Despite The Fear
It's an interesting feeling; sitting back and realizing that I'm doing a blog tour. My book is doing a blog tour. When I was younger, I almost always wanted to grow up and write, but I terrified myself out of it more times than I can count. I'd think about the idea of courting a publisher, and the entire idea was just horrifying to me.
Little me? Sending off letters to all these professionals who receive dozens, maybe hundreds, of the same letter every day. And they all boil down to the same thing: "I think I'm a writer. Actually, I think I'm a good writer. And I know I'm just one of so many with their hands in the air and their hearts on their sleeves, but I'm here. And I count, so pick me. Please pick me."
Could I write that? Knowing the risks? Knowing the sheer number of rejections that exist simply because every writer cannot succeed?
It's like American Idol. There are so many who enter that competition who can sing, men and women who feel their music with all of their hearts and may even have built up some sort of fan base. But they can't all make it. Only one can be number one. And only a few can hover close to that coveted place of fame and wealth and wonder.
I'm living in the same world as the greats. Right here in the US alone, we have writers like Stephen King, Nicholas Sparks, Nora Roberts. Danielle Steel. James Patterson. The rising Marie Force. Can I walk among them? Am I that good?
Maybe not. And so I said, yeah, but I'm okay. I'm better than okay. Writing is my craft, it's my thing. It always has been. I have to do it; I've never been able to go any length of time without writing something. It's a part of who I am. So if I'm scared of a publisher and all that that entails, with the risk of rejection, and heaven help me, all the risks of acceptance, then maybe what I need is an agent.
A liaison. A go-between. Someone who is on my side, who knows they will make their living from helping me to make a good living.
But they want the same thing, they all want that initial letter, that letter that is a piece of a writer's soul, sketched out on a paper that may or may not be in the garbage with the rest by the end of the day. I couldn't do it. I don't have a fancy bio. I don't have a dozen rewards, and I'm not part of sixteen writer's guilds or groups or clubs. Maybe someday I will be, but right now I'm just a woman with a love for stories and a somewhat decent ability to craft my own ideas into something other people can read and feel and value.
And then there was one other thing that terrified me. The one real thing that stopped me from taking the risks I desperately wanted to take.
You see, I'm a mommy, too. And that's been my job now, for nine years. In that time, I've maybe missed tucking my oldest daughter in ... oh, something like 8 times, maybe ten. I've put my girls to bed nearly every single night of their lives, and I've woken up with them nearly every single morning since they've been born. I feed them (well, not literally, anymore), I bathe them (same story), and when they'll listen, I teach them. I clean scrapes and break up fights and I know that they are well because I am here to ensure it.
Someday they'll be grown and gone, and I'm trying to make the best of the time that I have, and so I really value my status as a stay-at-home mom.
But you know, traditional publishing might have held that back, some. There would have been book tours if my writing did well, and I have always been told that it would. There may at some point have been some sorts of signings or interviews and things of that nature, and I couldn't have expected all of that to be right here in the heart of Knoxville, like a nine-to-five that would still allow me to feed them breakfast and kiss them goodnight.
So I waited. I put it off, and I told myself it wasn't my time yet, but that maybe, just maybe it would be soon. Soon. Someday. Maybe.
Finally, I couldn't wait anymore, and in November of 2012, I got serious and wrote my first novel, To Love A Selkie. After that, I promptly jumped the gun before I could chicken out, and I put it right out there, self-published without even a whisper about part II, To Become A Selkie, coming along at some unknown date. But that experience, and the things that I have learned since then, have been an integral part of how Fat Chance and the Kingsley Series idea came about.
So follow me on my very first tour, one that is mostly on my terms, and every bit of it straight from a little couch in a little apartment in the heart of Knoxville, Tennessee, where I'm still raising my babies while teaching them that it is possible to chase, and catch, a dream - despite your fears, and on your own terms.
Find out more and check out the schedule
on the Fat Chance Book Tour page.