When I was little I loved playing make believe and making up stories and writing them down. I wrote stories about magic and fantasy kingdoms and stories where my characters fall in love. Apparently, I leaned heavily toward the romance and romantic fantasy genres even as a kid. But for some reason, I never even considered that I could make writing my career.
All through high school when trying to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up and what I wanted to go to school for, not once did creative writing and being an author come up. I did take a short creative writing class, but didn’t really get a lot of of it. In my memory about that class, I realize that the teacher clearly was not very passionate about the subject and I didn’t connect with her nor the material that she was teaching. I don’t know why I never considered making writing my career. It was like in my mind the only way to make writing a career was if you wrote for newspapers or magazines and that was absolutely not something I was interested in. It’s almost like I thought authors were just these magical beings like wizards or something. You either were one or you weren’t but you couldn’t just become one. And so many of the books that I read were written a long time ago, so it was like, being an author was something that old dead people did. Not something that people in our time did. And it wasn’t something that my guidance counselors ever suggested or my job aptitude tests recommended when we started our career counseling in preparation for college.
But I kept writing off-and-on for myself, just because I had stories and characters in my head that wanted to come out. I wrote because it was something I enjoyed and had fun doing.
In 2012, I was in an Introduction to Gothic Fiction class at our local community college. I was working on getting my degree in education to become a middle school teacher. I really enjoyed the class because Gothic Fiction has always been one of my favorite genres. I love the macabre, the paranormal, and the grotesque. Edgar Allan Poe has always been one of my favorite authors and poets, along with Mary Shelley. I enjoyed vampires, ghosts, haunted and spooky mansions that are falling into ruin. I liked characters such as Miss Havisham and Emily Grierson.
For our final project in the class, the professor gave me permission to submit one of the stories that I had been working on for a grade. That story was an early draft of my first book, The Faithful Kiss. The professor of that class, ended up telling me about a website called CreateSpace that enabled writers to self-publish their books. At this point I didn’t even know that self-publishing was a thing. I was barely starting to read Ebooks with a early generation Kindle.
After that college semester, and after doing some tweaking and extending to The Faithful Kiss, I uploaded the book to CreateSpace and their partner company, Kindle Direct Publishing. I never looked back and the rest is history.
I now have four published novels, one poetry book, two anthologies, two novellas, and two Kindle Vellas; all self-published through Kindle Direct Publishing. I will be releasing my fifth novel in March. For me, traditional publishing has never even crossed my mind. No, scratch that, I have given it some thought, but to me, it just isn’t worth it. I want to spend my time writing, publishing, and getting my stories into readers’ hands. I don’t want to spend my time querying agents and publishing houses hoping and praying that my manuscript and query letter come across the right person at the right time. I don’t want to leave my writing career up to chance and up to fate, nor up to the gatekeepers of traditional publishing companies.
As a self-published, or indie author, I have complete control of my books and my writing career. I write what I want, when I want, and how I want. I publish what I want and when I want. No one is telling me what kind of books to write and when I need to write them. No one tells me that my book isn’t what the market is looking for right now or that they don’t want to publish that kind of book.
And for me, writing what I want and what I enjoy is what it is all about, really. I know that if I love it then there are other people out there that will love it too and it’s up to me to write the book and publish that book to get it in their hands. That’s what self-publishing is to me and that’s why I will continue to self-publish. I don’t need the ‘prestige’ of a traditional publishing house and all the strings that come along with them.
What about you? Are you a self-published or traditionally published author? If you’re not published yet, which way are you hoping to publish? Let me know in the comments.
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Until next time, my friends!
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