After seven books and a lost publishing deal, I considered never writing again. I was moving in a different direction, and at the time that decision felt great. I would no longer obsessively check my Amazon sales ranking to see if there was any significant change. I was free.
I had been writing professionally since 2002, having self-published my first two books before landing a publishing deal. However, by 2011, I had yet to write a breakout novel. I was still an unknown midlist author, and for years that didn’t bother me. There was always the next year and a new book that I had to look forward to, and it was always that book that would break me out of obscurity. Then, there wasn’t a next book. I had lost both my literary agent and my publishing deal with Penguin. I found ways to keep myself motivated and press on. Nothing made me feel more complete than when I was writing. Then, in 2013, I watched my father take his last breath in the hospital where he’d fought for months to stay alive. Suddenly, nothing mattered. I was mad at myself for letting fiction consume so much of my entire life. Mad at myself for chasing a dream that never materialized. All I wanted in that very moment and to this day was for my father to still be alive.
Prior to my father’s death, a “Shark Tank” episode aired in 2011 that planted the first seed for me to try something different from publishing. I watched as Kim Nelson, the owner of Daisy Cakes, made her pitch to the investors. Once all of the sharks agreed it was the best cake they had ever had, I was Googling her company, ready to order one. With shipping, I paid $75—for a carrot cake. It wasthe best carrot cake I’d ever had. However, when it was gone, I immediately went on a guilt trip for paying that much for a cake when I could’ve bought a box cake for under $5, and with the money I saved bought a week’s worth of groceries. That didn’t stop me from ordering another one months later, however. The cakes came wonderfully packaged, and I thought to myself, I want to own a business. I want to have something to send out that is wonderfully packaged. I am a creator, and I am going to create something aside from new characters. So I programmed my DVR for “Shark Tank” to make sure I didn’t miss an episode. I felt as if I was learning about business and how to run one, and I was determined to come up with a product that I could sell.
In 2014, a year after my father died, I was just about to launch Coilyz (my new business marketing hair accessories for natural hair). I was in my car in the parking lot at the post office, all set to mail the paperwork to start my corporation when I thought to myself, What am I doing? I thought back to one of Mark Cuban’s quotes that I heard on “Shark Tank.” Don’t start a company unless it’s an obsession and something you love. If you have an exit strategy, it’s not an obsession. I didn’t mail the paperwork because Coilyz wasn’t a business that I loved—writing is my obsession.
Now, I own Rose Colored Books, a publishing company. A book is a product, and I already have everything at home that I need to create more characters, and do so with even more passion than I had in the past. I am not ashamed to say I am an independent author. That means I am in control of every facet of the creative process, which can be very beneficial. At my publishing company, I am an A-list author, and the best part, I don’t have to worry about losing my book deal.
Cheryl Robinson has the Until Ray trilogy set in her beloved hometown of Detroit, Michigan. Cheryl currently resides in Central Florida. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from Wayne State University. This is her eleventh book.
About The Book
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
In this journey into second-chance love, author Cheryl Robinson invites us to ponder whether we would rekindle a romance with someone who had broken a promise to forsake all others.
Meet Ray and Sarita Saint. In 1987, they pledged to love, honor, and cherish each other until death. When Ray goes missing a year later, Sarita wonders whether he’s dead or alive. While she was dreaming of their happily ever after, Ray was exploring greener pastures, a new relationship. Sarita—a virgin until marriage—took her vows seriously and believed Ray did, too. Instead, he left their marriage and their life in Detroit to reinvent himself. Sarita always held out hope that he would return one day. And he does. It’s twenty-seven years later, and Ray is determined to find his one true love. What he discovers has him question everything he thought he knew about Sarita, as well as himself.