Friday, February 10, 2012

That special first time

That very first time—why is it so special? Not the second time, or the third time, or the hundredth time. But that special, special first time. It’s new, it’s exciting, nothing will ever feel quite like it.  (I’m not just talking about first-time sex when, let’s be honest, the first time might not always be the most memorable time!)

However, there’s no getting away from the fact that first-time love is the standout. Who can fail to be moved by the beautiful lyrics of the Roberta Flack classic, “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”?  No matter who sings that song, it turns this romance writer to the mushiest of mush!

Apart from those momentous first love moments, there are a few “first-times”  that stand out in my memory.

FIRST TIME I met my husband is a given—I thought he was heart-stoppingly attractive, but also liked him so much I knew we would have been friends under whatever circumstances we met.

FIRST TIME I saw my baby’s face after all those months of pregnancy, imagining what she might look like.

FIRST TIME I traveled around England and visited the settings of so many books I had read.

FIRST TIME I saw kittens being born—I was only eight years old but I’ll never forget the awe that overwhelmed me.

FIRST TIME payment for my writing—a check for the first short story I had published at age twenty.

But the moment an author holds a copy of her first book—for the very first time—that’s a very special kind of first-time thrill.

My first book to be published in the US was my romantic comedy Love Is a Four-Legged Word. And when the advance copies arrived from Berkley, with that beautiful cover, I danced my husband around the room.

But before that, published in Australia by a small, independent publisher, was my very first novel entitled Mitchell’s Nanny.  It was a small, green book and when I got an advance copy in my hands, I couldn't stop looking at it, and turning the pages, and smelling it and hugging it—you get the picture!

Even years after, readers let me know how much they loved that story of a stressed out single mom who falls in love with her toddler’s new nanny—a hot hunk on a Harley who roars into her heart. When a copy went for a surprising sum at a charity auction at a romance reader's convention, I began to wonder if Joe and Allison's story might reach a wider, new audience.

First thing I did when I decided to indie publish it as an e-book, was to change the title from Mitchell's Nanny (an author often doesn’t have a choice of their book title) to Something About Joe. The second was to commission a lovely cover from the mega-talented designer Kim Killion at Hot Damn Designs . The third was to update some of the details in the book to make it sit happily in 2012.

Something About Joe has just gone live at Amazon and Smashwords, for the special price of $0.99c. Other e-retailers will follow.

And you know what? This second time of seeing my first-ever book baby in electronic format is quite a thrill!

What about you? Any memorable “first times” you'd like to share? I’d love to hear about them!

Leave a comment to win a free download of my new e-book Something About Joe. Be sure to include your email address.

 Kandy Shepherd writes fun, feel-good fiction.

(Kitten photo courtesy of


Barbara E. said...

Oh yes, the first time I saw my son was the thrill of a lifetime. The first time I opened the door to my first home with my very own key, a home that I had purchased all on my own, what a wonderful feeling that was.
Congrats on the release of Something About Joe. That's so awesome that you were able to choose the name you wanted this time and the cover is gorgeous.

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi Barbara E--thank you for being the first to comment on my post!
Oh, yes, the thrill of buying your first home on your own--that totally ranks high on the "first times" list.
I'm so glad you like the cover of Something About Joe. It represents so well one of the pivotal scenes in the book and I am in awe of the cleverness of my cover designer!

D said...

Congrats on Something About Joe!
I saw the kitty picture on your facebook feed and I think it's my most appropriate (and most recent) first.
Freya is my first pet...ever. (Mom and sister were allergic)It's a long story, but my husband and I went to the Humane Society for a cat. Freya sat at my husband's feet meowing until he picked her up. We tried to look around, but we couldn't stand the sadness her face as she watched. It took less than fifteen minutes to decide she was the one. I swear she purred for two days straight when we got her home.
I used to wonder how people could get so attached to their pets. Now. I. Know.

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hey D, what a perfectly wonderful "first time" to share! First pet, first cat. That so resonates with me.
Freya sounds beautiful, and smart too, as she obviously chose you and your husband and bonded with you instantly. May you continue to share love and happiness with her.
I love the name Freya and have a lovely old dog character of that name in my novel HOME IS WHERE THE BARK IS.
Thanks for your post!

TashNz said...

Hi Kandy. Thanks for the info on the book, will def download it from Amazon. What a warm post!

I remember fondly my first (proper) kiss... I was 13, it was at a disco and Man in the Mirror was playing... last song for the night... Every time I hear that song I still think back with a smile. Funnily enough I've only just realised it was the day after the Michael Jackson concert in NZ back in 1996 was the first time I met my children's father :)

When i read your post I though "Yes!" to the first time seeing your child... I instantly fell in love... I think my first thought was "OMG I love her!!!"

