When I was in high school, I knew I wanted to write a book someday. When I was in my early twenties, I sat down with my first laptop and developed characters. That laptop crashed, and a lot of life happened in the next years. The book was still in the back of my mind, but raising my family was at the forefront. In the summer of 2018, while I was on my annual girls' trip with my best friends, we talked more and more about how the book needed to happen. This core group of women in my life has always been a constant form of stability for me. We've been together for 15 years, and for 15 years they have been pumping me up and believing in my dreams. While we were in the adults' only pool on our trip, we discussed some ideas, and laughed at how I would use pieces of each of us in the characters. It seemed like a far off dream, but I still knew that it would happen. The characters that were developed on my first laptop all those years ago are gone. I have no clue who they were or what their stories were. But in July 2019, I developed new characters. I was laying in bed one night and figured that it was time. I got out a notebook and scribbled down names and personality traits and certain story lines for each woman and then went to sleep. The next day I just started writing. I know that every good writer uses an outline, but I honestly didn't know what the journey of each woman would be, and I just typed it as fast as possible as it came to me. Writing so raw like that, I felt like I was living the journey with them. I didn't know what would happen next until it happened. Some experts may say that is amateur writing, and I'd agree and say, "Well I'm an amateur." I laughed out loud as one of the characters would come up with a hilarious idea for their girls' trip, and then I would have to sit back and tell myself, "Chelsea, that's YOU that just came up with that idea." But the characters became so real to me that I became them as I wrote from their points of view. They made me laugh and made me cry and made me proud. Each character possesses qualities of my core girlfriends, but also fictional qualities and story lines. They are not based on my friends, but rather, contain pieces of them. And each character contains qualities of me sprinkled throughout. Some stories in the novel really happened, and some did not. It's fun to think that readers won't know fiction from reality. I started writing the book July 17, 2019 and finished it August 7, 2019. Again, an expert would probably tell me that it takes months to write a good book. And I'd respond with, "Well, it took me 22 days, and I think it's good." After finishing, I let several friends and family members read it so that they could help me edit and fill in holes that I didn't catch. The feedback was all positive. Is that because they love me? Maybe so. Is it because they love the book? Hopefully. I researched what I needed to do next to get my book out there. I know that I can always go the self publishing route, but I wanted to give it a go with a large platform first. So here I am now. The book is in the hands of an editor that I hired. I now wait to hear back from her, and then I will move forward trying to find a literary agent and hopefully a publisher. I am not against self publishing, and I will be happy to go that route if that is the road in which this journey leads me. Also in researching, I found that things can get pretty expensive when publishing a book, no matter which route I choose, (or chooses me, rather.) I created a Kickstarter to help me get things going. It's hard to ask for assistance when other people chase their dreams and make it happen all on their own. But then again, I didn't do any of this on my own. I was inspired by my friends, I was motivated by my friends and family, and I did it because people believed in me. So therefore, I can swallow my pride and ask for more support. The cool thing about Kickstarter is that it isn't a donation platform. It is a crowdfunding platform based on creativity and merchandising. When you make a pledge, you select a reward, and pledge the amount for that reward. So you don't come out empty handed, you get something in return. It's more like supporting, but also making a purchase. Additionally, Kickstarter is all or nothing. If I don't make my goal, then I get nothing, and those who pledged are not charged. That's where things get scary, because what if I don't make my goal? But I try to shut those what ifs out of my mind, because honestly, there are tons of what ifs with this entire adventure. But I'm an optimist. I always have been. That quality has hurt me over the last two years, but I won't be changing any time soon. Here is the link to my Kickstarter, and below is the synopsis for the novel.