Five years ago this week, on Monday, November 26, 2010, I was sitting in my office at the company where I used to work. I heard a knock on my open office door and quickly minimized my browser window. The president of the company was standing in my doorway.
As if he wasn’t already painfully aware that I spent most of the day browsing Facebook.
I worked for a government contractor securing multimillion-dollar construction contracts, so the 2008 financial meltdown hit us hard. Government funds had dried up, so I spent most of my workday either on Facebook or writing my novel. About half of our field workforce and half the office employees had already been laid off. When I saw the president standing in my doorway with a stack of envelopes in his hand, I knew what was about to happen.
He stepped inside and closed my office door behind him, then he took a seat in the guest chair across from me. After thanking me for the ten years I’d been with the company, he handed me my severance checks and apologized that things couldn’t be different. We both stood from our chairs and I shook his hand vigorously. With a genuine, almost uncontrollable smile, I thanked him for taking a chance on me ten years earlier and for allowing me to be a part of their family.
When I tell people this story, I often worry that people don’t believe me when I tell them I was happy when I got laid off. The truth is, I knew that my life was changing for the better. Sure, I knew things would be tough for a little while, but I also knew I was finally free. The false sense of security I had clinged to the past ten years was gone. I was finally awake and free to pursue my crazy dream of publishing a book, or two.
As happy as I was that day, I don’t think I would have believed anyone who told me that exactly five years later I would have a successful career as a full-time author and I would be buying a brand new home on the gorgeous Oregon Coast. My life has changed so drastically over the past five years, mostly for the better, and I have thousands of readers to thank for that.
You’ve allowed me to pursue my dream. You’ve helped me take care of my mother as she descends into Alzheimer’s. You’ve made it possible for me to know that my daughter won’t have to worry about me in my old age.
To say that I’m grateful today would be an enormous understatement. I am verklempt.
So to thank you all for changing my life in ways you will never know, and to show the universe my gratitude for the most amazing five years of my life, I have FIVE Thanksgiving sales today, including a free book and a 99¢ preorder.
Enjoy! And happy Thanksgiving to you all!
FREE – THE WAY WE FALL
99¢ BOXED SET – LUKE SERIES
99¢ STAND ALONE – BLACK BOX
99¢ COUNTDOWN – RIPPED
99¢ PREORDER – ACTING OUT
(Shattered Hearts #8 – Jimi Knight’s story)