One of the first things I learned about writing is this: its HARD. I know that sounds like it should be really obvious and that it should just be common knowledge but really, its not. Writing is hard. Its hard from the beginning to the end.
See, first you have to come up with an idea. And that sometimes can be the easy part. Ideas are easy. But you have to look at that idea and think: Can I really make a WHOLE book from this one idea? When I started writing The Awakened, I questioned again and again whether or not it was a solid enough idea to become an entire novel. I didn’t want to copy other stories. I wanted to make my own story.
Second, you have to actually write the thing. Crazy right? Books are LONG. Even writing short books take forever. You’re sitting in front of your computer, typing away, and you think “Wow, I wrote a lot today!” Then you look at your word count and realize your book isn’t even long enough to be a magazine article. It can be discouraging. Its a hard process. Its a LONG process, especially if you’re not used to it. I wish I could be like Jennifer L Armentrout, who cranks out about 8 books a year but that will NEVER be me. It takes time. It took me roughly about 9 months to write the entirety of The Awakened. That includes me starting new drafts several times, and having moments where I’d slam my laptop shut and think “Why on earth did I think I could write this novel?!”
Third: You’ve written a book! Yay! You cry tears of joy at 4 am because you finally wrote the very last words of your novel. No? Just me? Okay…okay, maybe just me. But I was extremely happy and exhausted and relieved at the end of writing my book. It had been a long, hard journey to get to the end of the book and it felt good to just be finished with it. Little did I know that this was just the beginning. The Awakened is being released today (!!), and I finished the book in May of 2014.
A year and a half. A year and a half since I finished the novel and now its finally being published. That’s a long time and that’s the biggest chunk of my journey. When I say that writing a book is hard, it IS hard. But I think the hardest part of your journey is the one they don’t tell you about is how hard the publishing journey is. Its a lot of rejection. You have to write this letter, called a query letter, basically pitching yourself and your book to this person who gets a ton of these letters. You have to convince them in a short amount of space, and usually only 5-10 pages of your novel, that they should represent you and your novel.
That took ages. But I did it. Because I wanted it badly. Then comes the rejection. You send that letter out a million times. It certainly feels like a million times. I spent over a year trying to find an agent to represent The Awakened. I got to the point where I thought, okay, I’m going to have to try other options. That’s when I started tackling indie publishers, who also loved sending rejection letters. It was incredibly discouraging. Most of the time I’ve spent on this book has been on trying to get it published.
I was actually about ready to set it aside when things happened and I really think it was amazing time and an incredible opportunity and just a little bit of luck. I wasn’t giving on the book, definitely not. But I had just written another book this summer and I thought, maybe The Awakened isn’t the ONE. So I was setting it aside and focusing on this other book. If nothing had really happened by the end of this year, I was going to self-publish it.
That’s when Ben announced his company, OfTomes, and how he was taking open submissions. I thought, you know, Ben is incredibly passionate and awesome and why not? Publishing with him is going to do WAY more for my book than self-publishing it. So I sent it. And Ben loved it. After so many rejections, someone finally read the book and said, YES, THIS ONE. All it takes is one and when you finally get that one, it feels GREAT. And look, today I’m publishing my very first book. That’s pretty awesome!
Make sure to enter these awesome giveaways for The Awakened BLOG TOUR!
- Starts November 26th and ends December 12th
- Prizes will be shipped AFTER Christmas
- Available internationally
The prizes include:
One Grand Prize Winner – Signed Copy of The Awakened, Signed Exclusive Poster, Signed Bookmark
One First Place Winner – Signed Poster and Signed Bookmark
Two Second Place Winners – A Kindle Edition of The Awakened and a Signed Bookmark
Blog Tour Schedule
Check out the entire tour for more information about the book, interviews, guest posts, excerpts and more!
November 27th: Living Within Fiction
December 4th: Bout of Bibliophilia