Everything happens for a reason

I really, truly believe this. Heck, my current WIP has this very theme at its core.

I still haven’t decided if believing that things happen for a reason is the same as believing in fate. Because the idea of fate, the notion that you are on a preconceived path and there is nothing you can do to alter it, TERRIFIES me. (I just rewatched T-2 for the millionth time with the Engineer the other night so the “no fate but what we make” mantra is currently loud in my head.)

However, it’s funny how certain things pan out. I’ve spoken before about losing my job in 2009, just months before my wedding. At the time, this felt like a horrible, horrible event, but it lead to me picking up the pen again, and I sometimes wonder if I’d even have written a novel had it not been for getting laid off. Probably not. And that first novel lead to another, which lead to querying TAKEN, and, well, you know where it goes from there.

Back in October of 2011, I received an email from an author who I admired. I stalked her blog a bit (obsessively), tweeted with her on occasion (like, three whopping times), and was anxiously (rabidly) looking forward to her forthcoming YA fantasy novel. That writer was Sarah J. Maas.

She told me she was a part of the group blog Let the Words Flow (which I also stalked), and that they were branching out in a new direction come 2012. They wanted to evolve the blog, cover more topics, include new contributors. It was going to be called Pub(lishing) Crawl. Sarah asked me if I wanted to join.

I was an idiot because I almost said no. I remember being worried I wouldn’t have the time to dedicate to the site. I already had my own blog and Thirteeners to contribute to. On occasion I’d also post on my agent’s blog, Crowe’s Nest. I didn’t want to disappoint Sarah, this author who I barely knew but admired greatly. I didn’t want to disappoint the other amazing contributors at Pub Crawl either, or not live up to their expectations, or be the weak link.

But I had this feeling. It seemed like the offer to join fell right into my lap and that I really, really, really shouldn’t turn it down. (Things happen for a reason, right?)

So I told Sarah yes.

And guys, I want to go back and wallop Past Erin over the head for even thinking about saying no. Because joining Pub(lishing) Crawl was one of the best things that has happened to me during my publishing journey. The writers, agents, editors, and booksellers that make up this group have become like a second family to me. They welcomed me wholeheartedly. I never felt like “the new contributor.” (I don’t think any of the new contributors did, to be honest.) They have become a sounding board, a shoulder to lean on, an outlet to vent to. They are amazing.

But the greatest thing has been the friendships I’ve formed being a part of this group. Susan Dennard recently blogged about the importance of having writer friends and she is 100% right. Writer friends–not just acquaintances, but real, true friends–are priceless. Being able to talk about copy edits and character arcs and advance checks with people that truly understand (and are living) these terms has kept me sane. I can’t believe that just a year ago, some of my current friendships didn’t even exist.

Sarah’s book, THRONE OF GLASS, hits shelves today.

You’ve probably heard about this novel over the last few weeks–it seems to the be the thing everyone is talking about, and rightfully so–but if not, I encourage you to rush to your nearest bookstore and snag a copy. It has a little bit of everything–action, adventure, mystery, mythology, romance, politics–and is the kind of fantasy novel you want to live inside. Celaena is one of my favorite female protagonists. She’s full of flaws, but strong and passionate. You can’t help but root for her as she attempts to win her freedom by competing to be the King’s Champion.

I read this novel back in January, on my iPad, when it was still undergoing some final copy editing. Even then it was phenomenal. Today, it’s finally out in stores!

I am so very excited excited for Sarah that it’s a little pathetic. Like, proud-mother excited. Fan-girlish-flailing excited. Tears-up-just-thinking-about-the-book-on-shelf excited. To be honest, I think I always would have been excited for THRONE OF GLASS’ release, even if I had said no when Sarah asked me to join Pub Crawl months ago. The difference is I would have been excited as a reader, and now I’m excited as a friend.

So Sarah: thank you! I don’t know why you reached out to me, but I am so, soooo grateful you did. If everything happens for a reason, that initial email must have served to spark a friendship. (I mean, think of all the emails, video chats, text messages, Workaholics quotes, Olympic fan-girling, and other craziness we would have missed out on otherwise!) And if fate does exist, as terrifying as I find the concept, I guess I should be thanking my lucky stars that I was fated to have friendships like this one come into my life. I wish you the very happiest of book birthdays. You deserve it all.

And to my blog readers: What do you think? Do things happen for a reason? Does fate exist? Are they one in the same? These are the kind of topics that blow my mind. Let’s discuss in the comments. (And then maybe you’d like to go wish Sarah a happy pub day via twitter. I’m sure it would make her day! ;) )

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Dustborn Cover
The Girl and the Witch's Garden cover
Immunity cover