It's funny because for over ten years I've been chasing the approval of others with hopes of becoming a traditionally published author. KERIDWEN, my favorite novel about Druids and magic, is now available on amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com and every other online vendor in print form. It's by far my favorite original work. But then there are four other novels I want out there. ALL'S FAIR IN LOVE AND TEXTS will now just be LOVE AND TEXTS. After reading through it, I can see that it was me definitely me as a young author. At nearly 40 years old, I see that it needs revision, if not a total overhaul, so that will be a new project. GUARDIANS will be the sequel to KERIDWEN. It's almost done and I'm so excited about it, as it is really something I've been working on for a while and putting my heart into.
TICKET TO HEAVEN is in the final process of rewrite/editing. This novel is based on the idea that Heaven is full and you have to earn your ticket into heaven. We don't always accomplish what we're supposed to when we're alive, so we need to do that before getting in to heaven when we die. This has been a WIP for three years, and now I'm confident it's going to be something people want to read.
TO WHERE AND BACK is for sure the last in the line - not because it's the worst, but because it's the most painful for me to read. This novel helped me process the death of so many students I've had who have died in combat overseas. It's a labor of love, and I hope it really does give comfort to those who may have lost loved ones before their time.
There it is...the five novels I'm putting out over the next 12 months, if not sooner. I'm so excited to take control of my own destiny, as opposed to playing the query game, which I do respect. That being said, I've endured years of rejection or just plain ignoring. I completely understand that this is a subjective business, and I respect the process. I have seen authors who have signed on with agents, been picked up by a publisher, printed books, and are still struggling. It's really a hit or miss industry based on the person representing you taking a chance. Well, I'm taking a chance on me. As much as I'd love to say I have an agent who is selling my works to Random House, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, etc. I am ok with the idea that that is not in my future. It is definitely a subjective industry that I didn't hit at the right time with the right person.
All that being said, I am writing this to be an encouragement to others like myself. I teach students who want to be professional athletes. We try to explain the odds to them while encouraging a back-up plan. This is my back-up plan. But I'm not sad about it. I'm empowered. I'm not willing to do the work required to put my work out there, and it's good. As an English teacher, I know the grammar is solid, and the stories follow what people naturally expect. I'm ready. I'm confident.
Good luck to everyone else who is trying to put their work out there. It's scary. It's exciting. But most importantly, it's yours. Embrace it.
I love writing, and I'll never stop.