My journey in publishing fiction began in 2016. I wrote and published Anika Writes Her Soldier (which was then called Yours, Always) right before my husband and I celebrated our third anniversary.
I hit publish and while we were on a trip to Waco celebrating, I checked my sales dashboard. Two whole sales on my 99-cent book. I was over the moon!
Two people I didn’t know had picked up MY story. Had thought it was interesting and worth their time. It felt like a dream come true!
So much has changed in the years since then. I’ve written several YA novels outside of the Texas High Series, including The Curvy Girl Club, and then continued with other characters’ stories like Skye’s and Abi’s.
When Abi’s book hit the scene as a birthday present to myself in December of 2018, I had high hopes for the story. I had no idea it would go on to sell thousands of copies and that readers would love and identify with Abi in a very real way.
I got messages almost every day for quite a while asking me if I was going to write a second book in her series. For quite a while, my answer was a simple “I don’t know.”
I hadn’t planned on it, because it’s hard to think that the “happily ever afters” you write in romance aren’t set in stone, but I knew Abi had more growing to do. More challenges to overcome.
So, I continued on to book two in her portion of the series, called “Abi and the Boy Who Lied.” This was the most suspenseful book I’ve ever written, and man did it keep me on the edge of my seat!
I was so nervous about getting it out to readers, but you guys welcomed it with open arms. I loved hearing from those who had wished for another story and knowing that I was giving you books you wanted to read!
After book two, I knew there had to be a third one that would propel Jon and Abi into their next stage of life. This one would see them making it through college and see whether or not they could handle the growing pains of going from high school sweet hearts to college sweet hearts to husband and wife.
There were some scenes in there that were NOT fun to write, but the ending was worth it. I ever got to write some fun bonus stories, like Jon and His Prom Date and Abi and the Boy She Married. Those gave me all the feels and reminded me of just how precious happily ever after could be.
There were high moments as well, like having my book, Chasing Skye, included in Colleen Hoover’s The Bookworm Box. Seeing my book with a unique, exclusive cover, along with adorable swag, will always be one of my favorite experiences!
I am officially done with the Texas High Series. It is seven books long, beginning with Chasing Skye and ended with Abi and the Boy She Loves. The characters grew up so much throughout the stories, but I feel like I grew up with them as well. I learned how to write and publish books, engage with readers, and create fiction that really speaks to life as a teenager just trying to figure it all out.
Maybe you just want to read Skye’s Story plus Anika Writes her Solder in It Gets Better separately, or just read Abi’s series in Falling for the Boy Next Door. All three options are available.
No matter which one you go with, YOU WIN!