When you spend five years outlining and writing a novel, you wind up feeling pretty attached to your characters and the world you've been building. Heck, you even start to empathize with and hurt for them as they go through their struggles. But truth be told, I don't think it really takes five years to get the that point. Anybody that has taken the time to write a story knows this.
Like any writer, because I felt so strongly for my characters and my book, I wanted the best for them. I believed in their adventures, relationships, and the incredible tale unfolding in their lives. Oftentimes I would think to myself, "They're real. Somewhere, they're real. I just know it." (Crazy, but true.) And so, for me, I believed that what was best for them would be to do everything in my power to publish traditionally.
This involves finding an agent to actually look at my work and then, miraculously take me on as a client. Then comes finding a publisher. Once that's accomplished, it can be up to two years before the book actually comes out in print.
It hits the shelves of bookstores everywhere in the nation. It reaches homes and captures the imaginations of people everywhere. You hope. If you're lucky.
Every dreamy, little writer heart wants this for their characters. They firmly believe their story DESERVES it.
And many times, that's true.
I still believe my story deserves it. (I may be biased though. That's an easy thing to be as a writer.)
However, traditionally publishing my book was not the path for me.
Self publishing was not a decision I took lightly. Originally, I wasn't interested in the idea and in May of this year, I was ready to begin querying with the hopes of finding an agent.
But sometimes, unforeseen things happen that force you down a different path. Some of you know the circumstances involving my decision to self-publish. Some do not. I will simply say I went from preparing my first query letters to agents to scrambling to figure out how to self publish in a matter of a few short days.
I cried over that decision. I wept over those bookstore shelves where I wouldn't see my work (at least not THIS one). I moaned over not receiving that one amazing call from an agent saying, "Hey, you're awesome. I want your book." And I mourned with my characters when I felt I couldn't give them more than what I had to offer.
At the time, it all seemed so right to feel that way. I felt totally justified.
As days passed, however, my feelings swiftly changed.
It's a very wonderful and strange feeling to have so much control over every aspect of your work in the final stages before it's released to the public. I have nothing to compare it to, of course, but as I set up a photo shoot for the cover with my adorable model, made the costume, designed the covers, found a wonderful editor, and received incredible support and help from so many amazing people, this path began to feel so right. It wouldn't feel this way without those friends and family.
I have enjoyed every moment of this journey and I can't wait to see where it takes me. It may not go very far at all, but I still believe in my book. I believe in my characters. I truly believe this was the path I was meant to follow. And most importantly, I genuinely love and believe in the goodness of the many people who have helped me along the way. I could not have come this far without their unfailing support and faith in this project.
This first book is dedicated to them.