I gave myself a gift this year and took a great big leap of faith by self-pubbing a book I believed in that no one else wanted. It wasn’t that they didn’t like it. It’s just not what they were all used to me writing. In other words, I wasn’t supposed to want out of the box I was in. However, we all know what happens to stuff we never use, it goes out of style. And me, being a country girl from Oklahoma raised by a daddy who taught me to change a flat before he taught me to drive, wasn’t all that keen on boxes and going out of style. So, after doors slammed in my face repeatedly, I by God cut my own door in the walls surrounding me and did it my way. I will always be the independent thinker who wants to know WHY it won’t work, and then will go about my business and find a way to prove everyone wrong. It’s how I was put together. It may never make the NYT bestseller list, but you know what, I’ve been on that list multiple times and it didn’t change one facet of my daily existence. In fact, it rarely changed the ensuing royalty statement either. I don’t know how the world judges people who are winners, but I have already succeeded what I set out to do. It was liberating to find out that the loyalty of readers I’d been building for the past 20 years weren’t the least bit daunted by a new genre. Loyalty is a rare commodity in this life and the loyalty of my fans is not unappreciated. I feel blessed in every aspect of my life, even when it’s hard and sad and even when I feel like I’m standing in a deep hole without a ladder. So, when Valentine’s Day rolls around next week, I won’t need chocolates or flowers or fancy cards to be reminded that I am loved. The support of my readers has already proven to me that they love what I write and for me, that is enough.