. Wherever “there” is, I am nowhere near it, but I know there are opportunities that have come my way because of these three principles. And they are chances money could never buy.
As I release LOVING YOU ALWAYS, the second novel in that three-book deal that shocked me as much as anyone, I realize life is still quizzing me. These same lessons are on repeat, and I hope every time I’m tested, they embed themselves deeper into who I am, until they are second nature. And if there were a fourth lesson, it would be remain teachable.
Because there is always more to learn.
LOVING YOU ALWAYS SYNOPSIS:
Kerris Moreton should be the happiest woman in the world: She has a successful business and is about to start the family she’s always wanted. But the man of her dreams-the one whose green eyes see straight into her soul and whose gentle hands make her body hum with pleasure-is not hers.
Each secret moment with Walsh Bennett serves to remind Kerris of what she’s missing. And every stolen hour makes it harder to see her future without him. But being with Walsh would betray a sacred promise and upend her perfect life. When tragedy strikes, the razor’s edge between love and loyalty grows sharper than ever. And Kerris must decide where her heart will fall . . .
Kennedy Ryan Bio:
Kennedy Ryan writes contemporary romance and women’s fiction. She always give her characters their happily ever after, but loves to make them work for it! It’s a long road to love, so sit back and enjoy the ride. In an alternative universe and under her government issue name, Tina Dula, she is a wife to the love of her life, mom to a special, beautiful son, and a friend to those living with autism through her foundation Myles-A-Part, serving Georgia families.
Her writings on Autism have appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul, and she has been featured on the Montel Williams Show, NPR, Headline News and others. Ryan is donating 25% of her proceeds to her foundation and her national charitable partner, Talk About Curing Autism (TACA).
Her interview series MOMMIES DO THE MOST AMAZING THINGS is featured each month in Brooke Burke’s online magazine Modern Mom.
Looking for Kennedy? Look no further!
I hope you enjoyed meeting Kennedy. Check out her new release!