When i sat down to write 'Awake', I did it as a "bucket list" item. I mean who hasn't had thoughts of sitting around in a smoking jacket in their underwear with an expensive pipe dangling from their mouth; while they create the next masterpiece of literature (or at least the next fad that will pull money from every pocket on the planet)?
Something funny happened while I was writing the book. I fell in love. Not with a person but with getting out of my own way and letting something take over. I'd sat down with an idea of exactly where I wanted to start a story and where I would take every character emotionally on the way to the neat, nice, tidy ending I had in my head.
A little over halfway through the first draft of the manuscript, two of the characters in the book decided to embody the stubbornness I had envisioned for them when I created them. They both decided to turn around, look at me, and flip me the bird. They did what they wanted to. They quit cooperating with my superbly crafted (I can dream right?) plot direction and started doing their own thing. They decided to tell the story they wanted and eventually I quit fighting and let them do it. Best decision I've made. The characters decided to take the story to a "real" place. They took me on a ride and I still get chills when I read parts of the book, even after reading the story at least 200 times throughout the course of writing it.
Which brings me to now. I've sold about a hundred copies of the book in under a month. Don't laugh, that's a smashing success with the route (self-publishing) I chose to take. Two weeks, a hundred copies. I'm impressed. Blown away.
I've received emails cursing me with a bunch of smiley-faces and "lol's" about the ending (several people have told me they even teared up). I wanted to write a different story when I started a second book. The characters from 'Awake' have again decided to show their bull-headedness and invade my thoughts. Couple that fact with people wanting to know what happens next (It was supposed to be a standalone!), I'm going to write the second one and have started pulling thoughts together and discussing them with the team (ok, "team" is just two of my buddies).
The possibilities are endless with Lane, Coldon, and Mayson (congrats Nel, you are the runaway most loved character of my book). With the second book, i get to go to a darker place, and really explore who these people are now that we know them. To me, that's the most exciting part. Why do people make the decisions they do? How much does stress and the world around them influence them?
I fell in love with writing and creating something from my own thoughts. I can't wait to see where this book takes me and feel honored to have joined the group of people that entertain you with our thoughts. I look forward to wanting to throw my laptop across the room again, wanting to start smoking again (but refraining for Jai and Ali), and the dull pain in my neck from sitting in a certain position for hours.
I also look forward to the laughs, the tears, and the satisfaction and pride I get from someone telling me how much they enjoyed the story.