Wednesday, February 25, 2015

3 Out of 4 Voices In My Head...

I left the field of fiction writing for nearly 20 years at the advice of my spiritual mentor (whom some might say is The Big Daddy of All Voices In My Head), and now that I have written a new novel (Prince of Umberlight) and am in the process of writing the second in the same series, I'm starting to remember why I gave it all up for so many years.

Aside from the obvious reasons (not the least of which is that my dogs and cats like to eat, and writing is not a reliable way to earn a living), I find myself lying awake in the middle of the night listening to the yammerings of a dozen or more characters, all of whom feel their story is the one that most needs to be told, and therefore I should immediately drop everything I'm doing (like trying to sleep), go straight to the computer (do not pass go, do not collect $200) and at least have the good manners to write extensive notes on who said what to whom, when, where, why, and what the outcome might be 6 novels or more down that long and winding road to Needle (as in - one more indy novel needle in a haystack of literally millions of similar needles). Even if the sun should rise before I am finished, the little voices say, I must not falter.

And so the sun comes up on another day, the dog is giving me dirty looks for keeping her awake all night while pecking away at the keyboard with all the lights on; the cat is promising to do something really nasty if I don't feed him, clean his box, pet him for a minimum of 1.25 hours without interruption, and groom him in the fashion every prince is accustomed to being groomed - and all in that order, please; last night's left overs are still on the counter; dishes are still in the sink; aliens have landed on the front yard and are asking for a book of matches (I guess they didn't get the memo that I stopped smoking over 20 years ago)...

And there are vampires in my head asking - nay, demanding - that I must tell their tales of angst and immortality, love and grief, ecstasy and torment, life and death and everything in between.  In fact, I have had to tell them I'm in the shower right now, just to have a few minutes to scribble this SOS on the walls in my own blood.

But be that as it may... (they will be on me again as soon as they realize I've deceived them!)...

From a writer's perspective, there appear to be two contradictory forces forever at war - the yin and the yang, the light wolf and the dark wolf, the agony and the ecstasy. What are they really? Simply put, they are the thrill of creation and the dark night of the soul that comes with wondering how to get one's books seen, read, reviewed.  As I discussed in one of my first entries in this blog, "Getting Found In the 'Other' World," writers are now required to wear so many hats that we just don't have enough shoes to match. Writer. Editor. Publisher. Cover artist. Publicist. Webmaster. Advertising manager. Chief cook and bottle washer at the nuthouse. The list is long.

Did you know that most of the Star Trek
writers don't get a single cent from the
digital sales of their books? One more
reason I have come to favor
 indy publishing.
When I initially released Sons of Neverland back in 1997, the publishing industry was just beginning to shift from the traditional toward a more general acceptance of indy writers. I had always been in the traditional markets previously, beginning with my Star Trek novel, Killing Time, but I embraced indy publishing for a LOT of reasons - not the least of which is that it allows the author to maintain creative control and to ultimately produce a book that is more in alignment with her own vision, as opposed to the typically narrow parameters enforced by traditional publishers.

Of course, the downside is that most indy writers (including myself) don't have the resources to do a large advertising campaign (or even a small one). Then again, unless you are already a highly established author, most traditional publishers don't waste a lot of time and money on promoting your book either. If you're lucky, it's on the shelves at the few remaining book stores for a couple of weeks, then on the remainder shelf for another month, and then it's off to the land of obscurity.  The only real difference is that indy publishers still have the rights to their books - so the book can be re-released and updated over time, and the writer begins to build a catalog of titles which - hopefully - readers will eventually find. Granted, it may be at a time when the author has been pushing up daisies for decades, or cavorting with the voices in her head in the nursing home, but we have-to-believe that one day we will be discovered.

 I could go into an entire diatribe about that, but two things are stopping me:

1.  The vampires have found me again and insist I must stop this foolishness and get back to telling their tales; and...

2.  It would be a diatribe unto itself, so best I should surrender to the vampires before I am seriously punished. What they don't know is that I'd probably like it every bit as much as they do.

 An erotic gay vampire romance...    Sons of Neverland - Available on Amazon!   

No comments:

Post a Comment