Quilt Lady said...

Hi Kandy, loved your post and your book sounds fabulous. You sure brought back memories with your first time. I think there in nothing more wonderful then the first time you see your babies face. Also that first kiss you get, I was 13 but I will never forget it.

Kandy Shepherd said...

HI Tash, so glad you enjoyed the post, and thanks for buying SOMETHING ABOUT JOE.
How uncanny that such momentous "first times" in your life were played to a soundtrack by Michael Jackson. He was the most amazing performer wasn't he, I was gutted when he died...
Yes, that first sight of one's child's face face is momentous, isn't it? I was flooded with love for her, but I also recognized instantly that she was an individual human being, separate now from me, and just on loan. (Boy, it's going to be hard to let her go, though, I think I will be the world's worst empty nester!)

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi Quilt Lady, I'm so glad you enjoyed the post--and so nice to know that I revived some happy first memories for you. The "first time" stays so vivid, doesn't it, guess that's why it's so special.
I so agree about the first sight of your baby's face--I just couldn't stop looking at her. In fact stayed up the entire first night as I couldn't bear to go to sleep and miss one minute with her! (Silly me, years of interrupted sleep followed as she was way too interested in the world to sleep!)
I was so excited by my first kiss at 14 that I told my mother all about it when I got home. Boy, did I get knocked about that from my friends. (But my daughter told me about her first kiss, so what goes around comes around!)
Thanks for your comment!

Debby said...

Holding my baby for the first time was memorable. So was my first day teaching when I flooded my classroom.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Keziah Hill said...

Yay! It's published! I've read the first bit of this book and it's great! Fantastic Kandy!

Linda Henderson said...

Even though it's been many, many years I still remember my first love. My mother didn't think he was good enough for me and managed to break up any chance of a relationship. Funny thing is, I ended up married and divorced and he ended up a bank president. I've never forgotten the feeling of first love. I also remember the first time I saw my babies, my little girls, what an overwhelming feeling of love. The first time I held my first grandchild, I had this feeling of life going on, that it just didn't get any better than this. I'll never forget all these firsts.

seriousreader at live dot com

Anna Campbell said...

Kandy, I'm so happy you've released Something about Joe so that a whole new audience can fall in love with this wonderful story. I treasure my lovely green-covered edition of Mitchell's Nanny! Good luck with this - I'm sure readers will love Something About Joe.

Vanessa Barneveld said...

Congratulations on the release of Something About Joe! I'm so looking forward to my first read of it. :)

I remember the huge sense of achievement I felt when I wrote THE END for the first time on a novel. For me, it meant I could finally call myself a real writer because I'd actually finished something!

Annie West said...

Hi Kandy,

I'm so pleased to see 'Joe' on sale. I read 'Mitchell's Nanny' years ago and loved it. That was the first time I came across your name and I'm so glad I did! I hope now other readers will find out just how special it is since it's so easily available.

Firsts? First job, first pay, first day as a mother! First anniversary was ultra special too. First story accepted, first book in my hands - yes! First reader mail. I couldn't believe that moment. What I like is that it's so easy to have an exciting 'first' moment if you leave yourself open to new experiences. I suppose that's part of what makes life so much fun.

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hey Debby, it's so nice to see another baby "first time"--such a precious moment. And no wonder you remember your first day teaching--that sounds like quite a disaster! How did it actually happen?

Kandy Shepherd said...

HI Keziah, so nice to see you here! Yes, SOMETHING ABOUT JOE is finally published. I hope you enjoy the rest of it as much as you did the first chapter!

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi Linda, what a poignant tale of lost first love! I so enjoyed reading your post about your memorable firsts. And I love your feelings when you first held your grandchild--that's a pleasure I have to look forward to.

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi Anna, thanks so much for calling by. You were always a fan of Mitchell's Nanny, in fact your ongoing admiration and support for it was a factor in my decision to republish it as SOMETHING ABOUT JOE. Thank you!

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi Annie, thank you for visiting, and also thank you for your kind words about SOMETHING ABOUT JOE. I love your philosophy on leaving yourself open to the new experiences that lead to those exciting first times.
I so agree with you about the thrill of the first reader mail. We writers love to create our imaginary stories and characters--but there's always that nail-biting angst while we wonder if our readers will like our books! I think when it comes to reader mail, I know you'll agree with me that while the first was high up there on the list of memorable "first times"--every happy letter or email from a reader gives the same level of thrill!

Kandy Shepherd said...

Oh yes, Vanessa, I also remember the satisfaction of typing The End on my first completed manuscript. It's such an achievement. Typing The End on any manuscript is to be congratulated, but the very first time proves to you that you can actually do it!
I hope you enjoy reading SOMETHING ABOUT JOE!