Night She Disappeared cover

It's my write-aversary!

file4411334714768Five years ago today was my very last day working for someone else, after having worked for a variety of someone elses for years and years. I had a contract coming my way for a medium-sized chunk of change, and I figured it was now or never.

So I gave notice and packed up my emergency makeup (I occasionally dealt with the media), my snack stash, my photos, and the little cup where I kept spare change. I said goodbye to a lot of folks and tried not think too hard about whether I was crazy to quit when the stock market had lost 40 percent of its value and I hadn't actually signed said contract.

Of course, it hasn't been all sunshine and lollipops. Thank God I've got health benefits from my husband, but everything else I pay for out of pocket (like retirement) or simply don't have. This past year was the first where I made more than I did at my day job. There have times when I have done the math and wondered exactly how we were going to pay the mortgage.

But you know what? It has worked out. I've had five books published since I quit, including The Night She Disappeared and Girl, Stolen.  Two more will publish this year, including The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die. I've got contracts for three more. There have been foreign sales, movie options, and books chosen for the Scholastic Book Club, the Junior Library Guild, and many state reading lists.

And I am so much happier!! All day long I get to kill people (or at least make them worried they might be killed) and it is so much fun. And if some of those people occasionally bear a passing resemblance to an old boss or annoying co-worker, I’m sure that’s a coincidence...

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I can't believe I lasted as long as I did at my old job. In one memorable four-month period, they let 13 people go.
Sometimes I will catch a glimpse of someone who looks my old boss and have the most visceral reaction!
I ate some chips and plan on watching the Downton Abbey I recorded on Sunday (and already know what happens - can't escape spoilers) - does that count? I have to write 45K words in the next 28 days. And they have to be clean.

What a great post! So glad things are going so well for you (even with the inevitable bumps along the road). I have a feeling it's only going to get better.

And your hard work is what makes it all happen.

You're an inspiration to others.

With all good wishes on your write-aversary,
From when I got my first contract to when I was able to quit was 11 years. I remember when my agent told me we had gotten a two-book offer for my first book (that sold). I had about three seconds of thinking "I"m gonna quit my day job!" And then she told me the amount.
Things have been good lately, but I try to remember something I once read that Susan Beth Pfeffer wrote - things always change, good or bad, and in the good times it's wise to save up some money.
I can't imagine having to go back to the corporate world. I don't even own nylons any more.
Well-earned and far more satisfying. There can be no question you made the right choice.
My husband still has a corporate job (the one with the health insurance) and every time I hear him talk about it I'm so glad it's not me!