Sunday, June 19, 2011

I Owe It All To The Fans...

Being a writer is not always easy.  In fact, sometimes it is downright horrible.

Though inspiration may be the driving force behind starting a story, it is sheer willpower that will get you through to the very end.  Along the way you will hit numerous "writers blocks," get tangled up in plot threads, cuss your characters out, and probably eat way too much chocolate.

The thrill of finishing a story is short-lived when you realize you have to go through and revise your completed manuscript.  Chances are, whereas you may have originally thought the piece you wrote was the best thing evah, you may completely hate it during revisions.

And if you're going the traditional route, you're going to face 1)the submission process 2) your agent's critique 3) your editor's revision notes 4) your copy editor's red pen.

If you're self-publishing, you're still facing 1) your test readers' feedback 2) your editor's revision notes 3) your copy editor's red pen.

It can be exhausting!

So what keeps a writer going through all the hardships of the writing process?  Each writer has their own  trick to keep moving along. But mine is, quite honestly, my readership.  Yeah, yeah, I should say "fans," but I struggle with the words "fan" or "fandom" simply because I feel people who like my stories are more loyal to the books I've written than to me personally. I have readers who love my vampire stories, but refuse to read the zombies and vice versa.  Then I have readers who love everything I write and will even buy the anthologies I am in just so they won't miss one of my original works.  I am grateful to every of my work that is it out there.


Because I owe a huge, massive, gigantic chunk of my success to them.

When I wrote my column ages ago, it was the emails from the readers that gave me validation as a writer.  I had burned out on writing for a long time and those emails really encouraged me to keep going.

Later, while I wrote AS THE WORLD DIES online, it was the followers of the story and their feedback that pushed me to write even when I didn't feel like it.  Their constant encouragement to keep writing the story they loved so much taught me the discipline of writing on a regular basis.  At one point, I faltered due to personal issues, and their emails begging me to finish the project pulled me back to the keyboard.  As I finished the original version of AS THE WORLD DIES, I felt the thrill of accomplishing what most people never do: finish a book.

The constant emails from fans encouraging me to publish AS THE WORLD DIES was the fuel that drove me to self-publication.

It was the rabid word of mouth that pushed the sales figures up on the self-published novels.

I won the Dead Letter Award two years running because the fans called in and voted for my novels.

In the end, it was the fans who kept pushing me further and further along on the track to the success I now have.

Okay, I admit it.  I have fans.  And I love all of you.

Your emails are my inspiration.  Your support is my fuel.  Your rabid love of my characters and novels give me faith that I am a better writer than I often believe myself to be.

There are a lot of factors that have contributed to my success as a writer:  my talent, my husband, luck, and my fans.

It is fifteen days to the publication of THE FIRST DAYS.  July 5, 2011 is just around the corner.  Copies of the Tor version of my epic zombie story may already be hitting the shelves of your local bookstore.  I am finally about to witness a life long dream come true.

And I have complete and utter faith that the book will sell and sell well because if history has taught me anything, is that my fans will spread the zombie love and infect everyone around them.

Again, thank you from the very depths of my heart.

Y'all rock.

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