Let me end by introducing me, any author needs a little chaos in their life. The foolish failures and accidental triumphs in my life define who I am.
I grew up invisible in Salt Lake City, Utah. Invisibility has definite advantages, especially when combined with a vivid imagination. I spent my youth on a raft floating down the Mississippi with my friends Tom, Huck, and Jim. I stood next to George and his rag-tag troops in Valley Forge. I chased windmills with Don Quixote. I spent summers in Europe, winters in Alaska. Anywhere my imagination could take me. I created magical, fantasy worlds with magical inhabitants.
Time does not stand still. Fantasy worlds evolve into mundane, everyday life. As I grew older my whimsical travels to far off places diminished and my invisibility slowly faded into visibility. All foolish realms were forgotten, pushed into the furthest regions of my mind. I grew up, but a small part of my mind, the part stuffed to overflowing with imaginary worlds, refused to get older. I must have a Peter Pan soul.
Years passed. One failed marriage became two. (Including one wife with multiple personalities, scary huh?)
I found and married my one true love and began my happily ever after. Happiness has certain side effects, my creativity yearned to shine. The imaginary world refused to be silenced; they demanded to be heard.
OK now, let’s read the last four words together. They will play a big part at the end of this short blog.
I am coming up on the fourth anniversary of when I started writing my first seldom to be read novel. The novel is about a thirteen year old girl whose mother is kidnapped. It’s a great story It has been well received by every beta reader who has read it. At first the novel had 107,000 words, but I was told that is too many words for a first tine author. My beta readers, not being professional writers apparently didn’t know, or could care less that I had too many words, they loved it. I revised my great story, revised it again, and then again for good measure. The story was now similar to my original story. To my surprise my beta readers still loved my story. Unfortunately literary agents have not shared the same enthusiasm as my common folk readers. I am to the point in believing that in order to become an agent you need to have all common folk tendencies vacuumed out of your senses.
I am a bit dense at times. I never let sleeping dogs lie, I have been known to run with scissors and count my chickens before they hatch. I should have taken the hint. My novel was not literary worthy, no matter who loved it. I should have let sleeping novels lie. I started counting my novels before they hatched. Not me, I figured if I wrote another novel that agents would beat a path to my door. I wrote another novel, this time it was a historical fiction spanning the twentieth century. It was another great story. My beta readers loved the story. Some read it more than once. I was excited again. Literary Agents would stand in line to represent me. I was sure I would sell this book. And the book would coat-tail my original story into worldwide fame as a bonus. Wrong, Once again my beta readers don’t know a good book from a hole in the ground. My queried Literary Agents have shown me the error of my ways. My book, books, etc, are crap, no matter what my beta readers say.
I’ve learned my lesson. Well any sane person should have learned some kind of lesson. Not me, I foolishly write a third book. Yup, I know, what am I thinking? The book is about me selling my soul to the devil in order to get just one of my seldom read books published. Once again my beta readers love the book, even though I have sent rough draft versions so far. The book is still rough draft. Everybody loves the query. I am not in a hurry to write finished draft, I am leery. Are my beta readers still have no idea what a good book looks like. I am afraid that literary agents will bring me back to my senses.
When I began this journey into literary hell I thought all you needed was a good story. I was a dreamer, a fool, a wisher. I have learned one lesson. I have learned how to give up. I give up every other day. I give up, then try again. I dream less, and doubt myself more.
I still believe that all three books are great stories and read worthy. One day I might find a common folk agent.
We now come to the end of my blog. Do you remember the last four words I asked you to remember? They demanded to be heard. Well, I should have told them to shut up.