Every once in a while, when I have time to stop and just think, I start running around in circles in my head making an eeeeeeeee sound.
I’m an author.
I am. I really am. People refer to me as such every day. My name is up on sites where the word “author” shows up, if not right next to it, somewhere in the vicinity. I’m still processing that, because to be an author, you must first become a writer, don’t you?
Just last summer I was neither.
I’ve been telling people that before the end of June 2013, I hadn’t written a lick of fiction, but that’s not entirely true… In the summer of 2002, I sat down and wrote two chapters of something that was going to become a first-person novel about an empathic serial killer. I spent about a week on it, and then I moved on. I don’t even know if it still exists somewhere on an old backup. If it does, I would love to find it. (If I do, I’ll post it unedited here.)
Oh and then there was that sixty-page handwritten Lost Boys-based fic that starred my brother and me. I was fourteen, and that movie just rocked my world. After school, we would sit on my bed so I could read out what I’d managed to write during class that day. The story was all about how we would live in a converted barn outside of Santa Carla where the ground floor was a garage so we could refurbish old cars…. while being vampires. Sounds sweet, right?
As an adult, I knew my writing was good, at least for lengthy university history papers on Romanesque architecture or performance art of the sixties and seventies. So good, in fact, that I was spared the ignominy of writing final exams.
However, tangents aside, it had never occurred to me before to become an author (well, maybe I’d thought of it… who doesn’t want to write a memoir?).
Last year, inspired by something I was watching, I sat down and wrote, over the course of a few weeks, a 50k word story. People loved it. I then set my sights a little higher and wrote something longer that I could conceivably publish as a novel if people also loved it.
And they did.
So I decided to go ahead and send Caged out into the world.
First, I contacted my author friends for some advice on getting my book to a publisher. They gave me a list of do’s and don’ts and wished me well.
Finding a publisher was not as simple as I’d thought. Caged is a little dark and twisted. There’s BDSM that, as one reviewer points out, borders on abuse, and it touches on a few taboos. Also, some publishers wouldn’t have liked the fact that at least two of my main characters aren’t really choosy about the sex of their partners – they’re ah… “free-agents” like me. After reading a few of the submission guidelines and getting bored with the process of hunting down a publisher, I just shrugged my shoulders and did what one of my favourite authors did: I went the self-publishing route.
I’m a one man band. I wrote the book, edited it, formatted it, designed the cover, submitted it to Smashwords and Amazon, created a print version, and now do all of my own publicity/marketing. Honestly, it’s a lot of work, much more than I had expected.
But I love it.
I’ve worked for a die-cutting factory, I’ve been a personal assistant, I’ve worked in a hardware store, I’ve sold boots and hair-dye to punks in a niche boutique in Montréal, I’ve been an inside sales-rep for video editing software, I’ve done tech support, I’ve been a manager at one of the big software companies, and I currently do freelance graphic work.
Now, I am an author. How about that?
Makes me wonder what the next thing will be.