Guest post from author C.J. Duggan:
Today I wanted to share with you how a dream can become a reality. I decided to look back on the past few years from when I decided to ‘Own what I do’ by upping the stakes to write and publish my debut novel. I scrolled through my old blog posts to where it all began. Here is my very first post and the decision I made that would change my life forever.
February 16th, 2011.
I am a writer (and yes I have decided to admit the title and claim it with pride) And as writers, so often many of us shy away from the admission and think ourselves not worthy. Like myself, I am what I would call a “Closet Writer” a writer in secrecy in the fear of being judged as strange, or littered with nosey questions. A writer can be many things and do it for many reasons. I know this sounds rather cliché’ but I have always even from a young age found myself plotting, world building, scheming the majority of the day to the point I fear becoming more and more detached from this world. How then to answer my husbands “Whatch ya thinking about?” question as I day dream in the car, if I was to answer honestly it would no doubt raise an eyebrow and have me committed.
Unless I am a writer, right?
I am now come to a point where I think, what’s stopping me? Why not pursue what makes me happy? What I am truly passionate about. This isn’t just a phase, I have suffered from this brainstorming affliction all of my life to the point where I have so much pent up story lines and characters waiting to burst from my imagination. So where to begin? Let’s remember I am a newbie (Oh how I loathe that word) I have come out of the closet and embracing my inner writer. Call me mad but I actually think as the ‘writer’ in me as my alter ego, the thing within me that has the want to express alternative people and places – therefore the creation of my Author name (C.J Duggan) was born. Yep! I have decided I am releasing my inner alter ego on the world, while keeping some mystery. Let’s face it, and here is the clincher – Start small aim big – by doing so I plan to build confidence, technique, experience, time – indeed so much time and energy might be dedicated to keep anonymous or maybe I will want to shout out to the world “Here I am!!…Look at me!! Guess only time will tell?
And time did tell.
Two years on and I am an honest to God Author. Not only is it a dream come true but through a lot of hard work and determination I have created something that not only resinates with me but is also reaching an international audience. Three weeks after its release ‘The Boys of Summer’ broke into the Top 100 Amazon Best Sellers, both in U.S and U.K, it ranked at Number One in Australian iBooks and Number Sixteen in Canadian iBooks. I really wanted to reiterate that nothing great was ever achieved without some form of doubt and insecurity. The road to this point was filled with such moments and I am so thankful for those moments, because it was everything with in them that lead me to where I am today.
“Laugh at yourself, but don’t ever aim your doubt at yourself. Be bold. When you embark for strange places, don’t leave any of yourself safely on shore. Have the nerve to go into unexplored territory.”
– Alan Alda
C.J Duggan is an Australian author who lives with her husband in a rural border town of New South Wales, Australia. An Endless Summer is book Two in her Mature Young Adult Romance Series.
For more on C.J and ‘The Summer Series’, visit www.cjdugganbooks.com
Loving Chris Henderson would be wrong. Diabolically disastrous. I mean, what is there about him to love? He’s moody, bossy, brooding, a control freak, and that’s on a good day … but there was one achingly obvious fact that haunted my every thought, every minute of every day …
He sure could kiss.
As the countdown to the new millennium begins, there is one thing everyone agrees on: no one wants to be in Onslow for New Year’s Eve.
So that can only mean one thing: road trip!
No longer the mousey, invisible, shy girl from years ago, Tammy Maskala is finally making up for all those lost summers. A new year with new friends, which astoundingly includes the bossy boy behind the bar, Chris Henderson.
She likes her new friends (at least most of them), so why does she secretly feel so out of place?
After chickening out on the trip, a last-minute change of heart sees Tammy racing to the Onslow Hotel, fearing she’s missed her chance for a ride. The last thing she expected to meet was a less-than-happy Onslow Boy leaning against his black panel van.
Now the countdown begins to reach the others at Point Shank before the party is over and the new year has begun. Alone in a car with only the infuriating Chris Henderson, Tammy can’t help but feel this is a disastrous start to what could have been a great adventure. But when the awkward road trip takes an unexpected turn, Tammy soon discovers that the way her traitorous heart feels about Chris is the biggest disaster of all.
Fogged up windows, moonlight swimming, bad karaoke and unearthed secrets; after this one summer nothing will ever be the same again.
“Guess we better not muck around then.” Even in the night-time shadows I could tell that amusement lined his face; I could tell simply by the way the words had fallen off his tongue. They were tauntingly suggestive. If he thought it was funny to make me squirm under his penetrating stare, well, I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction.
I lifted my chin. “Keep dreaming, Henderson. I’m not skinny dipping,” I said proudly. “I don’t care how secluded this place is.”
The light of the moon illuminated the brilliant flash of Chris’s toothy smile. “More’s the pity,” he said. “To be honest, I’ll be amazed if you even get in.” He walked right up to the edge of the pool.
“Why wouldn’t I?” I said quickly.
Chris stretched his arms to the sky. “You just don’t strike me as a girl who gets out of her comfort zone much.”
My entire summer had been spent out of my comfort zone. This whole trip had been massively out of my comfort zone. But I had done it. Against all my better instincts, here I was. I had even been prepared to potentially do something last night with Chris that was completely out of character. I had wanted him to kiss me – everything in my body language had screamed as much at him. He would have to have been blind not to have understood that much last night, but he had known. Of course he had. Why else would he have spun around so fast other than to avoid me?
I felt not so much the burning of humiliation rising in me, but more the burning of anger.
He didn’t know anything about me. So what if I didn’t want to go skinny dipping? Just because I had some safety-related questions over the creepy, poorly lit, abandoned pool, I was a girl who never pushed the boundaries? That never went against the grain?
Fuck you, Chris Henderson.
My brows narrowed and all of a sudden I hoped that I was illuminated well enough that he’d see just how angry his statement had made me.
I pushed past Chris, my feet slapping angrily against the cool, wet concrete as I glanced out toward the massive pool.
“You don’t have to, you know,” Chris said, looking uncomfortable. “I just thought that it was kind of a cool place to bring you after a long trip.”
Oh, now he was trying to be nice and supportive?
Underneath the glow of the pool light, I stood close enough to count all the different shades of brown in his eyes, eyes that ticked across my face as if trying to solve the mysteries of the universe through me. Then they lit up, as if at that very moment he had realised what my determined, serious gaze meant.
“Tammy, wait …”
It was too late. In an act of defiance, as he reached out toward me, without a second thought I dived into the water.
Giveaway! Win a complete set of the Summer books (ebooks):
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