If you follow my original blog posts at christinebrae.com, I don’t know if this is good news or bad news. Although this is the very first post for this brand new website, it’s from the same person, the very same me. In the six or so years I’d written in my blog, you’ve watched me grow, both as a writer and as a woman, a mother, a sister, a daughter and a wife. You watched me go through irretrievable loss, read through the lines and picked up on my heartbreak, my experience a few years ago and the growth that lead me to become who I am today. So, what’s new with all this, if anything?
As new beginnings go, I’m excited about this next chapter in my life.
When I hung up my hat last year after writing The Year I Left, I was greatly relieved to be leaving the industry. Always an outsider with never enough time to hawk my books, I don’t regret prioritizing my career over book sales and popularity contests. When I wrote The Light in the Wound, I wasn’t in the executive position I found myself in four years ago. This added responsibility just made it too much to keep up with the fickle, promiscuous world of authors and readers. By the time I wrote The Year I Left, I had come full circle. My experiences had run the gamut from bestseller flags to scathing reviews. And because life to me is all about the journey, I felt good enough, shaped enough by the once in a lifetime opportunity of being a published author.
Things never go as planned. When my agent, Italia, convinced me to write one more book – something I had never tried before, I initially snubbed my nose at the concept. Who would read such a formulaic, no kissing book, when all I see on book covers are abs, and all the words I ever read are not even clean enough to mention in this blog post? You’ll see, she said. There is a clamor for content and you’re too good a writer to let this pass by.
I want to use my real name, I said. If it’s as clean as you say it needs to be, I don’t want to hide behind the stigma of the other books.
COVID-19 happened. And you would think I’d have time on my hands to get this project completed. Work took over. After all, who would ever think we would be running a company in the middle of a pandemic? For months, I stared at a blank page, told her I didn’t think I could come up with anything. Just stay the course, she said. You’ll get your inspiration somehow.
And sure enough. This inspiration came in the form of a Zoom call. It was an offer to collaborate on a series of books. “You don’t need this,” my husband said. “We have enough, you are at the peak of your career.” But this partnership came with blessings I couldn’t refuse. It came with the opportunity not only to write books, but to write scripts, to pitch our words to the networks, to have a chance to produce or co-produce or at least garner some producer credits. But the biggest blessing of all? A co-author who is real and gracious. Who has the biggest heart and who writes beautiful words that blend so perfectly with mine to create such impactful stories.
And so where do we go from here?
Well, for one, our first book entitled Moments Like This is complete and releases in six months. We’re outlining the second book, and look forward to completing it sometime late next year. There’s a third book cooking up in our heads, one that is of a style I’ve never really written.
That’s really all I know for now.
In the middle of this pandemic, where you’re trying your darndest to stop obsessing about plans and targets because the future is so uncertain. When all you’re thankful for is that your family is safe and healthy. When every single day is a threat against your stability, your mental health, your ability to hold it all together for those you love – I’m grateful to be grateful for today.
I may not know where we are going, but I’m so glad you’re here with me!