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Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Reality is Setting In
So, I started writing Shattered
in Oct 2012. Like all the things I do I went overboard with it, writing all
hours of the day and night. The story was in me and I had to get it on paper.
My first draft was finished in a month. Three months later, aside from the
characters and basic plot, the book was unrecognizable. I’d written the first
draft, then read books on how to write books, and realized mine sucked. I spent
the next three months refining it.
Then, I published it. I decided
to go indie because it’s more my style, I’m determined, and
I couldn't get signed by an agent. I now see that as a blessing, but
I did try mainstream first and failed.
I don’t feel weird about any of
that, not upset that I failed a few times. I just feel super awkward now that
it’s out there, published.
I’m an introvert, which means I
live in my own head. My world exists within my mind, my body, and my emotions.
Pretty limited, I know. I can reach out and do all the time, but I’m most
comfortable in my own world. I’m super self-conscious too – leftovers from
being an ugly kid/teen. I don’t like showing negative emotions. I suppress them
and work through them until they go away. If I’m upset, I’m REALLY upset.
Anyone who knows me knows I like to be happy. I seek happiness.
Shattered isn't a happy story, and I’m a little shocked by how dark
it came out.
I told you all that stuff about
me to say this – my soul is in those pages. Not all of it, not even most of it,
but there’s a part of me that took up residence in that collection of words
that can now be called a book. It’s out there, and I want people to read it.
That’s actually terrifying. I didn't write it to be clever, or deep,
the story existed in my head and only I could set it free. Now it is.
One of my favorite authors,
Diana Gabaldon, gave advice that the books we write are just for us, they ARE
us, and to read people’s cold-hearted reviews on Amazon or whatever would only
cripple our creativity. (I’m paraphrasing big time.) I know that’s true. I
suffered from 15 years of writer’s block. Couldn't write more than a
grocery list or an email. I don’t want people to hate it/me.
I've put my work out there
for all to see. I’m worried what my parents will think, what my church friends
will think, will they think I’m some sort of sicko? When my fellow Christians
hear that I wrote a book they instantly assume it’s a Christian book. It’s not.
Of course God is God in my book too, because that’s so much a part of my
beliefs and my soul that I couldn't even make up a fake world where
God was not Himself. My book has gore, violence, attempted gang rape, serious
fringe topics, sex, cursing… in other words, it’s pretty close to real life in
that it’s a bit dirty.
That’s what has me feeling
awkward the most, I think. People assume that Christians only read Christian
books, only listen to Christian music, only think good, clean thoughts. Not
true for the majority of us, I’d wager. I like books with different paradigms.
I love Diana Gabaldon’s books because she presents God and faith with respect,
without me knowing exactly where she as a person stands on the issue. Her books
make mine seem rated G. I like that, being rated G. I’m not trying to be
something I’m not in my books, and I’m not ever going to. I’m pretty rated G.
Maybe PG-13 when drunk.
My point, in this bizarre
ramble, is that I’m feeling weird. It’s like I just entered a room full of
authors and all I have is my one book as street cred. There are giants of
literature and thought there, and here I am swaggering in with my little stack
of pages. I fell like I’m standing up and saying, “Hi, my name is April, and
I’m a bookaholic who decided to join up with all of you to provide sweet book
highs to our hungry bookaholic brethren.” I don’t want to cure anyone of a love
of books. I want to feed the need. I LOVE books, and I love finding new authors
that make me think and feel in ways I’m not capable of doing on my own. I can
live a hundred lives all in my little head. I recently (like last night at 2am)
got over my addiction to the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning. I was
seriously addicted, but it’s finished so I have to get over it. I went through
all five books in less than 2 weeks. No joke. Couldn't get enough.
Loved the ending. I got to want things like JZB and wonder if I went to Dublin,
would I see more than most could like Mac?
I want people to devour my
books like that. I want them to reach the end of the first book and scream
because they have to get the next book NOW! That’s what I did with DG's last
book, An Echo in the Bone. I was listening to it while cleaning the kitchen and
it ended, and I screamed “NO!!!!!” because it was so open-ended, such a
horrible thing to do to me, leaving me stressed out! That’s what I want to do,
and I’m still having withdrawals waiting for Written in my own Heart’s Blood.
I’ll have to read the paperback because I doubt I’ll be able to wait for the
So, that’s it. I’m a noob in an
art as old as time. I’m honored to be given the chance to color the world with
prose, to share pieces of my soul with all of you. Reality is setting in. I
really did it. I wrote a book, finished it, put it out there, and I’m working
on book 2. I've found my calling in life. It’s an amazing feeling.
Join me in the Elemental World by diving into Shattered, book 1, The Legends of