(This post was summarized and ended on page 72. The OP has officially declared it dead. It is now a hideout for authors who are being chased by man-eating vacuum cleaners. Feel free to come in and have a few drinks and a story. If you are a man-eating vacuum cleaner, understand we have no electric here.)
I was talking to a friend and had one of those realizations that only comes in that pre-awakning moment of conscious and is lost as soon as we jump out of bed looking for our first jolt of cafenine.
There are a lot of us Indies out there taking advantage of the digital age, self publishing and trying to shout to the world--hey--I wrote a book and its great. Then, we wonder why no one wants to read it. Hey, we worked hard on our blurb, payed someone to do a great cover, but nobody buys. We had friends write shining reviews and still nobody buys.
What is wrong with people? Can't they see how hard we worked, and our brilliant and original ideas? If we get one of the big six or a influential agent just to pick it up out of the slush pile, we'd be on the NY Times Best Seller List.
This is where we misunderstand and fail to see why being an Indie in a day an age where anyone can publish anything and sell it on Amazon.com is such a great thing, because we are so focused on becoming overnight sensations.
I'm just starting out on this journey, and I realized something. I'm making friends who I can share my ideas and thoughts with on writing. I'm not a writer, I'm a story teller and this is what it is all about. Someone I did not know, now hates my guts but is my friend, because I killed off her favorite character and mine in one of my novels. She cried and went immediately to the next chapter, to see if he been resurrected. After she was done, she contacted me, wanting to know. Why would I do that? I explained, it wasn't just for the fun of it-but that I was exploring the cost of war. How do you continue to fight when you have lost the very thing you refused to lose? Led to a great discussion, and now I have a best friend, I can't go a day without talking to.
That is what is all about. As a reader, I don't want to read something because the NY Times tells me it's the best book of the year. I want to discover something special in a dark corner of the Library. A story few have read that I can share with my friends. Something that touches the core of my soul, and makes me feel special. Like I'm the only one that gets what the author is trying to share---an intimate secret.
As an author and reader, you have to understand this quintessential truth. Nothing you write will ever be truly original. Everything has been done. It's not the story, but how you tell it and how you're characters come to live and sweep the reader along on an adrenaline rush of a ride. It's your passion and willingness to open and espouse the deepest secrets of your soul, that will capture the reader. And make them want to get to know you.
As an author, I want to be like Stephen King. (I don't write horror.) Mr King invites you over to his ramshackle condemned house for a few beers and a story. You are always compelled to go, even though in the back of your mind, you're wondering if you're not going to end up tied up in a dark basement, and be dismembered. You go because you know you're getting a great but scary story that makes you feel more alive than you ever have in your life.
As an author I want to the same. I'm strapping you in a roller-coaster, but this isn't in the day of tight state inspections and the paramount concern for safety. I'm strapping you in a wooden coaster, that wasn't designed by a program that computes the force of gravity on your body. There are no seat belts, but a lap bar you better hold onto, because you could possibly get thrown out, if your not careful. And oh yeah, did I mention that the structure is made out of rotting wood?
This might belong in the MOA forum, but I want to interact with readers and authors. I want to share intimate secrets, discuss writing philosphies--but no direct self promo. No links to your books or websites. Thank you for reading...and more importantly for commenting.
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