I used to have a 9-5 job. A great job, that I loved.
I was a teacher.
I still am, I think that profession will always be entwined into my core. But I left teaching to chase after my dreams, and guess what? I’m doing it.
For close to a decade I have seriously been putting pen to paper. I look back on the first drafts of my precious manuscript that I dumped on my amazing friends asking them to beta, and I cringe. Of course they were all polite. I didn’t fully grasp then that writing was rewriting. Yes, I had polished it, but I had not gutted it like a fish. It needed everything flayed out on the table to get to the heart of the story.
Writing should be like looking at a scene the way a filmmaker does with his camera. It’s getting reactions out of your characters in order to obtain some emotion from your readers.
And it is undoubtedly– Killing your darlings.
I couldn’t cut a few words back then far less entire scenes, or even characters. So as a result, the books weren’t ready.
I have learned so much in the three years that I have actively started pursuing this dream and following the path of traditional publishing. I learn more every day. But my recent lessons did not come from an agent, an editor or a large pub house. It came from a successful independent author who sat me down and said, “You need to decide if you want writing to be your career. If you do, Indie is your path.”
It was like I was hit over the head with a mallet. It made so much sense, and everything was crystal clear. I had been trying for so long to fit my books into this traditional little box, but they didn’t fit. I have heard repeatedly from agents how much they admire my work, that I actually do have talent… but they don’t know how to sell it.
They no longer have to.
When I removed the concept of writing for an agent, or writing for a particular publisher out of my line of vision, then I had what I loved back: The writing.
Recently, I was told something similar about my contemporary manuscripts by two separate agents. I’ll combine their pearls of wisdom for you. “Kat Daemon writes dark paranormal. Therefore, Kat can never write contemporary. Kat only wrote this new piece because she thinks it will sell.”
Wow! As a teacher, I found this to be borderline abusive. How dare any person say what we can and cannot write? Isn’t that our first amendment rights? To say I created a character because I thought it would sell, was absurd. The character I had created actually had experiences similar to my own as a teenager. So if I’m drawing on my own life, than how can I, Kat, not write it? Makes no sense.
It struck a nerve with me.
Work gets rejected. This business is subjective.
That’s part of the writing world. I get that. But to say, you can’t write that… No. That’s not going to fly with me.
I realized something truly amazing when I dwelled on what my friend had said about choosing Indie to have a career path. If I am an independent author, then I can publish as many books as I want. With the content I choose, and I would set my own schedule.
It means I would have to work twice as hard producing more books than the average signed author does in a year because my name is now my brand. It means marketing falls on me. It means cover artists and editors are all part of my budget. It means I have to condition myself to avoid social media and get this done!
Guess what? I love it.
In the past two months I have written one full length novel and two novellas, totaling approximately 145,000 words. In the past it took me a year to write 100,000 words. Like anything, the more you do it, the easier it gets. Practice makes perfect. I have a schedule for my books– it’s an exciting schedule, and I am looking forward to the next few months when more of my Paranormal, Horror and my New Adult Contemporary will be available to my readers.
Things are happening, and for the first time in a long time I’m happy when I sit down at my keyboard. The words are flowing! I’m writing without fear and without expectation. I am writing the sequels that readers, my readers, (squee!) are asking me for.
But there’s always going to be that person who wants to rain on your parade. There are a lot of people who want to trash indie authors. The things I have heard is quite terrible, but you know what, like anything in life you have to turn away from the haters. Shake ’em off. People always fear that which they don’t understand.
I am in no way trashing the traditional publishing path. Every time a friend signs with an agent or lands their dream deal, I celebrate them. Hell, I still look forward to the day when I walk into a bookstore and see a stack of Kat Daemon books at the front of the store. (Notice I didn’t say in the store… I actually do have my books in my local Barnes and Noble in New York as well as a Connecticut book store. See? Indie authors can get there, too!)
All I am saying is this is the path I am choosing. It is my choice. A choice I am excited about. I am anxious to get more books out to my readers. Taming Darkness and Reborn was just the beginning. In the next few weeks keep your eyes peeled for Revenge, and Redemption. Books 2 & 3 of my Vampire series: The Blood Clan Chronicles. You can snag book one for only .99cents here:
AND!!! Now that my new laptop is here, Killing Darkness… my personal masterpiece will be in your hands SOON! I urge you to pick up a copy of Taming Darkness to catch up with Luce, Lilith, Maria and Michael before Killing is out.
To find out more about my indie adventures and where to get my books, be sure to check out my website http://www.katdaemon.com.
As always… stay true to yourself, and your dreams. And anytime someone tells you that you can’t do something… show them that you can.
Love & bloody kisses!