Today I turn 66, and while some of my contemporaries are slowing down, I'm going great guns. I don't have time to slow down! I have been the primary caregiver of a disabled husband for 17 years. That is a 24/7 job! I do the pills, I do the bills, I do the meals, I do the arranging of appointments, and I advocate for him! In that time I started my career as a self publishing novelist. (I love that... I'm an AUTHOR!) I also submitted manuscripts to publishing houses, and have my novel Guardian of Misty Hollow out there! I'm on Amazon, Nook and Kobo! as well as other great sellers of Ebooks. I have learned how to do my own book covers, and while I'm not as good as SB Designs just yet, I am learning. I don't have the gold years that envisioned, but I'm not complaining! I'm still kickin' and I intend to kick for a long time to come! So, here's to the golden years! Because, some days are diamond, some days are stone.
I admit, I'm not used to having things out of my control. I was aware of the advance reader copy reviews for Guardian. But since the book was published by World Castle Pub. I really having paid much attention to it besides plugging and showing the setting on Amazon. That said, this weekend I went looking at the stats. What I can find on Amazon. I was amazed at where the book was rated... it's in the 1000's... that's amazing! Then last night I saw an ad for it on Barnes and Nobles! So I went there and what do you know? A REVIEW! John is already making plans for when I'm as big as J.K. I told him to dream on , and dream big!
Being a writer isn't all free flowing. At least not for me. I am also spending two to three days a week with the grand baby, and taking care of my disabled hubby. That means keeping to a discipline! I write when baby goes down for naps, and on days she's not here. I'm working on book three of Indentured, the last part of the tale. I'm also working on my plan for NaNo in November. A good writer isn't a free spirit, they are disciplined. That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it!
I write, and I self publish most of what I write. But I do other things as well. I am a Frankendolly artist, I do a bit of orchid raising, and I design jewelry. Most of the things outside my writing I do in my craft-room. Over the last two years, since hubby had his stroke, I've spent very little time in the craft-room! This past weekend I was in there getting some things put away, other's tossed making room for the orchids.... (I love my orchids!) and getting things to where I can see where I'm at. I think this means that I'm more at ease with where John is in his recovery. That's a good thing. I still have plans for a few more shelves going around the top of the room... and I can see things developing. Life is good. Order is good, and it's easy to get lost.
I get done with one thing, one thing! and the muse is at it again! That one thing was the edits on book two of the Indentured series. I was going to take a short break, but no... oh, no, the muse has me working on a story I did a really rough draft of years ago...(okay it was only 5 years ago....) and then just as I'm getting into the story...BLAM! she hits me with and idea to write a 1920's swamp story.... Come on MUSE! give this old girl a break!
I am lucky, and I know it. When I started my journey of self publishing, I was encouraged all the way by a good friend who was taking the journey with me. Because of her my Forged Series has a unique cover style that has continuity. Even now, when I go to make my own covers, I go to her for suggestions and help. Sometimes you just need a friend.
When you write a novel, you write a rough draft first. (at least that's what we writers tell ourselves.) After the first draft comes edits, and all the mental arguments that go with it. It's a process, they say, it's normal, they say. Nothing is normal... there is no normal! You get a grammar check program, you get a phrase checker.... and they both argue with you. You get spell check and sometimes it just gives up. I mean it, the program throws up it's arms and says, you got me... Then comes the day you find yourself with an edited draft and you either send it to a publisher for submission, or you send it to a beta reader ... and the whole thing starts again... you get an editor who says, Yes to this, and No to that. Or you get Advace Copy Readers.... and you self publish. Unless that crazy Muse makes you Edit again!
I didn't originally plan on being a series writer. But then most of my stories don't come from a plan. I sit down, and hit the keys, where it ends, it ends. Things like the Forged series came out of a place that was based in the world of fan fiction. Originally there wasn't a Forged in the Maze. That happened because Sydney Blackburn said I needed a starting point to clue in my readers as to the back story that happens in Forged Magic. As usual, she was right. When I started Indentured, it was one book... it was I swear it! but somewhere around 200K, I saw that epic as it was, it wasn't one book. So I thought okay, then, two books... Now nearly 75K into book two, it's looking like three. I once asked a fellow writer in a writers workshop if he knew things were in series, did he plan it out that way or was that just the luck of the draw? His answer, it is what it is. So, sometimes I write series. Sometimes I write standalone.... it is what it is.
I watch my sales reports, and get a thrill when even just one book sells. Imagine my joy when a copy of Close to you, my first novel sold this week. It's always a thrill. I hope that feeling never goes away.
Patricia M. Bryce is a short story author, novelist and cosplayer.
She has appeared as Patricia M. Rose in the anthology, Dreams of Steam:
Gadgets, edited by Kimberly Richardson and published by Dark Oak Press.
When she's not busy writing, she's off being a playtron up at Bristol
Renaissance Faire. You can learn more at
https://www.facebook.com/PaisleyRose1 My photo on my Author's page is by TGDavison Photography