Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Out of the frying pan and into the fire

The ugly truth is, I started writing novels because my TV went on the fritz. It's sad really and I wish there was a far more romantic story behind it all. Most of the time there isn't. Ken Follett had his eye on a little sports car back in the 1960s and decided writing and publishing a novel was the quickest way to go about it. My first attempt was a middle grade novel about a fat knight and a pig who could talk. I naively started sending out query letters the minute my first draft was done, thinking 'I wrote the damn thing, surely someone will want to read it.'


Needless to say, with that kind of attitude I didn't get very far. I put that project aside and tried my hand at short stories for a while. I quite enjoyed those, published a couple and a handful of the ones I had the most fun writing will be going on Kindle very soon.

It wasn't long after that I stumbled upon an idea for a novel. Two ideas actually that I mashed together to form the basis of my first novel, MALICE. I won't bore anyone just yet with those kinds of details, especially given that the novel isn't out just yet. My goal right now is October 1st, 2011.

What I really want to talk about is my reason for this blog. Over and above spreading the word that my work is for sale--the equivalent really of flipping an open sign on a store front window--I want to chronicle each stage of the indie book publishing process as I slog my way through it. A process that is just as new for me as it is for a number of people. And like most, I'm hoping in with both feet. So in that sense, one of my aims is that writers might learn a trick or two from the many mistakes I'm about to make.

That being said, I also intend this blog to cater to readers and eventually fans. Perhaps one day droves of them will come shambling up my driveway demanding MALICE PART DEUX or another novella like BIRD OF PREY. See, didn't I tell you when you first got here I was a dreamer? And why not? But ultimately it's about getting better at what you do. Writers in their 80s are still learning and improving their craft. I expect to be the same.

Right now, here's my humble definition of success:
someone buys a story I've written, and then comes back to buy more. Rinse and repeat, like the shampoo instructions. That person, who for the sake of argument we'll call, Turbo Fan #1, will be the proof in the pudding that someone is taking as much pleasure in reading my work, as I've had in writing it. As these blogs progress, that definition of success will change and grow. I may not give you a breakdown of every penny I make. Although I can assure you the first few weeks will likely be depressingly slow. But that'll change. As the heading of this blog indicates. Nothing stays the same forever.

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