After much consideration, prayer, and wise counsel … I have decided to go through with self-publishing my first book, Phantom Island – now coming out summer 2009 (hopefully by May)!!

This has been a crazy journey and I’m not sure I could even adequately describe to you all the situations, conversations, circumstances, and choices that have led up to this decision. What I can tell you is that it feels RIGHT. How do I know? Because every door has opened, every detail covered, every need met in order for this to happen. I am ASTOUNDED (and I do not use that word lightly) at the number of gifted people who are helping me and supporting me on this project. To name a few … my mother decided she wanted to take on the full-time job as financial manager and investor for my book. She is a brilliant businesswoman with years of experience operating a successful corporation. She wants to handle all the numbers for me, so that my “creativity is not ruined with financial worries.” Not only that, but she is investing her own savings into this project because she “believes in the book.” *fighting back tears*

Then, my good friend, Katrina Elsea, who has been a faithful friend (and big supporter since the inception of this whole project) is currently copy-editing the book and she is more perfectionistic about it than me! Not only is she highly educated, but she has a natural ability with writing and grammar rules, plus an artistic eye. She is also helping design the cover art – in other words, painting my tribal symbols. I can’t wait to see that come to life! Meanwhile, her husband, David, is creating a FABULOUS website with a promo video for the book and banners, etc. (You will die when you see all of it!! I felt like such a rockstar with just the first run of it. More info to come later.)

I have some totally fun high school students who have agreed to start and run the first official fan site of Phantom Island … you will laugh when you see it. Some of their ideas are so great!! Another high school student wants to start the MySpace group/fan club. I will just need another savvy student to do Facebook, too …

I have four wonderful friends at school – Donna (my partner in all crimes), Lisa (my sweet neighbor), Jennifer (the cool librarian), and Jaclyn (photographer extraordinaire) – who have agreed to help me put on a huge book signing party once the book comes out. Some of their ideas for promotion are beyond what I could have imagined (yay, Jaclyn, with the scent artist idea).

My aunt BJ and cousin Arley are working on t-shirt ideas and other promotional items to sell in support of Phantom Island. My principal, Mark Wilson, is supportive and excited for me. My husband (and manager/cheerleader) has been rearing to go on this whole project for awhile. It goes without saying that he is a major player in the success of Phantom Island because he keeps me sane and encouraged on a daily basis. I feel like I have a live-in fan club named Sam Dallas. And, then, of course, there are the students in my life … without whom I would not have even written this book in the first place. It is INSANE the way God is blessing this whole endeavor.

I do not know what the future holds, but this whole experience feels so surreal. No matter what, the glory is the Lord’s and I’ve committed in my heart to see to that. I am asking for all of my blog readers/friends/students to just continue with your unwavering support and encouragement. As a self-published author, I will need it more than you know. Your enthusiasm over the book and sharing it with others will make this work — you are each a part of this journey in your own unique ways. Thank you, thank you! I am so very excited and look ahead to the future with great excitement and joy.