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What’s your goal?

What’s your goal?

I love writing. To me, it is pure magic. There’s nothing quite like that feeling when I come out on the opposite end of the wormhole I’d been sucked into. Time ceased to exist, there were only me and the world and characters I created. It is real-life teleportation people, and I’m Captain Kirk.

I love writing. To me, it is pure magic. There’s nothing quite like that feeling when I come out on the opposite end of the wormhole I’d been sucked into. Time ceased to exist, there were only me and the world and characters I created. It is real-life teleportation people, and I’m Captain Kirk.

Do you ever wake up from an amazing, vivid dream and want to slip right back into it? Well, that is what writing is like for me. The best part is, I don’t have to go to sleep hoping that one of those dreams will come and that I’ll remember it in the morning. I can create it for myself.  That’s the best way I can explain how writing feels to me. I’ll have to move on now, or I will ramble on forever about my passion. It’s like being in love and not being able to talk enough about your new crush and the fuzzy feelings they bring you.

The next best thing to writing is sharing my work. Now this is a mixed bag of agony and excitement. Being able to watch someone read what you’ve worked so hard on is excruciatingly delicious. If they laugh–and even better–if they cry, it’s magic!

You string words together, and you create this world and these people that someone connects with and cares enough about to travel along with on an epic (or even not so epic) journey.

Editing is hard. I still feeling the joy through all the pain, though.

But here is the part that I did not enjoy in the least–choosing a path to publication. It’s no easy task and brought me a lot of heartache. I found there were only three real ways. 1) Self-publication 2) Small Presses 3) Traditional Publishing via an Agent.

I tried traditional publishing first. I gotta say, I was miserable. It wasn’t so much the long wait times to hear back (if at all) or the rejections that did me in. No, it was the fear that if I did get any interest from an agent, they’d force me to change my story. And then if it were picked up by a publisher, they’d change it even more. Then would my story even be mine anymore?

And this is what I want to do most of all, share my stories. Is that self-indulgent? Maybe, but that’s why I like to do it. I don’t want to create a paint-by-numbers Van Gogh. I don’t want to write-by-numbers, well, anyone. I want to tell the stories that are within me. My art.

I stopped all querying for a while and asked myself–Karen, what are your goals? Do you want to be a famous author? Do you want (perhaps a smaller number of) people to read your stories or (more) people to read a version of your stories?

I decided I for sure didn’t want my stories hidden on my computer, tucked away for all eternity for no one to see. I also knew I couldn’t self-publish. I just don’t know enough to put a quality product out for my readers. How could they experience my stories entirely if they were too distracted by bad formatting? That’s if they even bought them at all had I used crappy cover art.

I needed guidance. And that’s where I was fortunate enough to find Blue Deco Publishing or did they find me? We found each other on Twitter during a pitch party. They liked my pitch, I sent my manuscript in–the rest is history and A GAME OF TRUTHS, my middle-grade fantasy releases in one week! I sent them another manuscript of mine, and they decided to publish it as well–another middle-grade fantasy–ASTER FINLAY AND THE GREAT ELAN.

Now I know there are those who think that small presses or self-publishing are not as prestigious as getting a book deal from one of the big five–but I had to do what was right for me. I found support. I found others who believe in me. I found a home for my stories. Now I just need to find readers. And if I’m someone’s favorite author someday, I think I’ll go to bed pretty ecstatic at night.

I didn’t choose this path because it’s an “easy” route. There is no easy road. Self-publication, publication through a small press, or one of the big five–they’re all tough. It’s been a lot of really hard work. Hair-pulling hard work actually, but I feel excited and proud.

If you’re struggling to find your way, just remember to ask yourself –what are your goals? What will make you happy? We don’t all want or need the same outcomes in anything after all, so why should this be any different?

Author:

The author of middle-grade fantasy adventure books. A GAME OF TRUTHS and ASTER FINLAY AND THE GREAT ELAN

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