Heather Gordon, a single mother of two, was working full time at a restaurant and taking classes at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey when she decided she wanted to try her hand at publishing. With passion and plans, she quit her job and took a break from school.
In four months, Gordon, 25, of Ventnor - who goes by the pen name H.D. Gordon - wrote her first book, "Blood Warrior," in the Alexa Montgomery saga. Gordon self-published the book to Amazon and it sold 22 copies.
After giving out about 100 copies for review, the next book in the saga's number of downloads shocked Gordon. The sequel, called "Half Black Soul," showed a combined sale of 10,000 copies with "Blood Warrior."
"I went from the first one with 22 (copies) and then in three months it was at 10,000 and they were on best seller list. I was blown away," she said.
The entire Alexa Montgomery series, which contains two additional books - "The Rise" and "Redemption" - has sold about 40,000 copies collectively.
The three books in the series after "Blood Warrior" each was on the Amazon best seller list for at least a month within 24 hours of publication.
The Alexa Montgomery Saga is an adult paranormal series set in a world filled with vampires and werewolves. The venture was a product of a problem Gordon had with books in this genre.
"I was reading a lot of paranormal fantasy. I was reading these books and I kept thinking, 'Oh I can do better than that,'" Gordon said. "I was like, 'OK, if I can't find a story that I want to read, I'm going to write one."
Before Gordon published her first book, her brother, Roy, 27, remembers how he helped get his sister a job at the restaurant where he and their other brother worked.
"We told her not to quit her job, because it was too risky to just write books, but now she does it full time," he said.
In the past two years, Gordon has not only completed the Alexa Montgomery Saga, but she also has two books out in her Surah Stormsong series, a spinoff of the Alexa Montgomery Saga. Additionally, she released "Joe," a paranormal thriller and a semifinalist in the Amazon breakthrough novel contest.
"She already has a big following in different areas, in all over the world, really," Roy Gordon said. "She can see where (the novels) are downloaded from."
Gordon is able to self-publish her novels through Kindle direct publishing and print them through Print on Demand - a service that allows her to print hard copies of her books as she needs them.
Right now, Gordon is working on a standalone novel that she hopes to query for an agent instead of self-publishing. Gordon said this novel, which will be in the horror genre, is exciting to write because her interest expands beyond the paranormal.
Within the next six months, Gordon hopes to complete the horror novel as well as the third novel in the Surah Stormsong series, and a sequel to "Joe" called "White Sheets." On Oct. 3, "Joe" will be free for download on Amazon.com.
Gordon's success is a product of taking a risk, but Roy Gordon isn't surprised.
"She said she knew she was going to be good enough to do it, so she just did," he said.
See hdgordon.com for a full list of Gordon's works.
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