It’s been such a long adventure, but it’s been so worth it. Godeater: The Second World has been out for a week now, and it shows no signs of stopping! I want to thank everyone who visits the blog and those who picked up a copy for your support. It means the world to my little squishy technicolored heart. It’s time for a road map!
Presenting to you, the long, windy, scary, beautiful road that got me here.
August 2013: Naika Connors springs into my brain as I’m using the bathroom. Erhm… anyway. Character sheets begin, and Noah & Sirus soon join the fray. Yep! Naika was the original- the Werebear girl came before Noah and Sirus, and even before what Noah and Sirus would eventually become. Originally, Noah and Sirus’ appearances were swapped; Noah was stout, red-headed and amber-eyed, where Sirus was fair, near-white haired, and green-eyed. By the end of August, I had started the story.
Septmeber 2013: I see the Tweet about Strange Chemistry’s unagented submission contest. Their imprint was a perfect venue for my book, so I pressed on to reach the 10,000 words needed for submission, plus drafting the synopsis and query letters.
October 2013: On October 16th, Godeater was submitted to Strange Chemistry.
***GIANT SWATH OF TIME LATER, LIKE IN THE MOVIES***
April 2014: Godeater partially complete… still. Novel got HUGE IN BRAIN. And to think I thought it was going to be a trilogy!
May 2014: Query about Godeater’s status at Strange Chemistry. It’s looking favorable!
June 2014: Things come to a crashing halt. Strange Chemistry announces suddenly that their doors are closing, all current and future books and contracts are cancelled, effectively immediately. Mass brain havoc ensued, and words got scarce around here for a bit. I knew it wasn’t a sure thing, but I was so close. Caught me off guard. Spent the next few weeks cuddling the wordbird and crying silently over (not onto because water) its pages.
July 2014: Say to myself, “Dammit, the world’s real big. We’re so close. Let’s finish this thing.”
August 2014: Only a few days into August, I wrote THE END. I cried, had a shot of whiskey, and sat alone with myself at midnight contemplating the massive undertaking I had finally completed. That’s a feeling I’ll never get over. I spent the next few months cleaning up the manuscript, making sure things lined up, research made sense, and words were in order.
October 2014: Handed my tiny (huge) wordbird to my lovely editor friend, who cuddled it and told it positive (but true, honest) criticisms until December 2014.
December 2014: With the slashed manuscript back in my hands, I got to editing and pretty-fying. Determined to start querying again come 2015.
January 2015: On New Year’s Day, I sent out my first big batch of queries. I got my first rejections within a few days. I knew the hustle wouldn’t be easy, but it still hurt a little each time. Some agents said that they did enjoy the work, but they weren’t sure where in the current market it would fit. (This right here makes me want to punch the market. Honestly. You get conflicting advice about writing: “Write to the market!” or “Write for you; the market changes!” I did not ever want to write TO the market. I wanted to write my stories the way they came to me.) It was supernatural enough, but not dystopian enough, imagery was good, but we were riding a different wave (current. It really should be current, giving that damned pesky market the double entendre.) I kept querying, though, determined that my wordbird would make it out into the world.
April 2015: More queries, more letters, more… everything. Including, hey, babies! As my comeback post read, I spent most of 2015 gestating a human baby, while nurturing a word baby… I hope that word baby didn’t feel too neglected.
***ANOTHER MOVE SCREEN LINE ABOUT MASSIVE AMOUNT OF TIME***
December 2015: I return to the land of the living, kind of. Still feel like a zombie right now. After seeing that one of my favorite authors put a book up through CreateSpace/Amazon, I decided that I could, too. I mean, if it sells through the exact same channels, puts my book in the hands of readers, and has a well-established company behind it, why not?
January 2016: You never know how much you don’t know about novel formatting until you’re trying to put that shiz on a printed page yourself. I spent hours upon hours researching (or accidentally finding) one thing after another that Godeater didn’t have, format wise. I was determined that this was going to be a GOOD, QUALITY self-published book; I spent so much time crafting it, that it was going to have the best treatment and hardest work I could put into it. From font justification, to where headers should/shouldn’t be, how the hell to make them all line up (I HAD WORD AND NO KNOWLEDGE, IT WAS NOT EASY OKAY?! *sobs*)… after two grueling months, re-reading the novel five or six or ten times over, six proof copies ordered, and having a professional cover made, I finally felt like the book was ready.
February 29th, 2016: Godeater was unleashed upon the world. I spent the hours leading to Leap Day pouring over the novel again and again, checking justification, page numbers, chapter headings… it was exhausting (especially considering I have OCD, so it was having a field day), but I knew it was worth it. I’d be able to say I gave my book the best shot at life it could have. As soon as the clock struck midnight, I hit that big ol’ APPROVE button. I was elated, nervous, tired… but I had completed a life dream, and I had not taken shortcuts (note here: if you feel that self-publishing is a shortcut, I just want you to take a look at the evolving landscape of books. Yes, there is an ocean of unfinished poop floating around, but there are some real, legit gems out there. No snark here, just wanted to point that out. It was still really hard to do everything a publishing house assigns to many people, myself.) I had done the damn thing the right way.
And now, as I set up book signings and interviews and write press releases (man, writing a novel was the easy part), I am still le tired, but I feel awesome as hell.
I hope this glimpse into the timeline of Book Life gives you some insight, some motivation to do your damn thing your way, and the urge to keep going, even when wading through an ocean questionably made of poop.