The Truth About the Mad Fat Road to Redemption

5 years ago

In March of 2007, I was happily married with a good job as a Spanish teacher, a nice home which I owned, and a fully-loaded black-on-black Maxima that I dearly loved. I had a very comfortable life with only one small problem: I was bored. So when my husband came home from work one day and said he wanted to join the Army (like my brother had done six months prior), I was all for it. Fast forward to March of 2010: I was an Army wife who had just quit a part-time job as a Math Interventionist (yes, you read that right, and no, I am not a math teacher), and I was driving a 1996 Land Rover which I parked in the driveway of our rental home. Downward spiral? I’d say so.

Credit Image: digga_38 on Flickr

But I did have one shining little star in my universe of misery and that was my son, who was at that time ten months old. He’s the reason I wrote this book. Because I decided one day that he deserved nothing but the best from me. And how could I ever teach him to go for his big dreams if I’d never tried?

I went to work on it in March of 2010 and didn’t really finish it, but went ahead and listed it on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Platform on December 25, 2010. It sold nine copies the first week and I was so excited. In January of 2011, it sold 2,000, and I couldn’t believe what a huge success I was. I listed it on Barnes & Noble and, after fixing some formatting issues, relisted it on Smashwords on February 4, 2011. In late March of 2011, it appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists. It was on the Times extended list for two weeks, ebook fiction for ten, and USA Today’s for twelve weeks (highest rank #69).

A few weeks later, I signed with a literary agency. A few weeks after that, I had a three-book deal with New American Library (Penguin). On February 7, 2012, Diary of a Mad Fat Girl was rereleased in a revised and expanded edition, and I couldn’t be happier had a gold brick fell straight from heaven and knocked me out cold. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished, thankful for my good (okay, great) luck, and hope my son will someday chase down his own big, crazy dream.

P.S. Would you like to know what happened to the Maxima? Well, I totaled it the day my husband deployed. And after the ER doctor stitched up my forehead, he told me I was pregnant. My husband was literally about to step on a plane bound for Iraq, so I told him over the phone that we were having a baby and didn’t see him again until three days before our son was born. But the Maxima, I saw it a week later. In the junkyard. When I went to clean it out. True story.

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