Naked for National Nude Day!

I’ve missed it by a day but oh well, July 14th is National Nude Day in the US.  That’s cool, but don’t count on me expressing any desires to actually be nude in celebration or anything, cuz that won’t be happening…ever.  The date is interesting though because one year ago, nearly to the day, something happened that changed my life.

The summer was going as it usually does, kids home all day, husband home with us (both teachers on summer vacation) and various summery activities going on around me.  So the third week of July 2012 comes and that is when the life-changing event happened.  My husband took our two sons away for a week at Boy Scout Camp.  I love that week every summer when they all go to Boy Scout Camp.  It’s my favorite.  I have precious solitude and know I’ll get a lot of writing done.  House stays clean.  I don’t have to cook anything unless I want to eat.  I can swim in my pool without children splashing around in there.  I get to stay up late watching HBO and Showtime without worry that a kid will see what I’m watching.  *all the shows I like to watch are inappropriate for children*  Basically, I am a very happy woman alone with my free time.

I got right to work with a manuscript that needed some attention.  I wrote during the day and then in the evening I combed over online stock photo sights and looked for images that could potentially go onto my book cover.  On the second night of my domestic freedom, I found an image that changed everything.

The picture that inspired me.

The picture that inspired me.

It was a beautiful picture of a naked woman posing in an unconventional way but so perfect everything just clicked into place all in an instant.  A serendipitous moment.  I thought about the picture and what it would be like to be a nude model and meet the man who bought your portrait.  My first indie published book was born in that moment with just the seed of an idea and a picture.  Naked, The Blackstone Affair Book 1 was that story.  I sat down and wrote the opening chapter right then and had to set aside the other manuscript I was working on.  I wrote like a fiend for three weeks until it was done.  I couldn’t stop writing and I couldn’t stop thinking about it.  The whole idea and story pretty much took over my life for the rest of the summer.

I was scared to self-publish Naked, because I had only written books for one small press publisher and knew next to nothing about how to go off independently all on my own.  But I was blessed with the wise words and helpful encouragement from a dear friend and fellow author, Belinda Boring, who got me to press ‘publish’ on KDP back in August of 2012.  What happened next was a whirlwind-roller-coaster–ride-of-crazy that didn’t really stop until after the holidays.  The books became bestsellers, landed me my super agent, and eventually a traditional publishing contract with Atria Books.  It’s all a blur to me now.  A crazy, scary, unbelievable blur with Christmas decorations and those little chocolate bottles with liqueur inside, mixed in. True story.

Naked went on to make the New York Times and so did its sequels, All In and Eyes Wide Open. Nobody was more surprised than I was, and nobody could have told me then, that one year later I would be a full time writer going to book signings and conventions with lovely people standing in line to meet me.  The whole concept is still bewildering and I imagine it will stay that way to some degree for the rest of my life.

The book that resulted.

The book that resulted.

So back to my original idea for this post–National Nude Day.  It was a good day for me to reflect on what inspired me to even write the book that changed my life in the first place.  A beautiful nude image.  Never give up on your dreams, you never know where they can lead.  Look where a naked picture took me!!!

 

xxoo R

Comments

  1. What an awesome story!

  2. Karen L says:

    I know I speak for many when I say how your life-changing event also changed my life… Heck, I hadn’t even heard of David Gandy until Ethan Blackstone came into my life. I’m am so happy to have been a very small part of your adventure this past year and it’s been so fun getting to know you! Thanks for such great books and characters, and being a lovely lady! <3

  3. Suz Tapy says:

    Thank you so much for sharing that story. I love hearing success stories- and I’ve spent many late nights up with your Ethan!
    Your creative genius is inspiring. xo
    Keep writing 🙂

  4. Teri Hendrickson says:

    I totally enjoyed your books! Thank you for this blog post. You are truly an inspiration to me.

  5. Martha Baltazar says:

    Raine, If it wasn’t for you there would be no Mr. Blackstone. You are such an inspiration. I’ve read and re-read all three books many, many times and still cannot get enough of Mr. Blackstone. I am so looking forward to book 4. Thank you so much for creating Ethan and Brynne. Love, love, love them to bits. You, Ms. Raine are awesome. Love you. <3

  6. Becca M says:

    Love it! Not only did that picture change your life but also the lives of many other people who connect with Ethan and Brynne on a daily basis. I for one, am happy that Boy Scout Camp gave you some time to find the picture that transformed my life. <3

  7. Jackie P says:

    I have just won two autographed books of yours in a giveaway (I don’t know which two) but I am extremely excited to receive them! I came to your site to get a feel for your work and I have enjoyed your story about this latest book. Thanks for sharing this… Such a pleasure to get a bit of inside knowledge about the authors we read:)

  8. Couldn’t imagine what my life would be right now….thank you lucky stars and Naked picture…you know what it means to me…and I’m blessed to have you and the Purple Raine girls in my life. <3

  9. Serendipity is a rare affair and I’m so glad you’ve shared this affair with us :). The blackstone affair series is one of my favorites series (Ethan and Brynne are on the top of my favourites fictional characters) and I just really love your writing and I thank you for giving us such beatiful stories

  10. Love that just one moment can change your life like that. Keep up the great work Raine

  11. Florencia says:

    Awww so nice of you to share with us how “Naked” was born. I’ve been wondering about something: Book 1: one word (Naked); Book 2: two words(All in); Book 3: three word(Eyes wide open). It was meant to be like that or just a mere coincidence. Love you Raine. xxoo

  12. And how happy we are that you hit that publish button. Isn’t Belinda awesome? Thanks for writing such wonderful stories, Raine! I have loved each and every one of the Blackstone books and I’m totally in love with Ethan and Brynne.

    Looking forward to being in one of those lines at RNC in a few weeks to meet you. 😉

    • Raine Miller says:

      Ahh…somebody has discovered my code. YES! It was done purposely and you can guess how many words will be in Book 4 title. 😉

  13. I am beyond proud of you, Raine!! You have an incredible gift … Ethan and Brynne two of them! Love you so much <3 MUAH!!

    • Raine Miller says:

      Love you too and am ever grateful for your encouragement. Who knows what would have been without it.

  14. can’t wait till book #4 comes out im so excited …ur brilliant. ….what month will it come out????

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