Exactly one year ago this Friday, March 25, my first novel was published.
I’ve been a writer for pretty much my entire life. As it says in my biography, I started with poetry. And even though I’d always dreamed of writing fiction, I stuck mainly with poetry (aside from the occasional foray into short stories and poorly-planned attempts at novels). Until about ten years ago, that is, when an image materialized in my head that I knew I had to get down on paper. That image was the seed that, once sprouted, would become Some Rise by Sin.
Interestingly enough that particular image was cut from the novel before I even finished a first draft, at the (100% correct) suggestion of my critique partners. I also had plans for two more books to make a trilogy – each involving a different Haughton sister. But it didn’t come to fruition because 1) the middle sister ended up being someone whose head I’d really rather not be in and 2) the main character of the first novel wasn’t Lady Samara as I’d thought, but Cade, the reluctant Earl of Easton. I do have a second book planned, more of a companion than a sequel, which is set to take place in France in 1572/73.
Writing Some Rise by Sin took seven years from inception to publication. I had six chapters and was floundering when I happened on Craigslist and found my saviors in the form of a critique group that already boasted Ariadne Apostolou, C.P. Lesley, and Janet Olshewsky as members. Without them I never would have made it past chapter seven. But not only did I get past chapter seven – I wrote an entire 150,000 word novel (several times, actually). I went to England to see the places I wrote about. I learned how to write a novel and, more importantly, how not to write a novel – lessons that have come in handy while working on my second book, the rough draft of which should be finished this week, a mere 11 months after typing Chapter One into my Word document. But most of all – I achieved a dream. I wrote a book, published it, and have even sold a few copies. The only thing I vaguely regret is publishing under a pseudonym, because there are a couple of teachers out there who would probably be pretty tickled if they were scrolling through Amazon and came across my name. And my dad’s co-worker wouldn’t have felt the need to Google me for proof when my dad said his daughter published a book. But all in all, I wouldn’t change a thing about the whole process.
So a very happy First Birthday to my first book! In celebration, I’m giving away one free e-book to a random reactor (like it, love it, or comment on it) on my Facebook page or a random commenter on this post. The winner will be announced on March 25.