One Year in the Making: The Trading Heartbeats Trilogy

“If you’ve played a role in my author journey, please know that I sincerely appreciate you. I’m grateful for you. And not one person goes unnoticed.”

One year ago today, I signed a publishing contract with Inkspell Publishing. Signing on the dotted line solidified my path forward, and now, 365 days later, I cannot even begin to express the gratitude I have for those who have held my hand along the way and given me the chance to add published author to my resume.  

I remember the morning so well. Snuggled up in the corner of the couch, my son Brady munched on a pack of fruit snacks on my lap. The six thousandth episode (no joke!) of Blippi blared back through the television, his quirky kid-addicting presence filling our routine Saturday morning as we crossed the one year-mark on the COVID-19 pandemic.

To my left sat my husband, Tommy (my number one fan, and biggest supporter). He casually handed me my phone as it lit up with a notification. “What’s that?” he asked, pointing at the screen. And then I saw it. An email from Ms. Melissa Kier with Inkspell Publishing.

I’m not sure I can describe the feelings that accurately depict the emotions that flooded my body reading the words, “Hi Julie, we’d like to publish your book.” But I can absolutely tell you that even a full year later, I get giddy with excitement when Blippi sings about excavators – because beyond any doubt, his voice pummeled through my brain in that moment, ingraining the mechanical make-up of the construction vehicle into my heart. (Side note, if you ever need to know about the functional role of the boom and the bucket, I’m your girl).

The Trading Heartbeats Trilogy has come a long way since that monumental moment. What once started as a trash-fire film script painstakingly drafted for a graduate school course in the School of Communication at Illinois State University, turned into something beautiful – something meaningful – and today all I can do is smile in anticipation of August 23, the official release date of I Loved You Yesterday.

There’s no real way to list all the incredible milestones and emotions this journey has afforded me in the last year, but I’m a writer, so I’ll give it a go.

  • Each book in The Trading Heartbeats Trilogy has a publication date on the calendar (I Loved You Yesterday 8.23.22; I Love You Today 11.8.22; and I’ll Love You Tomorrow April 2023)
  • From scratch, I battled WordPress (the learning curve is real!) and launched AuthorJulieNavickas.com.
  • I discovered a love for blogging! And I’m proud to include a variety of author resources, writing best practices, and tips and tricks for evolving writers on my website.
  • In January 2022, I launched my author newsletter. On the tenth day of every month, I get to share my journey and all the updates along the way with my mailing list! If you haven’t subscribed yet, I promise, I never spam. It’s just one email a month that helps me share the exciting news about my upcoming releases!
  • I’ve always been a social media junkie, but oh my goodness, I’ve taken this passion to a new level over the past year. Have you seen my dumb videos on TikTok? Because one went mini-viral, and I gained about 1500 followers overnight! If you’re on any of these platforms, give this girl a like or a follow: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok!
  • Oh, and my years spent teaching public speaking in the classroom are really starting to pay off! In recent months, I’ve been afforded the opportunity to teach a variety of writing and publishing-based courses at Heartland Community College and have made guest speaking appearances with the Association for Women in Communications and Bloomington Rotary (among others!)

These are truly just highlights. And I’m sure as soon as I publish on this blog, eighteen more things will pop into my brain! I have so much to be thankful for and so much more to look forward to.

It could be luck. It could be a guardian angel. It could be karma, or a past-life come back to guide me, but this journey has been surreal (and there’s so much more to come!). If I think back to the fourth-grade version of me holding a blue ribbon for a Young Author’s award I received, this experience feels like a full-circle moment. It feels right.

But none of it could have been possible without my village – my support system – and my cheerleaders along the way. If you’ve played a role in my author journey, please know that I sincerely appreciate you. I’m grateful for you. And not one person goes unnoticed.

This last year has been the ride of a lifetime, but come this August, I think the lap bar will lock on a new rollercoaster.

See you all on the flip side of USA Today Best Seller status! (Just kidding… kind of… because I need to sell 6,000 copies in one week to do that. But hey, crazier things have happened, right?)

With overwhelming gratitude,

Julie


Published by julienavickas

Julie Navickas is a nationally recognized contemporary romance novelist with Inkspell Publishing, known for her keen ability to weave heart-wrenching, second-chance love stories through relatable characters with humility, humor, and heroism. She is also an award-winning instructor and academic advisor in the School of Communication at Illinois State University, the public relations manager for Burning Soul Press, the social media strategist for Labyrinth Made Goods, and is a continuing education instructor with Heartland Community College. Julie is a mom to three children: Lily (5); Colton (4); Brady (2), and has been married to her high school sweetheart, Thomas, for ten years.

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