I have more or less been the Queen of self-publishing and, truthfully,a control freak, because I do not trust other people with my work...therefore, I have had to take a really deep breath here when making the decision to shop my one and only vampire novel to a publisher who is not me. I am working on the 4th print proof copy, making what I hope will be the final revisions and tweaks (after just over 2 years of laboring over this one) before sending off a cover letter with synopsis and author bio, and first three chapters.
Writing has always been my hobby. I've shared my stories with family and friends and few others. It was only two years ago, after so much arm twisting that it finally broke something stubborn and self-protective within me that I began "leaking" my accumulated work into public places.
I think the public aspect started with Blue Umbrella Books with Miss Peculiar's Haunting Tales Volume I and a Halloween-themed scavenger hunt in the store for Miss Peculiar's Curiosities. This led to an invitation to do Ghost Stories LIVE!...which I accepted (that first event was extremely nerve-wracking for me because I am not a public speaker, but I did thoroughly enjoy it once my reading was over and done with! I've since found it less traumatic to read in front of an audience and like coming up with new stories for the events because I've always liked a challenge.
I've made a few local author appearances, and people have now begun to recognize me...but more times than not I work all day, write all night, and miss a lot of opportunities to promote my books because of health issues and an essentially not very outgoing personality. I'm okay once I get to know someone, but I'm more of a thinker and doer than a talker and socializer.
But, I'm going to go out on a limb and pitch Out and see what happens. As they say, you won't know unless you try. I don't have nerves of steel, but after a smidge over two years, I have a relationship with the characters in this novel and feel an obligation not to fail them as their creator, so I am doing something different and not self-publishing this novel just yet.
If you want to read it, I can send it (to WhipCity Wordsmith members only as a beta read-message or email me if interested) as an attachment in its not quite up to my standards yet 4th incarnation. You probably heard me shouting in frustration when I began reading this proof copy this past Thursday night and found a little continuity issue in the very first chapter- it just took the rewording of one or two sentences to remedy, but it was like a chisel blow to my self-confidence just the same. Sometimes the littlest blows can open the largest cracks which in turn allows self doubt to invade a writer's psyche.
Sandy Sessler has the 3rd proof copy with all it's markings and yellow title. Green title (second proof) and red title (first proof) are practically unreadable with revisions, corrections, and tweaks, the green titled one especially!) The fourth cover is purple roses & title- which will be its final look if this all goes nowhere and I self-publish the book.
This all sounds both promising and grim- but the reality of being an author and writer is that there is often this duality of nature involved- the highs of having a project you love and have worked hard on and want to be successful with, and the lows of being consumed with self doubt, lack of self confidence, worries over the story not being as original and fresh as you hoped it would be, or not as good as you think it is...so, sometimes, I guess, you need to climb up to the highest platform and take the leap into what looks like a very small rectangle of water far below and hope for a decent score in the end.