Me: “What does that say? Do they…” (I look at the Hubster) “Read this email and tell me what you think.”

(I impatiently chew the inside of my cheek until I taste blood)

Hubster: *Nods* “Yup, you did it. Holy shit. High fives, babe.”

Cue the internal freak out as I force a high five and then read, and re-read, and re-re-read the email telling me my manuscript was accepted. ACCEPTED! By an impressive company like Booktrope Publishing no less. A company that strives for a “Team publishing” platform to put out the best work and assist authors the whole way through. For a newbie like myself, I need all the help I can get.

Visit and discover the brilliance for yourself.

I nearly swallowed my tongue thinking I may…no WILL…at some point in the future of futures have a title with my name on the spine snuggling in with other Booktrope titles on my personal bookshelf. What started as a cure for boredom resulted in a passion that led me to slinging words at a page like an angsty painter. I had no clue what I was doing and, furthermore, had no clue how much I sucked.

No, really, I sucked. Still suck, but now I’m equipped with some knowledge jingling in my bag of tricks and a support system that keeps me on my toes, including a husband that expresses minimal complaints when I don’t get out of my pajamas for 3 days straight, or I forget the stack of dirty dishes, or I disturb him crawling into bed at 5am when my hands have finally screamed loud enough for me to tap out for the night and he has work in an hour.

I’ll never claim luck. I’m not lucky and waiting for that horseshoe to crawl up your hoo-ha will leave you with grey-haired regrets wishing you would’a (Fill in the blanks of your failed destiny). My advice (No, I won’t pretend to be an expert now) is to do what you love and discover like-minded individuals.

That was MY secret.

Besides tapping away at a keyboard looking for a creative outlet for my crazy brain, I met some rock-your-socks people in a Facebook group. You heard me, a Facebook group. You people know who you are. You’re the ones unafraid to call me a colourful array of expletives if I make excuses for not putting words on the page. You shove encourage my inner weirdo to wave its weirdo flag, write pantsless, and insist on using the Oxford comma. That’s the type of crazy you keep close.

You want to write a story, do it. Start small, don’t show a soul if you choose, just START. Writers write. There’s no secret recipe, no Indiana Jones moves to coordinate, just words. Oh and punctuation.  Punctuation helps a ton.

Now comes the real work. Considering I already have a full-time job at a Shelter, this means adding a second career to my roster. I was already writing every chance I could, but now I have to consider deadlines and decisions that will test my analysis paralysis. Talk about pressure. If you see me wearing a hat or some head covering fashion accessory I normally wouldn’t since I have Small Head Syndrome, it’s because the bald spots haven’t filled in yet.


Wish me luck!

(Oh, wait. Where’s that horseshoe again?)


Author: @sjcairns

S.J. Cairns creates paranormal romance fantasy from her hometown in Southern Ontario, Canada. When S.J is not plugging away at her laptop on her comfy couch, you can find her chasing around her four-year-old daughter alongside her husband of over twenty years or working in true chaos at local homeless shelters and anti-human trafficking safe house.

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