After publishing my first book, After the Green Withered, many people have asked me questions ranging from the inspiration for the story to character development to, my least favorite, how long it took to write. Why is the latter question my least favorite to answer? Because five years is a long time to take writing a novel. It's not even a long novel. In fact, it's in the average range when considering that little thing called word count.
So, why did it take me so long to write?
Have a seat and let me 'splain (I would sum up but I think that unlike Inigo Montoya's* predicament, we've got the time to delve into this).
Four score minus seventy-five years ago, I wrote a course in environmental education that was the foundation for my book. (How many of you just googled what a score is? LOL) An idea took root and from the seedlings of those intial thoughts came my book.
Let's take a brief look into Kristin's mind. I know, it's a scary place but we're going in. As I researched and wrote the graduate course, I began to wonder about the impact of a multitude of environmental crises in our world. I asked myself what could happen evironmentally, on a global scale, that would change everything? The answer: drought. Water is a resource we cannot live without and in many parts of the planet, it is in short supply. So, what would our country, and the world, look like if there was a global drought? The premise for After the Green Withered was born.
TA-DA! And the book was done!
Yeah, that's obviously not what happened. Between raising three boys, working full time, and slaving away on laundry, the days, weeks, and years got away from me. I would mull over my ideas often and while I truly began writing in 2013, I wasn't able to focus on the book until a few years later. You see, life gets in the way.
Plus I procrastinate, as most authors do - admitting the problem is the first step in my recovery process. Ha!
It took about three years to get half of the book finished. Stop judging me. There was laundry, I say! And boys! And work! And that vacation...and those movies I absolutely had to watch...and sleeping because it's important...and there was stuff, lots of stuff going on.
When 2017 rolled around, I decided to do what I could have, but clearly didn't, do in prior years. I gave myself a firm deadline. And then the crafting and editing took hold. By early 2018, I was finished with my first draft. It was a special moment to have finally (yes, I know it was a long time coming) gotten to this point.
But wait! There was editing! Yes, the editing phase was rigorous and incredibly rewarding. Dave Taylor at thEditors.com - you can check out my testimonial on his site-took my book from its infancy into something I am proud, though always nervous, to share with the world. It's hard to describe the feeling I had when I officially published my book on Amazon. Yes, I may have searched for it a few times just to experience that little thrill! Being able to tell friends and family was wonderful.
~Here's a quick blurb about my book cover. It went through many iterations before its most recent upgrade. The stark setting is central to the story, so I toyed with a few backgrounds and then bought the rights to the image that is on the current cover. The young woman who reflects my main character, Enora, is someone dear to me. The symbol I created for the story. It is a reflection of the entity that has taken control of every facet of life in Enora's world. I wanted the cover of my book to be the embodiment of my vision which is why I created it. But, I was never happy with the font and felt that it could be better. Hence, the updated version. It's still my vision, with an upgrade.
What I've learned, along this road to self-publishing, is that anyone can cook! LOL...I love the movie Ratatouille. Seriously though, not everyone can cook, but everyone can make their dream of publishing a reality. There are so many sites, groups, and platforms to help you along the way that it's silly to think you could never do it.
I'm happy to say that my time management and tendency to procrastinate to such a degree that nothing gets done, has been addressed with regard to the sequel, Burden of Truth. I have completed this book in a record five months! Woohoo! It's now with my editor. I hope to release it at the end of October. What about the cover? Like the first book, I designed it but put my designs into the hands of a professional who kicked it up a notch! The cover reveal and preorder is coming soon!
As for writing and attaining the dream of authorship, as Walt Disney said, "If you can dream it, you can do it."
Do you have a story to tell? If you want to be an author, you can.
*Anyone who gets this reference could potentially be my BFF!