Two Years Ago Today

Followers of my twitter feed, or just my life in general, know that yesterday was my 29th birthday. (Many thanks for all of the well wishes, by the way!) What most people don’t know is that two years ago today was the day I finally caved in to the pressure of my friends and took the steps to self-publish. It has been a really wild ride since then. On January 27th, 2010, if I suspected anyone but my closest friends (and not even all of them) knew that I’d written something, I would have been mortified. Today I’m eagerly clicking over to my forum and checking my email to see if I’ve got any new comments from people I’ve never met. It has been a blast, and I want to thank everyone who took a chance with a new author and ended up here.

It has become a running theme that, if my friends want me to do something that I don’t want to do, I should probably do it. Thus, last night I decided to dig through storage and pull out a pile of books that one of my friends has been hounding me to find. And here they are.

This represents years of stolen time. It also represents the largest clean, flat surface in my apartment.

That mound of biodegrading spiral notebooks represents The Book of Deacon in its original form. Countless grammar school, high school, and college teachers saw me scribbling diligently in one of these books during their classes and foolishly thought I was taking notes. To be fair, not all of these books are filled cover to cover with plot. One of them has a few pages of notes and outlines, and one or two of them are half empty because I lost them for a while and had to pick a different notebook. Let’s take a look inside, shall we?

Note that this "brief summary" ended up filling nearly a dozen notebooks.

It is worth pointing out that where it says “1st Book,” I don’t mean book 1 of a trilogy. The entire trilogy, in my head, was one book, and it was a prequel to the book I’d originally intended to write. Flipping through the pages of this pile was an interesting experience. I didn’t actually transcribe the book from these pages, for the most part. After I had completely finished the story, I typed it in from memory. My reasoning was that anything I couldn’t remember wasn’t good enough to make the cut. Every now and then I’d flip through and find the exact wording of a scene that I was particularly happy with, but the rest was typed while these were tucked away in a drawer somewhere. As a result, the actual story bears only a passing resemblance to what shows up on these pages. Looking into it now brings back memories of plots I dropped (Myranda had a long sequence involving Tresson soldiers at one point.) or characters who were completely rewritten (Trigorah used to be much more ruthless, and was more of an investigator than a soldier.) or names that had to be changed. (Ivy used to have a much sillier name.)

Also, looking back through these books managed to completely restore my paralyzing embarrassment about them. I quickly shoved them back into storage after snapping these pictures, because I do not want anyone to pick them up and flip through them. Don’t ask me why. Maybe it is a remnant of the extreme lengths I went to in order to conceal them during their creation. For instance let’s look at that top cover again.

Note that I hadn't picked a name at that point.

That big, clear label indicating that it was a book written by me, and that there were other parts? That wasn’t added until had completely filled the book and was ready to lock it away and move on to the next one. Heaven forbid someone see that and start asking me what I was writing about!

I’ve come a long way, I suppose. Now the characters that I carefully cultivated in my brain have gotten loose and are running around in other people’s heads, and I’m constantly thinking up other things for them to do. Since I’ve finished writing Unstable Prototypes, and it is now being proofread by my friends, it is time to dip back into that world and see what I should write next. Direct sequels? Side stories? That book I’d originally intended to write? We’ll see.

 

12 Comments

  1. Enjoyed reading your comments on the “how” of gettng your book published. That is so great and definately an inspiration to anyone with similar aspirations.

    1. Thanks! I’m really happy with how things turned out, so if anything I say might motivate a curious writer to give it a shot, I’d be glad to know I helped inspire them.

  2. Maybe it was your handwriting you didn’t want anyone to see. lol! 😉 I am so thank-ful for your friends, and falling for peer pressure (in your case) I hope by now you’ve realized that you have NOTHING to be mortified about. Your books are a pure delight to read. Perhaps you felt that way because you lacked confidence. Now that you’ve written 6 books, and have a fan base larger than you imagined, and confidence to boot….I’m excited to see what you have up your sleeve!

    Have a great weekend.

