Launching into the Unknown
So, yes, I am now a published author. I officially launched on January 12th, though my novel, The 8th Circle, was available in December. Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of publishing.
It is weird because I, who like nothing more than locking myself in a room and pounding out words on my computer, now find myself adrift in the world of book signings and launch parties. It feels strange that people want to meet me, but it’s nice that they do. I’m very grateful, and that’s wonderful.
My novel is about a reporter named Danny Ryan who battles the odds to expose an organization of corrupt individuals who use their political connections to (among other things) get away with murder.
I get asked a lot why I decided to tell the story from the point of view of a reporter instead of a private detective or a cop. I think the easy answer is that I’ve been a writer all my life. I was an English major at Smith College. I worked as the assistant public relations director at a Philadelphia non-profit. I later worked as a public relations specialist writing ad copy and press releases as well as speeches and scripts for videos. Most of my clients were political. Because I interacted with the press, I felt more comfortable writing about that world.
I’m not sure why I chose a male as my lead character. Danny’s voice just came to me. I wanted to examine issues like child abuse, sex trafficking and exploitation of women, but come at it from a slightly different perspective. Having been an abused child, Danny has grown up determined to be a different man than his father, but he’s also haunted by his father’s ghost. Does it work? You’ll have to read the book.
Along the way, I’ve been very lucky to have a wonderful support group to critique my work, support me, and give me encourage me. Writers spend a lot of time holed up with their computers madly typing. We need to lift our heads up and interact with other people. It helps, especially on those occasions when the words just aren’t coming.
I also suggest walking. Not power walking. Just meandering for a a couple of miles and letting your thoughts wander. It helps. Ideas come at strange times and in weird places.
The rest is luck. Honestly. You have to keep typing away. Making connections. Believing in yourself. It’s hard. Along the way you’ll get rejection–lots of it–but it toughens you up until you eventually get published. And that’s fantastic. Then you realize you have to revise and edit. But you do it. Then you debut and get your first one-star review, but that’s okay too. Because you are now an author.