2016. I was still in college working on my degree. I had written a one-act play (for my Theatre Appreciation Course) titled, "Barista," and it was a functional play about a young woman coming into a small rural coffee shop after she had tried to jump off the local bridge having lost all hope. The story didn't go away, and I started to wonder...maybe I could make something out of this? Maybe...I could write a novel.
It started out easy - there was a story to be told with the characters I had started the story with in earnest. Soon the challenging part began. To tell a complete story I had to add characters, decide what the challenge was facing our heroes, and then put them through the gauntlet to then drag them across the finish line and finish the damned thing.
I'll tell you now - it wasn't easy. I engaged the services of a paid editor and it is one of the things I will advise everyone who asks - pay a professional for this part. My editor was an outsider to my story and she had plenty of questions - the annotated copy of my story was a stark reminder that I was not the next Great American Author. It was also the only way this story was going to be functional, focused, and hit every gear change smoothly. I had to hear it from her and I had to work that much harder to make this story what it needed to be - a finished product.
It took a year from the edits received to the final draft complete. Part of this was my slow walking down the road. I have a full-time job as a teacher, and it takes time. At long last, we had our final online meeting, where I sent her the edits, and she proclaimed the job done. Now it was time to publish.
I'm not going to bore you with the details, but I discovered I would need lots of time to send out query letters to agents. I tried a few times in the spare time I had...but I soon came to the conclusion that I didn't care to get an agent or a publishing house. I wasn't writing to get the girl/guy and make a splash. Hear me clearly - if you want to go that route - go. I'm 41 years old and I'm just not interested in doing all the work involved - I just want my book out there.
And so it will be on January 15th, 2024 on Amazon. It feels very odd to be at the moment where I'm saying, "My book is coming!" and for that to be a very real thing. No longer a dream, no longer a hope - it's reality and it is just weeks away.
Now I just have to work on promoting it, talking about it, and doing all the work to spread the word. The fun begins!