In 2010, Karen, Allyson & I sold, gave-away or donated about 90% of our belongings. We stored the rest with friends. Then we loaded our car and moved from Indiana to California, specifically Los Angeles. I had two very good prospects for work before we left. The day before we left, one of those prospects fell through and the day we got to L.A., the other one fell through. We submitted Allyson’s resume to a couple reputable agencies because of her aspirations of performing. For the next 4 months, I did everything I could to find a job that would support us. I turned down the only job I was offered because it wouldn’t. Karen found a great job, the most enjoyable job she’s ever had. But, it was part-time and couldn’t support us even with my added freelance income. We were struggling to get by. Karen and Allyson wanted to return to Indiana while I did not.
For over 4 months, I had posted a video to YouTube every day. I started posting a couple weeks before we left Indiana and didn’t miss a day until the day we left L.A. I felt as though I wanted to document the huge changes we were going through as a family but the day we were leaving L.A. the feeling collapsed. I was going to abandon the YouTube channel. I waited a long time before the feeling started to return. Now, I no longer consider daily videos, only events.
Upon returning to Indiana, I returned to my role as Mac tech support guru for existing clients and Karen began her search for a job. From January through April, Karen looked for work and even submitted her resume to places she hoped she would never hear from. My freelance business was supporting us and we had our own apartment. I told Karen to stop looking for work and focus on her writing. I would be the Roy Disney to her Walt Disney or the Scott Braun to her Justin Bieber. Karen has always written stories, poems, jokes and reviews, something she picked up from her mother. I told her that I would support us with my freelance work and support her fully in her book writing.
May came and went and on June 1st I told her the first children’s book, Camel Lot: A Misplaced Adventure, would be published that day. We scrambled all day long with corrections, food, images, food, scanning and story until we finally finished it and submitted it. On July 1st with her second book, Bermuda’s Triangle: A Misplaced Adventure, I told her the same thing. Only, she thought I was kidding. I wasn’t and we all worked as hard as before to finish this book and get it submitted. The honest truth is, I’ve never been so excited and happy about someone else’s success in my whole life.
Now, Karen has two books published and today begins her third children’s book, Area 50 Juan: A Misplaced Adventure. She already has a head start on the book. That’s good, because this book will require more time for the artwork which Karen does herself. I’m very involved with all aspects of the book from marketing to research and publishing. Karen focuses on the story and artwork while Allyson and I focus on editing. Having a 14-year-old read the stories out loud to us is more important than you could imagine. In the end, the story is Karen’s regardless of how much help we provide and I couldn’t be more proud of her.
Today, came as a bit of a let down to Karen. Her books are available on four ebook stores. She found out that one of them paid her first commission for Camel Lot’s first 10 days. It was little more than a couple high-priced lattes. After I told Karen to stop looking for work and focus on her writing, I said, “We don’t know which one of your books will be the catalyst to your success. It could be the first book, the tenth book or the twentieth book. The best way to find out is to get to the twentieth book as fast as you can and then just keep going. At some point your talent will be noticed and the rest will be history.”
The Man Behind Author Karen Jones, that’s me, Rob Jones. My goal, and to quote myself, “Be great and be small.” This constant reminder helps keep me focused on the things that make the biggest differences. As the man behind the author, you can imagine I provide ideas, titles, edits, and in some cases, entire stories but I will never take credit for them. I told Karen, “As The Man Behind Author Karen Jones, there is one person and one person only that will ever give me credit for everything I do and that’s you.” I’m hoping her appreciation shows up in the form of a Nissan GT-R.