Today, I’m five years old as a writer. Five years ago, I made a commitment to My Beloved Sisthat I would FINISH Rose (then titled MBB). I didn’t even dream of publication at that point–I just promised to get Shannari out of that prison cell and back to her barbarian.
To be honest, I’ve struggled to decide what I wanted to say. This past year has been hard…and glorious.
I’ve had to learn how to write new books and push existing books through to production at the same time. Not to mention promotion, which I really don’t like to do much. Giving away books and prizes are much more up my alley than chats (or book signings in the future), but the introvert must come out occasionally. As a writer, there’s nothing better in this world than fan letters, though. Meeting people who actually READ my BOOK is a humbling, thrilling, boggling, stammering-inducing experience. Lord help me, I’ll be a basketcase if I actually have to talk anywhere.
I think my writing has taken some interesting steps. I’ve pushed myself in 2008 to finish two very challenging and non-politically-correct stories. AKA Romancelandia may hunt me down with torches and pitchforks after certain scenes in The Road to Shanhasson…
*Gregar grins and there’s absolutely nothing innocent in his wink*
and beta-readers either love or despise Conn in Letters to an English Professor. That’s one book I really waged war with myself against. Again, I almost listened to other people’s advice and filed it away instead of finishing it the way it deserved. I’m so happy with that story I could just bawl thinking about it, but then Miss Belle would beat me over the head with her pink parasol.
Neither story was within my comfort zone as a writer. They hurt my heart in many ways. Gregar is not easy. I actually wrote his big scene wrong the first time in a vain attempt to sneak around his heart’s desire. I didn’t WANT to write him that way, but the Shadowed Blood was adamant and patient until I got it right. Well, he did bring out his ivory rahke several times, and once I swear he grabbed me by the hair and threw me into the Well. But hey, I finished it, and it is one incredible ride.
And Letters, well, what the @#*&% was I thinking to write a contemporary? It would have been much easier to shelve it instead of pushing to the end. Sometimes I felt like that scene in the original Rambo movie where he’s hauling the POW up the sloppy muddy hill toward the helicopter, which then abandons them to the enemy. But oh, oh, oh, I’m so glad I kept climbing.
And that summarizes the year, I think. I kept climbing. Maybe not as fast as I hoped (my word count took a dip over the summer). Maybe not as far. But I feel like my writer’s heart grew a size or two after writing those books.
May every book help my heart grow until it busts right out of my chest.
Here’s to another year.