WHERE WE LEFT OFF ON PART I…
Richard got a job near Boston. He and I had talked about marriage but we didn’t have a date planned yet. I was going to miss him terribly. One day, standing outside of his apartment, we were talking about his new employer needing him right away. I told him to go ahead and leave that week. The kids and I would pack up his apartment for him. He’d come back down the following month to put his stuff in a U-Haul.
He said, “I can’t leave right now.”
I replied, “Yes, you can. I can take care of everything here.”
He responded, “I can’t leave, Angie.”
I asked, “Why not?”
He lowered his voice, took my hand, and said, “Because I’m marrying you on Saturday…”
Richard, along with help from my mom, had planned a surprise wedding!!! They even had the preacher hired and a dress purchased. (Good thing I said yes, huh??) Of course, I cried and cried when he told me.
We did indeed get married that Saturday. All of our friends and family were in on the surprise.
And, the day after the wedding, Richard had to leave for Boston. I’d never cried so hard in my life. I wouldn’t see him for an entire month!
I kept myself busy packing up his apartment and my house. It was a huge job but the kids were a big help. And, they were excited about starting new lives in a place that guaranteed SNOW!
The following month, Richard flew down and we piled three kids and three cats in the car. The U-Haul was already packed and we hit the road for a wild trip to New England.
After we arrived, and were settled, I would spend my daytime hours working on the website and writing more books. Richard would come home at night, and help me make the website prettier. I admit it was a pretty amateur job until he got his hands on it. He could fix pretty much any computer. And, he was a marketing expert to boot!
Around that time, I heard about a small online bookstore that only sold ebooks. In fact, I think it was the very first dedicated e-bookstore. It was called BookLocker.com, and it was created by a young man who, like me, worked from home while taking care of children. He agreed to list my book, How to Write, Publish and Sell E-books, on his site. It quickly soared to the #1 best selling position, and stayed there. After a few weeks, he asked if we wanted to buy his website. We jumped at the chance. The inventory quickly increased as we promoted the site to our WritersWeekly readers (many of them were authors). Word continued to spread beyond that and it became very popular.
Just a few months after we moved to Massachusetts, the websites were doing so well that I was able to “hire” Richard away from his regular job. We were then able to work from home, side-by-side, every single day together. (And, we still do that today. It’s AWESOME!!!)
A few months before our lease ran out, we started trying to figure out where we wanted to buy a house. Massachusetts was pretty but we wanted a slower pace, and a safer place. We read an article at that time that said Maine was the safest place to raise a child. We took a drive up to Bangor, Maine and it was GORGEOUS! We met some people, and learned it was so safe that few families locked their doors. We were hooked. Within a few weeks, we’d found a beautiful, three-story house that was a great deal. And, it was on the mighty Penobscot River. (Real estate up there was a LOT cheaper than in many other places.) And, boy oh boy, was is COLD!
After we moved in, we decided at that time to start trying to have a baby. In the next four years, we had two babies, Max and Mason. (And, then I had Richard fixed!) 😉
The business continued to grow. We were now offering print publication services as well as ebook publishing and we could barely keep up with the demand! We started hiring contractors and employees. We had initially turned one of the bedrooms into an office but we needed something bigger. So, we built out the attic in the home. It was beautiful, and could hold several desks.
We were, of course, still in contact with my ex who wasn’t paying the court ordered child support. After one upsetting visitation, we met with an attorney to ask for supervised visitation only. In the end, my ex gave up his parental rights and Richard adopted all three of the older children. Yes, he was and still is a saint and he is an AMAZING father!!
A couple of years after we moved to Maine, we took in a 15-year-old young man from a troubled family. He was our oldest son’s best friend and he’d spent so much time at our house that we already considered him one of ours. He didn’t have any problems himself. He was a good student and a polite and ambitious young man. It was his home life that was not ideal. When we took Matt in, he became our son, and will be ours forever.
Matt worked for us throughout high school and college, and still does ebook formatting and conversions for BookLocker.com. He graduated from UMaine, and then attended Columbia. He now works at his dream job – as an actuary. He can’t live in Florida because his job is in Boston but he comes here as often as he can, twice each year. Of course, he comes “home” to Florida for Christmas. And, last year, he married Sarah, who we also adore.
While we were living in Bangor, a casino went in downtown and three Methadone clinics were opened as well. Petty thefts were on the rise and then violent crimes began occurring. We could no longer let the children ride their bikes downtown (which was right down the street). We didn’t even feel comfortable letting them go to the park directly across the street alone. Then, we had a big fight with the city because convicted child molesters could live anywhere they wanted in Bangor, including near parks and schools. Add the staggering Maine state income taxes to all of that and we were no longer happy in our beautiful home. But, the business was still doing great. We’d done extensive RV’ing over the years since moving there and we knew we could run the business from anywhere. We were not stuck in Bangor, Maine.
By that time, our daughter, Ali, had graduated from college with two degrees – Restaurant Management and Culinary Arts. She met Justin (they are now engaged) and they decided they were going to do seasonal work – summers in Bar Harbor, Maine and winters in Florida. Ali loves the warm ocean and I knew she’d likely not come back to Maine after living in Florida. So, one night at dinner, I asked all the kids, “Who wants to move to Florida?” It was unanimous…except for Matt. He was still attending Columbia at the time. 🙁
Four months later, which was 10 years after we moved to Maine, we sold or gave away about 75% of our belongings, packed the rest of them up into four large UHaul containers, jumped in our vehicles and the RV (with 5 kids, 4 cats, a dog and a lizard this time), and headed back down south.
I had found a nice rental house in Port Charlotte, Florida where we could stay for a year while we tried to figure out where we wanted to live. Frank had just graduated from high school. The out of state tuition for the first year in Florida was painful but necessary. One weekend, we were in Georgia visiting Justin’s family, and we received a phone call from Frank, who had stayed home to attend classes and take care of the pets. He was out of breath and I was immediately concerned. He said, “Mom, I’ve been in a wreck. I’m on a dirt road. I don’t know where I am…”
STAY TUNED FOR PART III – COMING NEXT WEEK!
We are now accepting entrants for the next 24-Hour Short Story Contest
1st Place: $300
2nd Place: $250
3rd Place: $200
+ 85 Other Prizes!
Limit of 500 participants so don’t delay!
About The Author
Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, and the co-owner of BookLocker.com (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), PubPreppers.com (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).
WritersWeekly.com - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday.
BookLocker.com - According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is: "As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."
Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors.
PubPreppers.com - "We Prep, You Publish!" Print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish. Offers formatting and design services only, and then provides simple instructions for authors on where to sign up to have the print and ebook editions printed/listed/sold. Cut out the middle man. Keep 100% of what bookstores pay for your book!
Angela's POD Secrets Revealed Series can be found HERE.
Have a POD Book with another publisher? See if BookLocker can give you a better deal. (BookLocker offers "disgruntled author discounts" to those who want to move from other POD services.)
See BookLocker's publishing packages HERE.
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BOOKLOCKER ON FACEBOOK - Provides links to free excerpts!
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Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!
Read More Of Angela's Articles HERE