My wonderful Halloween present, (yes, we do Halloween presents, doesn’t everyone), was a lovely new release, A Way To A Dragon’s Heart: A Therian World Novel. I’m excited about my not quite two week old title, but this post isn’t a blurby/excerpty promo deal. Instead, I want to talk about the road to publication and the feelings behind having a new release that took a while to get there.
Let’s just say it—there’s nothing like a new release. But there’s truly something special about a new release you’ve waited years to see out in the world. When a story is in your head, no matter how real the characters feel, or how involved you are in the minutia of the world, it’s an untouchable phantom. Even typed out where others can read it, it still holds an ephemeral quality. But the day of a release is a new reality.
It’s the same sense of wonder, agitation, joy, hesitancy, sensuality and sometimes outright lust, felt when exploring a new lovers body for the first time. You don’t know how this intimate, heart-holding moment will be taken. There’s no distance, just a raw nakedness and vulnerability, laid over a joyous anticipation. No matter how afraid you are of rejection, the sheer possibility of rapturous embrace is enough to fuel you through it all, and to lead you to do it again and again.
I’ve heard it compared to what a musician must feel when an album drops. I can see the similarity, but I disagree. When a song is released, it’s everywhere, it comes to the listener, not the other way around. I think a book release is more like a painter having a gallery showing. You invite anyone and everyone, but either people show up or they don’t, and there’s nothing to be done. Of those that do turn up, you can do nothing but stand aside and let them judge your work. You hope for honesty, because you can’t grow without it, but you pray that honesty is tempered at least with diplomacy, if kindness is too much to ask.
But be it music, painting, potter or prose, in that moment of new eyes finally seeing what we toiled so greatly to created, we all become William Butler Yates. …I, being poor have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet. Tread softly because you tread on my dreams…
Not all tread softly, but enough do that it’s worth all the barbaric stomping around that some might delight in. Of course to be fair, sometimes it only feels like stomping, when in facts it’s just the hasty truth that your work is not quite ready.
When you look at my manuscripts versus my publications, you can see I have a rather convoluted path to the digital shelves. Grab a cuppa and try to follow along. *grin*
I have 7, soon to be 8, completed manuscripts sitting on my harddrive. I have 4, soon to be 5, releases out in the world. I have 3 manuscripts waiting for revision, 2 with editors eager to see them when they’re done. I’m lucky to say the least, but it didn’t come all at once.
The 2nd manuscript I completed, was the 1st manuscript I ever submitted to a publisher. It was contracted right off, and still continues to sell well to this day. My 5th completed manuscript, and yes, my 5th submission, is only my 2nd contracted release. My 6th manuscript, and submission promptly went on to become my 3rd contracted release. The 2nd manuscript I subbed, which is the 3rd manuscript I finished, went through two major revisions, three publishers, four editors and just came out nine days ago as my 4th release. (It’s also doing very well in the short time it’s been out, so it was worth everything.) My 8th manuscript will become my 5th contracted release in February 2012. See? Convoluted. But wait, there’s more.
If all goes well, my 1st completed manuscript will become my 6th contracted release in 2012. While my 4th manuscript will be my 7th contracted release, and my 7th manuscript will become my 8th release that same year. For those of you that have kept up, that would make my 9th manuscript in line to become my 9th contracted release. Nine books in before things start happening in order. Now there’s a lesson to keep writing and keep subbing no matter how many things come back, or how many times it takes.
Every time something is contracted on first submission, I’m thrilled. Every time I’m asked for a revision, I’m enriched. Notice enriched and thrilled are not the same thing, but both are wonderful to have. I keep getting better and my work continues to grow and evolve and there’s nothing more important than that, no matter how many times your heart has to get broken to make it happen.
It’s been said that it’s not about the number of times you fall, but how often you get back up. Get up often enough and you can have almost anything. I get tired of getting back up, but I’ve seen it pay off to often not to. Just like any relationship, sometimes it’s love at first sight, sometimes it takes a while, but it’s only by hanging in there that it ever gets the chance to become true love for a author, editor and eventually a reader.
Whatever it is you keep falling over, remember, you just have to get back up enough times to have it. And when you look to the endeavors of others that they find worth falling over, don’t hesitate to help up. And don’t forget to tread softly, you tread on their dreams.
A quick thank you to everyone that tread so softly on the dreams for my recent release. You’ve embraced A Way To A Dragon’s Heart tight enough to make it a category bestseller three times over at All Romance Ebooks. You got me a silver star and I give you a gold one!
Thanks, Kittens! This Ramble is Done!