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One Writer’s Story

Filed in Thoughts by on February 26, 2014 0 Comments • views: 2997

Once upon a time, there was a writer.  At first, she was terrible.  Her plots were forced, her writing felt stale.  But after a few thousand pages and a lot of hard work, her writing got better.

“Hey!” she thought.  “I wonder if I could get published?”

So for four years she worked even harder.  She wrote during college.  She wrote when she graduated.  She wrote when she got married.  She wrote when she was pregnant.  She wrote with a newborn on her lap.

And whenever she finished a project, she sent it off–to agents, to editors.  She often didn’t even get a reply.

Then she decided to try to final in prestigious contest, because that seemed to be one of the few ways to get an editor’s attention.  So she wrote a book plotted to do well in the contest.  And it did.

Suddenly, editors asked for it, and two different big publishing houses wanted the book.  She got an agent.  The houses made their offers.  One of them wanted to her to change up or book so that it fit the house style better.  It needed, the editor explained, to be more funny, bright, and cheerful.  Sex was good, but it needed lest angst.  It needed to sound more like all the other writers in the line.

So the writer went with the other publishing house, and her first book was a national bestseller, and it won some more awards.

The writer was so happy!

She kept writing.  But things didn’t go as she’d hoped.

A lot of things happened–mostly bad. Eventually, the writer realized that she needed a new genre and a new voice because she couldn’t stand to even think about writing the kinds of books she used to, and she needed a new name because she didn’t want to build up her old one since it was impossible for her to get back the rights to her published books, and the publisher had stopped paying royalties on the digital editions years ago. Worse still, because of the changes and compromises that she had been forced to take, she didn’t even like her later books, and she didn’t like having her name on them.

So she worked hard on her craft, drilling down into her weak points and learning how to build them up. And she wrote snatches and short stories and other pieces of ideas as they filtered down into her brain, waiting for something that was so compelling that it could define who she was going to be.

Eventually, the idea for a new world crept into her head.  It started with a single thought:  Vampires, even when devastatingly sexy, should be scary.  And they should be as socially powerful as they are individually compelling.

And she began to write again, in earnest.

At the same time, she made a list of all the problems with the current publish model, for readers, publishers, and authors.  Then she made lists of possible solutions–hundreds of them.  She cut that list down into realistic things that she could do, herself, with the limited time that she had.  And eventually, she had something that looked a whole lot like a marketing plan.

With over eight hundred pages of writing queued up, she decided to take the jump and be her own publisher.  She got a new look.  A new name, even.  

And she started a new chapter in her life.

About the Author ()

V. M. Black is the creator of Aethereal Bonds, the sensual urban fantasy world that takes vampires, weres, and faes to a place they've never been.

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