Born in Jamaica, transplanted to the ‘Frozen North’, writing has been a dream of mine for a long time. It remained only a dream until a few years ago when the simple truth occurred to me—I couldn’t become a writer if I didn’t write anything. A dedicated history buff, I happily penned two monster (and monstrous!) medieval novels before realizing I really had no clue what I was doing. It was the first of many such moments; when I had to decide what it was I wanted out of writing. Up until then it had been nothing but fun. Was I willing to put in the work necessary to actually get published?
I guess you can figure that the answer was, “Yes.” It was hard—it still is. I pictured the life of the writer being one of the secluded artist, toiling, sweating, crying, bleeding to get the right words on to the page, then happily sending the perfect, completed manuscript out and getting on with the next. Perhaps after a short break to pat herself on the back, eat a couple pounds of chocolate and sip a libation, or three.
I was so far off the mark I was in a different universe.
I had to learn the craft, then figure how to break the rules so that my ‘voice’ could come through without totally cheesing off readers. Then I had to figure out where, if anywhere, my work fit, followed by trying to convince editors I would be an asset to their organization.
I also discovered (to my horror) that I needed to market myself. A website at least. Preferably in conjunction with chats and blogs and appearances and talking to booksellers. For a behind-the-scenes type of person, it’s a real stumbling block. I’ve worked hard to get over my natural shyness but the realization I needed to ‘get out there and mingle,’ even just over the web, fills me with trepidation.
Yet here I am...writing my very first blog post and wondering, 'what am I doing here again?' Oh yes, connecting, communicating, trying to work up the courage to actually market my novella, 'Night of the Cereus', published by Samhain Publishing, which comes out on March 25, 2008.
Did I distract you, make you wonder what the heck a 'Cereus' is? Good...that's my marketing plan...the sneak attack! Come back soon and read my next post. I'll tell you about the Night-Blooming Cereus, and how this amazing flower fits in with my book. In the meantime, love a little more. It's easy, and keeps people wondering what you're really up to!