So. I am a writer.
I write novels…. I am a novelist….
Okay. So I’ve spent my entire life reading. Voraciously reading. Dickens—Shakespeare—Austen—Hawthorne—paperback romances (hundreds of paperback romances). I love reading. I loved it so much I got a degree in literature. I have a piece of paper that declares I am a readaholic. Losing yourself in a world somewhere with interesting characters and unending plot twists—heaven. However, I learned when I was young that I loved something even more than reading…WRITING! ( I remember my first piece too. It was a short story I wrote about a haunted house. Very spooky. I loved it.)
Now, growing up and having to choose a way to make a living, I defaulted to that of “teacher”. Why? I loved to read, and I loved to write (when everyone else around me hated it and thought I was weird for loving it so much). At the time, all I could think was “I’m not an author. I’d never get published”. What’s the old saying? Oh yeah… those that can’t do, teach. So I decided to take my love of literature to the classroom. I was spurred on by all those great movies about these fabulous teachers (most of whom taught English lit…think about that for a minute….) that inspired their students to excel (Dead Poet’s Society, anyone? RIP Robin Williams).
I did end up teaching at a local community college as an adjunct for about a decade. I had some great students. I also had a few that I seriously wanted to hurt with a frying pan. Fast-forward a bit. I’m an ex-teacher in her mid-30s, divorced, and looking at the ever-closing gap to 40 wondering what the hell I’ve done with my life up to this point. Nothing I had imagined for myself, let me assure you. I was still reading. Voraciously reading. I had also picked my writing back up. I had started a couple manuscripts, but never finished one.
Last November, I did something I always secretly hoped (but doubted) I’d do. One of those “maybe one day I’ll….”, back of the mind, think about when you’re drunk and wonder why in hell haven’t I done that yet? ideas. I wrote a novel. In 30 days. Over 51 thousand words. How? I got plugged into an awesome local writing group that does NaNoWriMo. The support of a close-knit group that was just as “nerdy” as me was a match-spark to my fire. I had a story I loved with characters that I thought were funny and sweet and just a bit sassy. Throw in a foreign country and a little conflict… recipe for a great read. But… what to do with it?
For a long time, writers who self-published were considered “lesser” on the author hierarchy. Popular consensus was they couldn’t cut it with the Big Trade publishers. Well, with the boom in epublishing, we unknown and novice writers can now take the bull by the horns ourselves in the here and now. So, that’s the route I’ve chosen. I choose to be an indie author, solely responsible for the outcome, with total control of my product. I realize this is a bit of a risk and without a doubt a TON of work. But, since I have a “day job” to keep me not homeless and not hungry… why not?
Since November, I’ve edited, done beta-reading, dabbled with cover art, scheduled a release date, and started another story. I am now in the “author platform building” phase of this thing. (More on that in a future post!) There’s so much that I’ve learned since November. There’s so much I still don’t know! This is my journey. I hope you’ll join me for the ride.