It occurred to me on New Year's Eve that I wasn't just seeing out the end of a year but an end of a decade. That really put a different spin on things. Sure, I didn't accomplish everything that I had hoped to in 2009 but what I've been through and what I've achieved in the last ten years is actually kind of extraordinary. That probably sounds conceited and God knows I'm perfectly aware of all my shortcomings but still, in this case extraordinary pretty much sums it up.
My son was six months old when this decade started, I had just finally gotten my bachelor's degree (it took me a while since I transferred schools so many flippin' times) and my father, my father-in-law and my grandmother (who I was VERY close to) were still alive. There were so many cities that I was dreaming of living in. I knew San Francisco would always be my home in some ways but nearby towns like Sausalito and far away cities like New York continued to beckon to me. Los Angeles was NO WHERE on my list of desirable living areas. Nothing about THAT city appealed to me at all. I had also recently quit my job at Nordstrom in order to stay home with my son and was perfectly content to let my then-husband support us for a while until my boy was old enough for preschool. The fissures in my marriage were showing but things weren't horrible and divorce was literally unthinkable. Oh, and my in-laws had already asked if I might be interested in homeschooling what was then their one and only grandchild and I told them that I'd rather walk through the fires of hell.
I wasn't even considering the prospect of writing a novel. I hadn't so much as written a short story since my freshman year in high school.
Now, ten years later I'm living in LA and to my total shock I actually really like it. But my father is gone. So is my father-in-law and my grandmother who I still occasionally dream about. Instead of supporting me my husband came close to financially ruining me and my marriage has long-since been over. My little baby has grown into a ten year old kid and his paternal grandmother now has eight grandchildren instead of one. And guess what? I've been homeschooling my child for almost two years (although you could argue that I did have to go through hell before actually resigning myself to it).
By the time June comes around I will have written and published six novels. In 2006 my Italian publisher put me up in Milan so I could do an Italian book tour and press conference. There's a Kyra Davis Fans page on Facebook with over 200 members!
How could all of that have happened in ten years? It's like I'm living an entirely different life now, one that I could NEVER have predicted. I lost everything that I thought I wanted and it was replaced with what I never even dreamed was possible. Ten years later and I still can't wrap my head around it.
I can't exactly say I have any regrets. Of course I wish my father-in-law had beaten cancer. I loved him and although my marriage was doomed to failure I think that if my father-in-law had been alive he would have intervened when things got ugly during the divorce and the transition process and healing would have been easier for everyone, including my ex-husband. Maybe I'm wrong but I don't think so. I wish my grandmother had lived long enough to see me publish my first book. She sooo wanted to have a writer in the family and she died before I had even picked up a pen to write the first sentence of my novel. I wish my father had lived to see the first black man elected president. That would have meant so much to him. But those aren't exactly regrets, just fate doing its thing and although my father-in-law and father both died young I think they would both agree that they had lived full lives and they were surrounded by loved ones at the end. As for my grandmother, she didn't really want to be here after my grandfather died in 1997 anyway and I like to think that wherever she is she knows that there finally is a writer in the family.
As for my career itself, well I don't even know what to say about that. Granted, I'm not J.K Rowling or anything close to an A-lister in the literary world but still, to go from never writing stories to publishing six books in less than ten years? Even to me that doesn't seem possible and I'm the one who did it!
So in the end it was a pretty good decade and I'm excited to see what the next decade will bring. But I won't make any predictions. If there's one thing the last ten years have taught me is that I can only expect the unexpected.
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SO MUCH FOR MY HAPPY ENDING
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