“My book” (Pause for finger air quotes) is a term that I’ll use often and hate myself for doing so; it feels weird to me, to admit to people I’ve written a book. When I started out, it was such a personal thing, to create a world with characters you grow to know and love. I didn’t write it for agents or for money; I wrote it because I believed in my characters, loved my story, and wanted to give readers something to get temporarily lost in. So when I tell someone I’m starting to go through an attempt at publishing, I guess I’m almost expecting they’ll reject it. I’m an extremely confident person, but when it comes to my book, I get shy. I’m all “I’m sure there are flaws, but um, I like it a lot and uh…” and it’s time to kick bashful in the face and head into unfamiliar waters with a “I wrote a kickass book” attitude.
I suppose this is my official announcement. So, uh, hey, I wrote a book. I’m not saying it’ll be a bestseller or anything, but I’m proud to achieve this feat after somewhere around three years. I was lazy or impossibly busy at certain intervals of the writing process, but I’ve put a lot of thought, love, and cursing into it all the same. Which is why I suppose I’m really shy about it–already an introvert, I have a hard time telling people my most personal things. One day I was hanging with my friends who easily talked about music and bands for hours. When I let it slip I was almost done with a book, they couldn’t believe I hadn’t brought it up earlier. They practically had to pull details from me and I suppose it was because I worried he’d think it (therefore I) was lame. I’ve never, ever shied away from loving writing, but it hasn’t always been viewed as the cool thing to do. The high school nerd in me still carries around those insecurities (which I suppose you’d see in my protagonist Lucy–look, a detail!) and it’s only in the last few years I’ve really embraced my fantasy-loving, YA-reading self. I really enjoy reading young adult fiction. I’m even happier for my Kindle which lets me browse all the shelves without feeling embarrassed to be in those aisles as a grown woman (I’ve gotten some looks).
However. My book is not a young adult fiction story. Well, technically the characters are young adults, but they’re in their early-mid 20’s. It’s got adult content, including some of my favorite 4-letter words, but it’s not a book I would recommend to anyone under 16. It’s simply a supernatural mystery. It’s a about a tucked away world that hides in plain view. It’s got a lot of humor, a little romance, a handful of murders, and characters I’d want on my team in real life.
As things progress, I’ll reveal tidbits about the story and characters, hopefully without giving too much away. For right now, the only crumbs I’ll drop are:
1.)It’s definitely fantasy (paranormal, supernatural, whatever). I’ve never NOT written a fantasy book. I’m a big believer in temporary escape from reality and its problems and the easiest way for me to do that is through fantasy stories.
2.) 80% of the setting is at a circus, where 90% of them are Gifted (they have supernatural powers)–math got you confused yet? No? Good, because I’m an English major for a reason. That’s all the math you’re getting, anyways.
3.) The 23 year old protagonist, Lucy Sullivan, is what’s called a Firestarter (and a powerful one at that); inherited from her father, she’s one of few women to have it as it’s typically considered an aggressive, testosterone-fueled gift
4.) As a new, therefore untrustworthy member, Lucy becomes a main suspect when a beloved circus member turns up dead–by way of fire.
5.) One of the themes in belonging. One of my favorites lines is early on when Lucy says, “I wanted to be normal amongst the freaks.”
So there you have it. My book (ugh) will hopefully be out there in the world sooner rather than later. Thanks to the indie community I’m meeting, I think it’s actually achievable.
I’m a plethora of emotions right now. Plethora, I tell you. Bestseller or total flop though, pride is certainly one of them. (Gulp.)