Writers face a long road. First, they are consumed with ideas that need to be written down. Those ideas often take switchbacks and curves, coming out the other side after endless rounds of editing and revisions (some by choice, some less willingly). Once a story finally gets published, the writer endeavours to market their book which is an effort that will hopefully result in sales. This whole process can take anywhere from months to years, depending on a few factors: finding the time to write, the amount of editing undertaken, whether or not beta readers were employed to read and make comments, and how long it actually took the writer to get published.
What happens next? Hopefully, the writer gets some good reviews, some exposure and eventually recognition through sales and awards.
Now let’s switch to first person to gain insight into my own journey. For my debut novel, Hands Full of Ashes, I spent a long time, like many others, churning through the windmill of writing, editing, publishing and marketing. Thanks to an editor, who combed through the manuscript, offering suggestions to the storyline, and thanks to Soul Mate Publishing, who published it, my book finally saw the light of day.
Along the way, the book received a handful of reviews, some of them editorial pieces which highlighted Hands Full of Ashes in a favorable light. Perhaps the most exciting development for me (as a new author) was the discovery that my book was nominated for an award. In this case, a nomination for The Romance Reviews as a Readers’ Choice Award (Winter 2015) in the action/adventure/romantic suspense/mystery categories.
The book hasn’t made it to the final round yet, though I am hopeful. Kind of like the ‘little engine that could’, my story began three years ago as I disembarked in the mountainous region of East Africa, a trip which considerably altered my outlook on life. By the time I left the African continent, three weeks after arriving, the plot and characters for my story were taking root. Chug, chug, chug. The little engine that could still has a ways to make it down the tracks, but the important thing is that it (and I) keep on going. I try to remind myself about a famous saying, something along the lines that ‘it’s not the destination that matters as much as the journey’. If I were to be honest, I would say both are significant for me. The journey has involved the process of traveling, writing, publishing, editing and marketing, but I wouldn’t mind a bit of ‘destination’ by having the book win an award.
If you have had the opportunity to read Jan and Olivia’s love story, as they discover each other in a land full of beauty and struggle, I hope you’ll take a moment to pop over to The Romance Reviews website and vote for Hands Full of Ashes, a love story brought about from that trip into the heartland of Africa. http://www.theromancereviews.com/viewbooks.php?bookid=18133
*Voting officially begins September 11th and goes until September 30th. To vote, you must register (for free) with The Romance Reviews and submit your vote.