Pride

Today was a milestone in my life. I arrived home and found a package waiting for me in the mail.

It was the proof of my book.

Emotions flooded through me. Excitement. Fear. Anxiety. Pride. I’ve spent so many months writing, revising, and preparing this book for publication, I just didn’t know how it would turn out. I could open the box and find a beauty or a beast. What if I hated it? What if it didn’t live up to my expectations? What if I screwed up the formatting? What if…

I think the smile here says how I feel.

thebook

This has been quite the journey, and though it’s nowhere near over, getting this far has been an adventure in and of itself. I decided in June that I was going to publish The Purple District. I’d been posting it on Patreon for about 7 months at that point, and I realized that the book could actually go on the market.  I knew it would be a lot of work to edit, proofread, format, market, etc, but I didn’t realize just how crazy things would get, and how fast that time would fly. Nor did I realize how it would impact me mentally.

Most people don’t know what goes on behind the scenes when an author creates a book. You see their marketing strategies and the final products, but not the struggles along the way, or the self-doubt. I pride myself on being a pretty honest and open person, and I’m not lying when I say that there were several times I wanted to quit the book. I cried, I screamed, I threw my hands up in the air and said, “why bother? It’s never going to be good enough.” I went through the typical thing all authors do; I thought my work was trash and didn’t deserve to see the light of day. My editors and beta readers said otherwise, of course, and that gave me the courage to keep going.

But deep down, there was another fear. For the first time I was going to put a big part of myself out there to be read, reviewed, judged, enjoyed, hated, whatever the feelings might be. Part of me didn’t feel like I deserved the honor of having a published book. Part of me felt like I was ready to take on the responsibility. Today? I’m just proud to be able to hold the book in my hands and realize that made this. I didn’t do it alone, of course, but I had the strength and courage to see the book through.

It’s a surreal feeling. I almost don’t believe that I’m holding the book in my hands. Sure, there are flaws and there are things I need to fix, but I’m one step closer to being a published author. This opens the door to literary events, conventions, readings, and signings. I’m terrified to launch into this new world, but I crave it as well. Failure is always gnawing at the back of my mind. What if I mess up? What if I don’t do enough? What if I just…fail?

I guess in the end, it doesn’t matter because look how far I’ve come. Even if people hate it or it doesn’t sell well, I still did it. I still put in the time, effort, love, tears, and dedication to produce this piece of work, and that in itself is an accomplishment and something I should take pride in.

I guess I want people to remember to take a moment and feel pride in themselves and their work. Whether you’re just starting, you’ve created short stories, written full novels, or published your books, you’re all authors. You all have dedication to the craft. Be proud of that. Look at your work and realize, “I did this.” It doesn’t matter how big or how small it is. You still created it. Hold on to that feeling so that you can go back to it when you have moments of self doubt. And remember, you’re not alone. We all struggle with it and we all wonder, “Am I good enough?”

I think you are. Keep writing, keep creating, and keep shining. Be proud of yourself, because I’m proud of you.

And like I say on my dedication page, to anyone who feels alone or needs a community…welcome to the District.

 

You can pre-order the book here (paper will be available shortly): https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07K5JPRNM

 

Author Interviews

I think everyone can agree that trying to market yourself and gain followers is rough, especially for an author. Too often we compete against one another to showcase our books, when really, we should be utilizing each other’s experiences. The best way to learn about the industry is to talk with peers.

Therefore, I would like to start author interviews both on my blog and my website. I want to help authors introduce themselves to the writing community and really showcase what they do. In turn, I’d like them to provide information to the readers so that other authors can learn from them.

But I need help getting started.

First of all, as readers, what do you like to know about authors? What questions do you wish you could ask them? What would you like to learn about the publishing industry?

As authors, what questions do you love to answer? What are the harder ones you prefer to avoid? What wealth of knowledge can you share with your readers?

Once I have a list of questions available, I’ll open up my author website to accept author interviews. These will be posted 2-4 times a month (depending on interest), and all I ask in return is that you share my interview with you around to help support us both, as well as the readers and writers of the community.

I’m looking forward to meeting you!

Have writing questions or topics you’d like me to write about? Post down below!

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Watch out for my first urban fantasy book, The Purple Door District, which will be published on December 15th.

Dragon YA Story Update

It’s been a long time in coming, but I finally finished the rough draft of my YA LGBT Dragon story. This started out as a contest concept. The prompt was to write an LGBT story about knights that had a happy ending. A short story turned into a novel (big surprise). I started it in November 2016, took off a few months, and finished it the last week of April for Camp NaNo. I have a lot to add in and edit, but it’s a step in the right direction. Right now it’s 75k. I plan to make it no longer than 80k.

On to updates for other projects. First, I intend to edit the Dragon book and send it off to a few beta readers. While they’re going through that, I’ll edit TOTC. I’ll go back and forth between editing the two books until I send the Dragon book out.

Meanwhile, I’m going to be writing some short stories for Whimsical Whisker, and also preparing to post a series I’m writing with my co-author on Patreon. Yes, we’ve decided we’re going to start getting our names out that way. And maybe then you’ll see some of my writing.

I still have a story with the Iowa Review. I’m hoping to hear back soon if I won a spot in their publication.

Until then, I’ll keep you all updated through the blog. I still intend to post helpful information, but this may also turn more into a personal blog as I get closer to sending work out.

Cheers!