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Romancing The Dream

Updated: Apr 1, 2023

Ever since I saw the movie Romancing the Stone (1984), I have been romancing a dream — the dream of being an author. One of my favorite scenes is the one where the less-than-polished Joan Wilder finishes typing THE END on her latest novel, and celebrates with her cat, Romeo — by giving him a dish of “Fancy Feast” with a sprig of parsley on it — then having to break out a pair of pliers to open an airline-size bottle of alcohol to toast her future bestseller. It makes me wonder how other authors celebrate their victories.

How do I celebrate finishing a new book? Well, that’s complicated.

Finishing” is a relative term. Are you ever really finished? Tonight, I’ve finished a major round of edits on The Pirate’s Curse and now I find myself writing a blog post, as I have a bowl of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, a can of green beans and a Coke Zero. It’s not the glamourous life my readers might expect. My cat and my dog are both at my feet hoping I’ll set my bowl down and let them finish off whatever’s left. At the very least, the dog hopes it's her night to do the dishes (and before you freak out, yes, it’ll go straight to the dishwasher.)

All those years ago, sixteen-year-old me fell in love with something when I watched that movie. It wasn’t Michael Douglas, it probably wasn’t even Jack Colten (his character) — though I can't help but notice how much Rowan Pierce, my male protagonist in The Veritas Codex Series is like Jack. It was the appeal of seeing my name on a book cover, and of hearing someone like Juan the Bellmaker say, “You are Joan Wilder? THE Joan Wilder?” or “You are Betsey Kulakowski? THE Betsey Kulakowski?” in my case. It hasn’t happened yet, but the dream is still alive.

I love everything about being an author, even though it’s still my side hustle. I know the day will come where Lauren and Rowan will sail off into the sunset, the credits will roll, and somewhere among the thousands of names that roll by we'll see "Betsey Kulakowski – THE Betsey Kulakowski." (As it is written, so let it be done!)

Oh, and if you are a fellow author, and you care to leave a comment, tell me how you celebrate typing “THE END”. I'd love to know!

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