I have Ms. Lindsay Avalon here with me today with to talk about her experience on becoming and Indie Author. Take it away Lindsay!
One year ago, my sister had someone convinced me to participate in NaNoWriMo. I really didn’t have much of an idea of what the hell I was going to write but I decided to do it anyway. I had attempted NaNoWriMo in 2010 and failed because I tried to write a pure fantasy novel and ended up getting lost halfway through the plot. I wanted 2011 to be different. You see, I love to read and my house is covered in paperbacks. Don’t even get me started on how many Kindle books I have. Despite this, I’d still look around the bookstore and complain to my husband that I had nothing to read. He’d tend to reply, “Why don’t you write your own books then?” My husband provided me with the answer: write what I know. This time around I decided to write a paranormal romance during NaNo, and Breaking the Nexus was born.
Writing what I know was the best advice ever, and I ended up winning 2011. Best feeling ever at the time. I didn’t actually finish the story though but I shelved it for a while. It stayed in the back of my mind, prodding me so I started putting out feelers to indie authors I liked reading trying to figure out how they’d become popular. I figured it wasn’t as simple as publishing on Amazon and magically gaining readers, but I had no idea how to go about the process.
Fast forward to summer time. I’d had a few friends read my book and they’d told me how fabulous it was so it helped me gain confidence to keep trying to finish it. I had learned the importance of social networking so decided to take the plunge. Within a couple of weeks I’d started meeting a few people who were willing to read my story and that’s when I learned a very hard truth…my story wasn’t as fabulous as I thought it was. Don’t get me wrong, everyone loved the premise, but the execution wasn’t the greatest. Stylistically I did some strange things that may or may not have been designed to help me win NaNo *cough cough, no contractions, cough* I can neither confirm nor deny this though 🙂 There were other issues I just didn’t know about and all of a sudden I realized, holy crap I have a lot of work to do. I was devastated at first until I realized there was merit to what they said. They weren’t criticizing my work, they genuinely wanted to help me.
I have Miranda Stork and Tara S. Wood to thank for pushing me. They gave me the hard truth that my writing wasn’t perfect. They saw potential in me though and encouraged me to listen to their suggestions even when I didn’t necessarily agree with everything they said. When the prospect of writing an anthology came up, I jumped on it because I wasn’t ready to tackle the daunting task of revising Breaking the Nexus. This was without a doubt the best decision I ever could have made. I discovered the entire time I wrote BTN, I’d held myself back. Writing Song of the Abyss was amazing. I found my true writer’s voice and it was liberating. When I finished it and sent it to Tara and Miranda, they returned it with minor cosmetic issues (I have a tendency to skip words lol) rather than the massacre that had been Breaking the Nexus.
Throughout all of this I’d been working to build an online presence. What started as something geared purely towards getting my name out there so people would buy my books, morphed into a genuine passion. I realized writing wasn’t merely a hobby; it was my true career path. I made tons of friends and no longer was I focused on getting my book published…I wanted to build the friendships and become a better writer. Indie writing is hard as hell because you have the responsibility of promoting yourself, but I love this challenge. I’m busier now that I’ve ever been in my life and I’m thriving. Rather than just being a passing interest like so many other things I’ve latched onto over the years, I have found what I want to do with my life.
Being an indie writer is so much more than just putting words onto paper. It’s making friends that will last you a life time, constantly honing your craft, learning to take criticism, and accepting you may not be as awesome as you’ve always thought you were. These past few months have been insane, but I wouldn’t trade them for the world. My hard work is paying off and on 12/12/12 my baby, Breaking the Nexus will finally be released into the wild. Thank you to all of the people who have made this possible and I can’t wait to share it with all of you 🙂
Thanks so much Lindsay for taking the time out to talk to us a bit about how NaNoWriMo became your inspiration and your drive to write Breaking the Nexus!
Come back and visit us on November 11, 2012 for the cover reveal!