There I was, working away, starting my second cup of coffee (I got a late start), when a reminder popped up on my phone. Three years ago today, The Long Way Down made its debut, and I became a professional writer. Just like that. Of course, 'just like that' came after twenty-odd years of practice and study, and even then it was just the beginning of a very long and sometimes-rocky road that shows no signs of coming to an end anytime soon. I look back and I'm amazed at how much I had left to learn. Then I'm amazed at how much I still have to learn.

There's no end-game. Writing isn't the kind of job where you can say "Okay, I know everything there is to know, now it's just about showing up and collecting the paycheck." The game's always changing, the landscape always shifting, and you can always -- always -- become a better writer. I'm not as good as I want to be, but I'm better than I was, so at least I've got momentum in the right general direction.

The anniversary's got me feeling reflective. I've got my coffee, there's a new moon tonight, and I'm just sitting here feeling grateful. Yeah, I put in the work to get here, but all that work wouldn't mean a thing if it wasn't for you. A writer without readers is, well...nothing, really. Nothing at all. I write because I have to; it's in my veins, and there's nothing else I want to be, nothing else I can be. But it's my readers who give me life and keep me moving.

It's a special kind of magic that we make together. The translation from the printed page or the narrator's voice to the reader's heart, my characters coming to life in your mind's eye. A story isn't real until it's been read.

So much coming down the pike in this next year. Double or Nothing and Cold Spectrum are both in various stages of editing, and I'm getting very, very close to announcing the special project I've been working on for the better part of a year now. And maybe a few other little surprises along the way.

None of it would be possible without you. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.