Friday, February 21, 2014

A Wondrous Journey of an Independent Writer!

Fear - That is the word that drives home.  I have never sent my books to a publisher due to straight out fear.  However, I had read an article out of Woman's Day Magazine about a woman who worked from home writing books.  She had put her kids through college, bought a house all through Createspace and Amazon.

I thought, wow, my mom has this little story she has always told. We should try that.  So my friend, Rebecca Hunt who drew dragons that would appeal to a child's eye, agreed to illustrate and the two of us set about creating How the Dragons Got Their Colors.  A rework of my mom's bedside story.  It was mildly successful.   We immediately got to work on a second book about the angst an older child goes through when mom is expecting and Not An Egg! was born. Later we converted them for Kindle download as well and made them part of Amazon's Kindle Select Program. 

This gave me the confidence to go ahead and tentatively put out my first Novel - Outcast.  I figured I had nothing to lose, if it did not do well, the only thing I lost was some time. There is no upfront outlay to Createspace.  I followed the forums on how to self promote as an independent author.  I got another friend to do my cover, Heather Scoggins.  I think she will be a bit surprised when she gets April's percentage that she and I agreed upon. I think she didn't expect it to really go anywhere.

Yesterday, for a time, Outcast was in the top 30 in the US in coming of age, it was #25 in the UK and had crawled it's way up to #16 in Epic Fantasy in Australia.  As I sit in amazement and wonder, the downloads of the ebook just keep rising.  I have been furiously working on the sequel per reader request.   My editor, yes I have one, pushes me constantly to re-describe and to re-work. I have him to thank in the success of Outcast as well as my own creativity and the support of good friends!

No, not all my reviews are good.  Either you love the way I describe the slow journey into adulthood and the details of culture and the intertwining of the characters or you hate it. There has been little in the way of middle of the road reviews.  Another writer told me not to sweat that, everyone has a taste for the type of books that they like to read.  If you want a frantic tale of battle and climax and a sweet ending, well I am not the writer for you.  The Blue Dragon's Geas books each have a minor climax but the main story is spread out over them.  We don't grow up over night, so I refuse to have Alador do so.

I guess the most wondrous part for me was at my day job, someone was telling me I needed to knuckle under because I "need this job."  I stood there for a moment and slow smiled.  Then I responded. "No.. actually.. no I don't." I am going to make it as a writer.  Maybe not every book will get the accolades of Outcast. Maybe not everyone will love my style.  But today, I realized Ms. McDonald, my English teacher in High School was correct.

 I was born to WRITE!