It seems so counterintuitive that I should have taken time off from this blog, especially with all the good news I had to share. However, the good news - strangely - is what is consuming most of my time.
A few months ago, I was sent information on a Young Adult writing competition hosted by Clean Teen Publishing. If you've read any of my work before, you know I'm traditionally a violent military science fiction author. What the hell do I know about the YA genre?
One thing I've come to realize, however, is that these writing competitions force me to flex my author muscles. I'm forced to write genres and book lengths (yes, it's hard to write a short story when you normally plot out 450-page novels) that are outside my comfort zone. And, to date, that's really paid off.
So I entered a novella (about 150 pages) into the competition and I won! Believe me, I was stunned. Not because I didn't think the story was good, I really did think it was. I was surprised because I wrote the 150 pages in 5 days! I didn't find out about the competition until the week before my submission was due and had to scramble to enter. Common sense would have said that I just waited and submitted later, but for some reason I was dead set on competing.
Not only did my novella WIND WARRIOR win the competition, but I was then asked by Clean Teen Publishing to expand the novella to a full-length novel. I expanded it to nearly 250 pages (still short of my norm) and then was offered a publishing contract through CTP!
I've never been saddened by my choice to be an independent, self-published author. Despite the huge amount of new books being published through Amazon and B&N these days, I'm incredibly proud of the work I've done on my previous novels and the sales have never been terrible. People still buy my books every day and I have some legitimately wonderful fans.
But to say that I haven't wanted a publishing contract - that I've been completely content being self-published - would be lying to you. It's not the contract itself, it's the fact that I have a team that's committed to making my work successful. There's an incredible cover artist who is doing remarkable work not just for the first book, but for the entire trilogy (it WILL be a trilogy, by the way). I have a pair of ladies who are working on the marketing plan. I have someone to format the book for publication (something I absolutely HATE doing myself). It feels incredible to know that there are professionals dedicated to helping my book hit the streets!
I was perfectly content being an self-published author and after this trilogy if I have to go back to that, I'm still fine with it. I started writing because I love telling stories and sharing them with others. But so long as I can ride this high, believe me, I will!
Check out the incredible team at Clean Teen Publishing! And be ready for WIND WARRIOR's release on 14 June 2013!