Monday, January 6, 2014

What a year!

Posted by JM Darhower Monday, January 06, 2014, under | 6 comments

Somehow, when I wasn't looking, it became 2014. Seriously. I'm not sure how it happened. It was just 1998 and I was listening to NSYNC and writing fanfiction and now all of a sudden I'm thirty years old and it's damn near two decades later (and I'm still listening to NSYNC and writing the occasional fanfiction, but that's besides the point...) Anyway, yeah, so it's 2014.

This past year has been a whirlwind, full of ups and downs, but I can safely say it was the most interesting of my life. So without further ado, I present you with my 2013 in review:

1.) Started off the year by announcing I'd landed a book deal with the amazing Simon & Schuster. I'm forever grateful, and humbled, and just elated that the folks at Pocket and Gallery would take a chance on me, and on Haven, and Carmine, and the Sempre world. Truly a dream come true.

2.) Then best friend and I decided to drive to Florida to see Maroon 5 in concert (hello, Adam Levine!) but GPS decided it wanted to kill us instead so it sent us down a remote dirt path in South Carolina and told us to turn right into a lake...

...and when we finally made it to Florida (thankfully in one piece) we discovered we were staying at the same hotel as the band. Amazing weekend. Amazing concert (even if we did drive like six hours to the closest show only for them to announce an upcoming show near us as soon as we got there).

3.) Visited my friends Sarah and Shannon in CA and went to Disneyland and my spawn (unsurprisingly) didn't think it was the happiest place on earth (pfffftttt I had fun, so whatever...) and then we discovered Legoland was somehow even worse. But my son met the amazing Katie Lucas that weekend, so he was the happiest kid on the planet then. Also, I saw my book sitting on a shelf in a movie producer's office. That was probably a highlight of my life. Very surreal moment.

4.) Went with best friend and got my firefly tattoo in memory of my mama, who passed away the year before after a fight with lung cancer. The writing is hers, taken straight from a card she'd sent me years ago when I was off in college (an NSYNC greeting card, strangely enough).

 5.) Saw Imagine Dragons over the summer with my brother. BEST CONCERT EVER.

6.) My first big book signing in Orlando at Book Bash in June. Totally amazing. I have the BEST readers ever. I loved meeting so many of you (even though I didn't have any Sempre books!)

7.) That time I met Theo James at comic-con (yes, THEO, aka TOBIAS, aka FOUR, aka one of the hottest guys to ever walk the earth who plays one of the greatest characters ever written) and I only vaguely knew who he was at the time. I was like, oh hey, hot guy from Underworld!

I read Divergent after I got home. If I knew then what I know now... man... we'd be in some trouble...
(just kidding... I know how to behave... maybe...)

8.) That time I met Dean Winchester Jensen Ackles and the rest of the cast of Supernatural and realized they are practically their characters in the flesh. What a surreal experience. I even have a (terrible) picture to immortalize the moment I was touched by an angel ;)

9.) Basically just comic-con in general. It's so weird to think that most of my favorite moments of the year happened in the span of one weekend. There's something magical about being able to go somewhere and just be YOU, to let the inner geek out and fly your fangirl flag high and just proudly love what you love without being judged for it. Meeting so many wonderful authors, and seeing the stars of the shows and movies you love, while spending time with the greatest friends... amazing.

10.) That time I met Chuck Palahniuk and acquired a signed copy of the brilliant Fight Club *pets lovingly*

11.) Naughty Mafia book signing in Las Vegas... still had no copies of Sempre, but it was amazing to meet so many readers and make new friends and just hang out with people who love books as much as I do!
 And then getting a chance to play tourist with Sarah afterward (even though Bugsy pushed her down the stairs). Amazing seeing The Flamingo and stalking all things mafia in the area.

12.) And then we culminated the year with the release of Sempre and Sempre: Redemption. The feeling of seeing them together for the first time on my kindle app was truly indescribable... I legit cried for a few minutes. Perfecting ending to the year.

You can buy both on ebook and audio book today, with paperbacks coming soon! Available on Amazon and B&N and Audible and Tantor and just anywhere you buy your books basically.

So now the question is... what the hell am I going to do in 2014 to top all of this?! Well the answer to that will hopefully come soon, but suffice to say there will be more books, more signings, more trips, more drinks, more friends, more Theo James (a girl can dream, right?), more petting of my copy of Fight Club, more everything... and I truly owe it all to you, my lovely readers, for believing in me, and helping me believe in myself. I hope to meet so many more of you in the months to come (and this time, I'll FINALLY have copies of Sempre!!)


THAT is a pretty awesome year. :)

Yay for more books! I'm looking forward to what comes next. <3

I love your books! I want so lucky to be part of the Sempre Redemption blog tour! I can't wait for what is next. I really REALLY want to meet you at a signing some day.

1. I didn't realize your first name was Jessica.

2. I didn't realize you were 30 just like me.

3. Looks like you had an awesome year

4. What about Extinguish?

5. I loved Sempre and Sempre: Redemption. Both new and old versions of Sempre. :)

6. Good Luck in 2014 :)

Thanks for sharing. I loved getting to know you and share in your great year. You'll have to find a way to post where your next year will take you. I'd love a chance to meet you in person much in the same way you've described meeting some of your favorite celeb's and authors. So bring on 2014, let us know where you'll be, book signings and all. Thank you for the special ending you gave us in Sempre Redemption, for me, it was a dream come true. You did not disappoint with your Sempre books. I've read all your work and look forward to more. Keep your words coming, love them all!

Whooo, I have the self published version of Sempre. Maybe I'll put it up for sale on ebay, first bid must be over 500 dollars off course... ;) Naw, I love it and will never part with it, but I will still purchase the new edition. I have redemption on my iphone, but I only read fanfiction online, I like to buy books in paper format so I can support the author to the fullest. And you so deserve the support and praise, because Sempre truly made me aware of human trafficking. I love how you give us this beautifully written world to indulge in, while still informing us on the reality of slavery in the modern world.

Oh and I also finished Extinguish today, I honestly found it to be really refreshing. I have read a couple of fallen angels themed books, but to fall on love with Satan himself? That was great. You have this gift - mobsters, demons... you make us sympathize with them.

But truly - Thank you. I have followed your work since I was very young, and now at 20 I still fangirl over your stories, both in fanfiction form and in published work. You will always leave me coming back for more...

You're amazing I hope to meet you someday in the future! :)

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