Your Voice

I’ve been doing this writing thing all my life. I don’t count those early spiral notebook stories as glorious works of fiction. They were steps. So we’re those first attempts at full length novels. There is a 200k word beast of a fantasy story that garnered its share of rejection letters. But again, all part of the process. Another meaty Sci-Fi comedy followed and the rejection letters began to mount. Out of all the standard responses, and there were quite a few, I received one from an agent that actually took the time to read my work. Her words were honest and her advice priceless: keep writing until you find your voice. It took another eight years for the to happen.

Over those years I kept looking out for it, waiting, and one day it happened. I was in the middle of the very first draft of what is now the Sage and Jorah series, and by middle I mean 190k words in. I can’t turn this writing thing on and off. It just happens. But back to the story at hand. In all those words was a story, several in fact, but they lacked refinement, they lacked revision. That’s when I first heard it, or rather when it sort of took over. I picked up the tome and trashed it. Then I sat down and got to work on Panic in Brooklyn (which will be released sometime in spring of 2013). The ideas and characters were still there but they had life now. . .and most important of all, they had a measure of grammar.

So here I am all those years later, all those rejection letters later, a published author. Over 2000 people have read, are reading, or are about to read my work. In the first month since release. That knowledge is both fucking terrifying and amazing at the same time. I can’t wait to hear back. I feel two things made this possible: practice and patience. Just because companies like Amazon and Createspace offer us convenient vehicles to publish doesn’t mean everything needs to be published. Refine your work people, and for the love of all things holy do your homework. There are plenty of things I’ve written that should never see the light of day. Listen to your voice or develop one first. Take the time to shape the story, do several drafts, cut, proof, get an editor, and last but not least, don’t short change your cover. As an avid reader I will be perfectly blunt with all of you. If it wasn’t recommended by a friend then I picked it on cover first, then blurb. If the cover sucks I’m not clicking or lifting your work off the shelf. There are plenty of artists out there that will do a cover for a few hundred bucks. If you don’t have it, then save up, the sales will more than cover the initial loss if you took your time. /rant off.

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