Welcome to my very first blog ever! Although I have been writing for over forty years, I am a little slow to embrace new technology. Admittedly, I am very intimidated by all things cyber. I'm learning, though. So far, my computer has not gnashed its teeth at me nor hissed nor even mocked me for my timidness. It's a start...
Anyway, I have recently completed my first novel, Strange Loops, with my daughter, Jenny. If all goes according to plan, it should be available as a Kindle book at Amazon soon. Pretty exciting! I am in the process of formatting and proof-reading now.
The conception for our book was not typical -- actually, there was no conception at all. There were no outlines for plot, characters, or setting. Sounds like a pretty lame basis for a story, right? When we started writing, neither of us had any idea where we were going. We didn't even know it would eventually turn into a story. The fact that it did turn into a story was a perk. What happened was this:
Jenny had just moved to Hawaii. We have always been very close and that little island out there in the Pacific seemed sooo far away from my home on Florida's Gulf Coast. Of course, we emailed each other and talked on the phone, but one day we decided it might be fun if we had a project to link us. That was when we decided to write our book. Jenny would write the first chapter and email it to me, then I would take the second chapter and email it back to her and we would continue, alternating chapters, but never discussing what would come next. Sometimes we would deliberately try to write each other into corners just for kicks. Sometimes we would try to out-weird each other. All in all, it made for a raucous good time, but imagine our surprise when we realized a story was actually manifesting out of all this silliness. It wasn't long before our book took on a life of its own and started leading us! Within a few months, we were ready to start putting it all together and editing. After several re-writes, the next step was to approach literary agents and publishers.
Well, let me say that writing a book is a whole lot easier than getting somebody to read it! First of all, the book we ended up with is very hard to classify. Primarily, it is humorous. It has elements of science fiction and fantasy. It's about family and friends. It touches on philosophy and religion. And, oh yeah, one of the main characters happens to be a talking monkey with a God-complex. Well, a couple of agents actually said the story sounded intriguing, but they were concerned about its "commercial viability." Turns out agents don't really care how well something is written if no one wants to buy it. Go figure. But, Jenny and I figured some people may want to buy it. I mean we both love to read and we are just as apt to pick up something quirky as we are something mainstream. We think there are probably other readers who feel the same way. After all, there was a market for Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, right? So, who can resist a story about UFOs, alien abduction, parallel universes and boiled peanuts? (Aside from literary agents and traditional publishers, that is).
And that's where we stand now. After multiple rejections and the consequential despair, we have decided it's time to stand up and take matters into our own hands; we are going to self-publish! We shall join the cyber community of ebooks! We shall join hands and overcome the prejudices of the mainstream industry! We shall exercise control of our own fates, and, dare I say, we shall seize the dazed! Look for our book, Strange Loops coming soon!