Ready for my debut!

I want to know how people do it.

No seriously, I want the secret. There must be a supernatural way that people balance being a creative while working a full entire ass nine-to-five. Because let me tell you, I’m exhausted. Just pretty damn tired overall and feeling like I’m never quite on top of things. HOWEVER, I did get something done this year. Something pretty major.

I finished my debut novel and it will be available for purchase on Breaking & Entering Appreciation Day…known colloquially as Christmas Day!

Yes, the process that I was terrified to undertake is done– well until I finish this second book. Let’s make a list of things I knew about self-publishing when I started:

  1. Nothing
  2. Niet
  3. Nada
  4. You write a book


But I read a few really helpful books, like:

Successful Self-Publishing: How to self-publish and market your book in ebook and print (Books for Writers) 2nd Edition by Joanna Penn

Write. Publish. Repeat.: The No-Luck-Required Guide to Self-Publishing Success 2nd Edition by Sean Platt, Johnny B. Truant

And listened to some great podcasts like:

The Self Publishing Show Podcast

Don’t Keep Your Day Job

And decided what advice I would follow and what I would just toss into the burn pile in my brain and VIOLA! I published a damn book. (That damn book is available for pre-order HERE btw).

I also changed my philosophy on Indie Authoring during all this. I often viewed Independent Publishing and Traditional Publishing as opposing sides of a contentious coin. Choose one or the other. Right or left.

But in this process, I learned that traditional or self-publishing is just the means by which we get our stories out to an audience. It’s the mode of delivery. It’s whether we use UPS or FedEx or drive it to the person ourselves. It holds no bearing on the quality of the product or how it will affect those who receive it. 

In the beginning, when that first draft is pouring out of you fast and dirty, or in the middle when you can’t remember where you were going with the damn story, or in the end, when you never want to see said story again — we’re all WRITERS. We’re each trying to use that same coin, no matter which side, to live our dreams and tell amazing stories.

Isn’t that all that matters; the readers and writers? Yeah, people. Yeah. ::: clammers down from my soapbox :::


The next phase of this cycle, of course, is sharing the novel, “Say When”, with people. It’s going to be so exciting to share these characters and this story with you all. I hope to do this in a way that is informative, engaging and entertaining but really…the heck do I know about marketing? 

Let’s start here — I’ve got a few chapters up on the site here. Read it and let me know what you think. And if you’re itching to give me a Dunkin coffee worth of money to read the rest, go ahead and pre-order it

Here’s the skinny:


On the road to finding yourself, expect to get lost along the way.

Bridget Montez is boring. But it’s not her fault.

She imagines she could be a witty, exciting, and badass seventeen-year-old. But for now, she splits her time between school, chores, and nursing her mother back to health after her most recent drug binge.

For Bri, college is where she’ll leave the cold walls of her Brooklyn home behind and blossom. She’s desperate for change and when Jax, an arresting and mysterious college sophomore, rolls into her life she gets a taste of what freedom — and love — could be.

But when her demanding father threatens her plans for escape, she may be willing to follow Jax into a seedy world that challenges everything she thought she knew in order to get the life she wants. With her future and freedom on the line, Bridget hopes she knows the limits of love, loyalty, and legality.

If you enjoyed On The Come Up by Angie Thomas, or Jackpot by Nic Stone, you’ll love Say When, the debut novel by Athena Hernandez. This engrossing tale explores generational trauma, love, poverty, friendship, and a sprinkle of crime all with Brooklyn as the backdrop.

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