To be an author is to be a public person. Anyone that communicates their thoughts, emotions, and ideas in story form invites others to share in the experience. The writing process, however, is not participatory. It is accomplished alone.
Eventually every author deals with agents, editors, publishing coordinators, interior formatting and cover design specialists. But from its inception to its completion, the writer works independently to develop a concept.
Every such undertaking requires passion, commitment and perseverance. The initial effort is almost always flawed. Revision after revision is necessary. Drafts are modified and discarded. Sometimes projects are put aside completely to allow further reflection before their resumption, or everything written to that point may be scrapped in favor of a fresh start. At some point, however, the writer must decide that is finished, that it is acceptable. Completion doesn’t necessarily equate to total satisfaction. Ideally the writer is never completely satisfied. Rather, completion simply means that he or she has reached an emotional point at which they’re willing to put the book and themselves out there subject to criticism and possible rejection. Every author understands and accepts that not everyone is going to appreciate or relate to what they’ve written.
There is certainly a sense of personal accomplishment when a work is published, but to be successful commercially the book must also speak to a broad audience. If an author has an established following it is a beginning. However, it is just that… a beginning. It isn’t enough to add another title to the hundreds of others being released to the public at any given moment. It needs to be marketed through book tours, readings, signings, festivals and social media to expand access and readership.
I have written two books to date; Silver Taps, a memoir, and Palo Duro, a novel of the Plains Indian Wars. The former was written and published for my children and grandchildren. There was no thought to further distribution. It was they who convinced me to share it and I’m glad they did. The positive reaction to the book encouraged me to continue writing. My novel dealt with western expansion. The genre, historical fiction, is my personal favorite. All future endeavors on my part will continue to focus on this literary category.
Speaking of future publications, I’ve been asked when my next book is due for release. Tarnished Brass, which I started writing in March 2015, is finished (for subject matter see my blog post “The Roots of Evil,” February 8, 2018.) However, there is much yet to do to obtain a book deal or even self-publish. My goal is to have it available online and at retail stores sometime later this year.
Until then I’ll be involved with sending out copies and proposals to agents and publishers while also continuing to promote my first two books, working on my next novel, and drafting new weekly blog entries. I encourage readers to submit comments or feedback to my site at WordPress.com so that my entries each week reflect your interests.
Thanks for your continued support.