Ramblings of an author

(or Frozen meets 50 Shades)

I published Fire & Ice: The Return (A Datura Sisters Novel) almost a month ago. When I tell people that I am an author, I still look around for the AUTHOR POLICE to come and cuff me. Surely they are on to this ruse by now, and there’s a cell where they lock up all those who go about throwing the title “Author” around like they’re Stephen King or someone “important” in the writing world. They’ll take our pens, our frenzied drafts, our computers. The wardens are probably well-known fictional characters. Pennywise. Anne with an “e.” Those Sweet Valley twins. Atticus probably represents the misinformed folks who dare use a title they are unworthy of. If muggles are the non-magical, then perhaps novuggles are the non-writers and the *real” writers will put us in our place. King. Twain. Gordimer. Rowling. Pynchon. Lee. Rice. Sparks. Faulkner. (They’re coming for me. I just know it.)

Not too long ago, I l stumbled across Colleen Hoover. She’d posted an apology to a reader. My first thought was “what fresh hell is this? Authors DO NOT apologize!” (I hadn’t published my novel at this point.) Then I listened to her explanation. I still do not think an apology was warranted, but her discussion of the publishing process (i.e. How many bloody drafts it takes and how sometimes things get cut that shouldn’t never be cut) struck a chord with me. Who was this woman and why was she damn snarktastically wonderful? I did what I do best and Facebook stalked her. Then I googled. Then I almost shat butterbeans. Her first novel was…. Wait for it…. self-published. You can stalk her here: (https://www.facebook.com/AuthorColleenHoover/ ) This is a best-selling author who has her own cohorts that likely rival Gaga’s Little Monsters. And she became an author with that first book, not what came later. She defined herself. (I took a leap and sent her a hardcopy of my novel. She hasn’t responded but it’s there. In Texas. Somewhere near her. Maybe she’ll use it as a coaster. Maybe she’ll eat bad Chinese and have run to the loo and my novel happens to be the only reading material around. It’s not wrong to wish the shits upon her if it gets my book read, right?)

So I published. I tossed my baby out without a parachute. It’s partly my fault; I do not know what I am doing. Marketing? Press releases? Book reviews? Giveaways? I’ve never been patient or that much of a planner (I think I tackled that in my other post about my experience), but maybe I was a bit too hasty in my approach. I should have plotted a course of action. Right? To give the novel the best chance of flight? So now I’m backtracking a little and doing some of things I likely should have done to begin with. I’m contacting book reviewers (bloggers — I do love you!) and I’m planning a little giveaway to bring traffic to my author’s Facebook page. Did Colleen do that or by chance, did the right reviewer find her book at the right time? I believe in my novel. I believe in my writing. But how can I translate that into being a confident author who proudly calls herself one? My boss announced at a meeting that I’d published a book and he was so proud of me. I literally squirmed in my chair like a five-year-old who was being admonished. I was being praised and yet I tucked my tail between my leg like I was being scolded. Why? I’m not a fraud. I am published. And it’s a good compelling story. Frozen meets 50 Shades? How could that NOT be compelling?!?!

Do I feel this way because I’m self-published or because I’ve always been a touch strange when it comes to praise and attention? I crave it. I long for it. But when it comes, I don’t know how to respond to it. I’m a strange duck. I know this. In all honesty, I can recognize my baggage a mile away. If I knew what I was doing in this endeavor, I’d probably be a little more confident and less like a child the first time at the adult table. But I don’t regret it.

I am an author. I. Am. An. Author. Cuff me and throw me with the rest of the indie author lot. I have a feeling I’d be in good company.

Are you still reading because you’re intrigued by the idea of Frozen meets 50 Shades? A chic lit/fantasy crossover with magic, sex and just a bit of sibling rivalry? Then buy the book already!! And while it’s perfectly acceptable for bathroom reading should you get the runs, it is best enjoyed in a bubble bath with wine!

Here’s the link to the Kindle version:

Tommi Elizabeth is a practicing attorney who lives in North Carolina with her husband, four dogs, and two cats. She firmly believes that there are no problems that cannot be solved with a cup of coffee and a puppy. Her first novel, Fire & Ice: The Return, is available on Amazon and she is currently working on a collection of creative non-fiction essays and a dog show murder mystery.