    1. Heh. Yeah, my handwriting has always been atrocious. I’m a lefty, and I learned cursive from a teacher who apparently assumed all children were right-handed, to the point that she said a helpful way to remember left from right is “you write with your right hand.” (As a result, I still get left and right mixed up from time to time.) If there is a correct way to write with you left hand, I never learned it.

      Thanks for the kind words as always. I definitely have a confidence problem, but knowing that there are people out there who genuinely like my writing is a big ego boost, I can tell you that.

      Thanks again.

  3. Just finished the Great Convergence and read the last 30% of the book outside (where I can smoke) in a 3 hour marathon. Couldn’t put it down. Love the first two books and can’t wait to see the end play out. Thanks for giving us these great novels! Keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks for the comment! I’ve had a few people tell me they’ve done some marathon reading, but you are the first I’ve heard of that did so outdoors. Hopefully the weather cooperated. I’m glad you enjoyed the first two books, and I hope you find the finale satisfying. Thanks for reading.

  4. Outstanding!!
    I was skimming the Kindle books on Amazon and found a ‘free’ fantasy adventure that sounded pretty good…normally i would have chosen something by a better known author…what a mistake it would have been!
    After reading ‘The Book of Deacon’ in a marathon session, i immediately purchased the next two volumes! They were as hard to put down as the first!
    Brilliant in giving away the first book…and thank you for tempting me to read it!!
    I am busily downloading every new author who is doing the free first book thing as you did in hopes of discovering more great work!!
    Thank you!!

    1. Thanks! I’m proud to know that I wrote a series of books that you enjoyed, but I’m even more proud to know I gave you confidence in new and indie authors. Hopefully your openness to unknown authors will continue to be rewarded.

  5. *** CONTAINS SPOILERS ***
    THE BOOK OF DEACON! WOW! These 3 books = devoured in 4 days. Luckily I’m the boss, or I’d have fired for blatantly ignoring my responsibilities while on the clock. This story is one that I will re-read many times. Not only did I enjoy them, but in my eagerness to find out if my favorite characters made it out of each battle alive, I have probably blown past details that should have been savored. It was like eating a delicious holiday meal way too fast. Then for the life of you, you can’t REMEMBER WHAT HAPPENED WOLLOFF. My one criticism exists only because of my personal disappointment. I really do wish key characters from Entwell had helped in the final battle. I missed Calypso and Solomon for the rest of the story. This wasn’t necessarily the best place to post this small review, but I hope it further encourages potential readers to pick this story up. Not that a measly comment on a blog is more encouraging than that $0.00 price tag! What a steal!

    Looking forward to more books!

    1. Hi! I’m happy that you enjoyed the books so much. Reading while on the clock, eh? What good is being the boss if you can’t bend the rules sometimes? Wolloff was really one of the unexpected favorites in the cast, I’ve got to say. And enough people have expressed the same feelings of disappointment regarding the denizens of Entwell that I may have to write a short story expanding their role somewhat. I guess I’ll just put that on the pile. Thanks again for reading, and thanks for the comment!

  6. ***SPOILERS*****!!!!!

    Marina- I just finished book three and loved it as well. I too was a bit bummed that Entwell didn’t offer any help, or that we even knew if anything horrific was going on over there as well. It would also have been interesting to see if they would allow Deacon back in (not like he’d ever leave Myranda’s side) and perhaps shower him with the respect he well deserved. I loved how Ether finally showed some nice human emotion, though I was heartbroken that it was Lain’s death that evoked it from her. Oh gosh I could go on and on and on…. I can’t wait for these to hit the stores! I want the collection on my shelves 🙂

    1. *** CONTAINS SPOILERS ***
      Hi. Glad you liked book 3, too. I’ve had quite a few people express confusion/disappointment/outrage that Entwell didn’t join in on the last battle. One of these days I’ll probably do a short story that will show you the behind the scenes of what Entwell was up to after Deacon’s departure. And if anyone was going to prove Ether had a heart, it was going to be Lain.
      *** END SPOILERS ***

      I’m working hard on the print release. Book 1 is coming together nicely, and once I get the professional edit of Book 2 back from the editor (late march/early april) I can start working on Book 2. With any luck all three will be finished by the end of the year. As things move forward I’ll try to get the print releases closer and closer to the eBook releases.

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