All good things to those who wait . . .

Hello everyone and Happy Mother’s Day!

“Wait, who is that,” you ask?  Ani who?  Ani-the-seemingly-nice-author-who-dropped-off-the-face-of-the-earth-and-left-us-with-no-story? That bitch! Yep, it’s me.  Really me and not the zombie-like creature that I practically became for quite a while. A hideously long while. I know it has been forever since I have posted here and, after you yell at me some more, I hope you say “ok, fine, welcome back! We sort of missed you, too.” Because I really missed you . . . And because I think my news will make you happy.

Half-jokes aside, I wanted to thank every single one of you who dropped me a line during this absence, and checked in on me, Aiden, and Elisa.  All your messages meant a lot to me during a very hard personal time.  I won’t bore you or waste your time with the gory details (nor do I really want to revisit them) but I promise I had good reasons, which kept piling up in what appeared to be some sick joke.  I’ll be honest (and really embarrassed) to admit that I gave up on quite a few things, and dreams—like writing is for me—have a way of being the first ones to go.  And the most painful ones to hold on to. I don’t know why that is, but I now know how to get past it: with friends and family and actually learning to accept some goddamn help! It sounds cheesy and simple but it’s the truth. So slowly but surely, things got better. A lot better! And now, I know what to do next time the universe plots a merciless shitstorm on me or anyone I love. 🙂  Some day, I may even write about it.  But—as Elisa would say—not today.  Today is only about happy news! And—aside from my family—I can’t imagine anyone else who would be as excited about this as you will be.  Drumroll please . . .

THIRTY NIGHTS HAS FOUND ITS HOME!  Yep, that’s right!!!!  After months of editing and revising, preparing things like “book jackets,” writing synopses (eek!), taking author photos (double eek!), dealing with submissions, surviving rejections, rejoicing from offers, and learning about terms like “trade edition rights,” I have a deal for its publication with a great U.S. publisher and an awesome, kick-ass editor that loves Elisa and Aiden as much as I do (and that’s a lot!).  Although I can’t share a lot of these details until we get closer to publication date (currently slated for Fall 2015!!) I’m very happy with it. Actually, “happy” does not begin to describe it! In the words of Elizabeth Bennet, it’s “incandescently happy.” I feel like it’s the reward, the gratitude, and the joy for everything that happened this past  year and a reminder to never, ever, ever give up on your dreams! Take breaks from them, have some distance when they get painful, but keep writing until your little fingers fall on that keyboard from typing, ignore all the naysayers, especially yourself, and listen only to those who see your potential!!  Because they are right! And trust me, some day, after rock-bottom, your dream happens! Not at all the way you thought it would (at least not for me) but it does come!!  So at the risk of sounding like the movie “Pretty Woman,”  keep on dreaming!! 🙂

NOW, the fun details… at least those that I can share.  1) The picture below is just for fun, we don’t know what the cover will look like yet. 🙂  2) Yes, my new pen name is “Ani Keating” (Surnois is really hard to spell… my fault, I thought I was being clever but why should any reader have to scratch their heads to find me?); 3) The published novel will involve scenes, dates and chapters you have not seen before, some of my secret twists and turns that I had always envisioned and hoped I could share with you  but thought I’d never get a chance to (plus, if people will buy copies, I want them to get something new too :-)); 4) But it will be a bit shorter—those things you hear about word count maximums, etc.—they are all true.  When the book goes to print, there is a huge cost to publishers so some things (as much as it wrenches my heart right out of my chest) have to come out.  But they will be on my website after publication, so you’ll have lots and lots of materials to play with; 5) This novel—the story I had always wanted to tell—is the first of a series.  Yep, a series.  “The American Beauty” Series—I gotta admit, I have a soft spot for that name; 6) I am now a blubbering mess.

So again, thank you, thank you, thank you! I hope you are all as excited about this as I am.  I can’t wait for all of you to finally hold the book in your hands, and who knows . . . maybe meet some of you too!!

In the meantime, I’ll be around. Although 30N and 90D material will be limited due to contract restrictions, I will have new things for you, new stories, and of course, the trials and tribulations of publication.  Thank you for following me in this journey every step of the way, even during my absence, and thank you for the faith and loyalty you have given to me and my story!!  Here it starts!!

American Beauty Coming Soon