It’s been a wonderful and bumpy ride this past year. For one, I’ve been fortunate enough to get a good bit of publishing under my belt. I also gave birth to a new alter ego–Olivia Devereaux. At the time, I never would be thought it necessary but I was a reader as well as a writer realize one important thing:
A reader wants to know what kind of ride they’re getting on when they open a book or eReader.
With that theory in mind, I separated my one mind, many voices. That way, when you pick up something penned by Olivia you know you’re getting something that’s romance. It might be a wild western or fairy tale but it’s all about finding love.
When I first started my writing journey, it was filled with fantastical over-the-top stories. If I were to look at those beginnings, I would probably faint. As most young aspiring authors do, we draw on things we’ve seen (See: Fan Fiction) and pull it out to make our own version. While I didn’t yoink characters from movies or other books, I did dabble in the world that the other author had already created. It’s fun to dip into the pool, publishing it is a whole different story. In fact, in this digital age, you could potentially get your hand slapped for just posting something you don’t own without either permisson or putting an acknowledgement up. Sometimes you need to do both.
The one thing I strive for is to remember where I was when I started my road to getting published and the lessons I learned on the way. It’s a hard thing, this publishing business, and humility must come along for the ride. There are no special snowflakes. Thus, here is my story on how I met the wonderful team at Still Moments Publishing. Click that wonderful SMP graphic to learn more!
It was a writing frenzy for me, enjoying acceptance after acceptance and getting my nose a bit too high to the sky. It came crashing down when a little Christmas piece I wrote got shot down by another publisher. A friend that I’d rode a wild wave got her story into an anthology and I did not.
I was crushed.
That’s the problem with writing something specific. What do you do when they say “no”? The piece was quirky and a bit over the top cheezy but I love writing cute little stories like that. Afterall, I don’t see an elf from the North Pole acting too proper, do you? A friend at a writing site suggested Still Moments to me. They liked my writing and breathed a sigh of relief…until I saw how much work it was going to take to get this to their standards. I admit I cried, stamped my feet, and had a hissy fit. If they liked it, why does it need all these changes? Sure I could have backed out and slipped this story under my pillow for another time but I don’t like giving up. A writer always has to prove their salt. So I dug in and transformed the story. The end result was Boughs of Holly. Not the original name or concept of the story but I kept the cutesy childish nature of the MC Holly just how I wanted it. Sometimes, writing doesn’t have to be completely serious to get the point across.
I’m a big fan of NaNo and I’m participated in the maddening pace of 50K words in a month since 2007. I have yet to finish one novel I started in that time. In 2011, I decided to do a series of shorts for a few anthologies and special line calls.
With bullying on the rise, especially with the internet making people faceless, I decided to do a love story about a superficial pixie who mistreats sprites because she thinks they’re a lower class than her even though they are all fae kind. I wanted to showcase two things with this story:
1) How some people are judged by what they look like and how we don’t look beneath the surface to see what a person truly is.
2) Everyone in life has a purpose, no matter how great or small.
Adele learns through a journey that though she and her pixie friends were gorgeous, inside they were ugly, horrible fae. She gets to know a sprite that changes her view and makes her grow as a fae.
Mended Hearts was intended for a Valentine’s anthology but in my NaNo buzz, I forgot that element when I wrote it.
Sometimes my muse like to chase butterflies. I did have a tie in and blew it. to my surprise, Still Moments wanted it as a single short. Happy didn’t come close to how a felt. For one, if I wanted to, I could not be under the weight of keeping it to 10k words.
I had the privilege of working with the same editor for all three of my pieces (you know who you are and I love you to bits!). You get a certain comfort level with that. This story was my first western and I made sure I did research on the subject. The town is fictious but you can’t fudge things like what gun they used or how it worked. The scenery out west was also important. Historically correct is important to me. I named the main female character after my older sister because it’s an old world name. Yes, even with names I research.
While I’m not one to brag, I really liked the final product on this story. It had the emotion I wanted it to and growth of character. I’ve actually been toying with writing another with the two characters in this one.
It’ll have to wait, though. My thought train goes faster than the time I have to write which is precious and few. Two times a year I buck down and write: Summer vacation with the family and November. Other than that, I find the little bits of time I can. when you have to have a nine to five job to make ends meet, getting proper rest is important. Not only so you don’t fall asleep at work but also so your creativity doesn’t suffer from muddy brain.
Thank you for taking the time to saddle up here. I hope to have something new on the horizon because if there’s one thing I don’t want to ever stop doing–Writing.