This week on WITS we're looking at how the changing times in publishing are affecting the publishing dream. On Monday, aspiring author Orly Konig-Lopez shared her dream, today you'll hear from debut author Laura Drake and on Friday, multi-published Marilyn Brant will close out the series.
Part 2: A Debut Author’s Perspective
By Laura Drake
This is the hardest blog I’ve ever written. I’ve put it off to the last second – not because I don’t want to write it, but because I don’t know what I think!
Many of you know my story: I had my heart set on New York, and I stuck with it for 15 years until I stormed the walls, and sold 7 books within a year.
I made it! I basked in my debut like a cat in the sun, and I’m just now coming back down to earth, and waking up to the fact that deadlines are hovering on the horizon, getting ever closer.
What is it about human nature? Do you know the song, ‘Constant Craving?’ (I love kd Lang.) It seems that it’s impossible for a person just to achieve a long time goal, and be happy. I’m like a toddler who gets the candy bar that they’ve been screaming for, then immediately wants the next thing. I’m reading about indie superstars (one of them is a friend of mine) and thinking, Ooooh that would be nice!
No, don’t get me wrong. I’m not second-guessing myself, or wishing I had chosen something different. I love where I am.
Here’s a blog by agent Rachel Gardner, that pretty well sums up why I held out (and why I’m glad I did):
What if the soothsayers are right and the last large bookstore chain goes belly-up? What if other stores don’t pick up the shelf space? What if . . .
I think all writers worry these things. As business people, we’d be crazy not to. We have to do our research, create SWOT analysis, constantly stay on top of the trends, poised for change.
My original goal, all those years ago, was to stand in a bookstore, holding a book in my hand with my name on it. New York was the only way to achieve my dream. That picture, firmly planted in my brain, helped me to soldier past the rejections and discouragement. And it worked.
But I’ve realized something else, while writing this blog. My goal is morphing – growing larger, less physical. I want my stories to touch readers…to make them think, “Oh, that’s just how it feels.”
I want to build a career, doing that.
Thinking of it that way, how the story is conveyed to the reader doesn’t really matter, does it? With a shift of focus, it’s removed the angst and worry.
I know from past experience that keeping my eye on this new goal will see me through all the mud, blood, and drama as the publishing industry changes.
And when I forget and fall back in the mud, someone remind me, will you?
Your turn: what is your heart set on? Do you have a picture in your head representing what you want?
What is the deeper goal?
Laura Drake is a city girl, who never grew out of her tomboy ways, or a serious cowboy crush. She writes both Women's Fiction and Romance. The Sweet Spot, the first novel in her, 'Sweet on a Cowboy' Series, was released by Grand Central in May, Nothing Sweeter, in December. Her 'biker-chick' novel, Her Road Home, will be released by Harlequin's Superromance in August, 2013.
Laura resides in Southern California, though she aspires to retirement in Texas. She gave up the corporate CFO gig to write, full time. She's a wife, grandmother, and motorcycle chick in the remaining waking hours.