Sometimes life's greatest milestones occur while dealing with life's deepest tragedies. Wish it didn't work that way, but it often does. For me, anyway.
In 2010, I was still grieving my mother's passing when my 10th book was released. Valley of Bones was not only the conclusion to my Jerusalem's Undead Trilogy. It was, also the tying together of threads from my Senses series and my Aramis Black series, both of which I had intended to continue but were cancelled due to middling sales.
I was grieving my mom. Grieving the end of all my book series. Grieving for a daughter who struggled with opioid addiction. Grieving family members and their personal struggles.
Then, despite my new status as a NY Times bestselling author, my publisher rejected my proposed Numbers series for being "too dark and supernatural." They wanted me to crank out more Fireproof-type stories, to become, in their words, "the Christian Nicholas Sparks."
Were they kidding me? That was not even close to my goals as a writer and storyteller.
My 10th book had been such a milestone, a point of celebration, with over a million words in print, and now I was battling chronic depression--something I have dealt with most of my life, off and on.
How could I break out of this?
Where was the door out of this black room in my head?
I took long walks. Poured out my feelings to God. I looked for his fingerprints in the clouds, in the leaves, in the whorl of the hickory bark along quiet Tennessee trails.
I hung in there, day by day by day ...
And the light crept back in. I signed a contract with a small publisher for my Numbers series. I started writing again.
I realized I had a choice. I could stay stuck in my melancholy as the cold world passed me by. Or get off my self-pitying ass, be grateful for the milestones, and press ahead.
I pressed ahead.