Think back to the days of . . . video stores. I’m not kidding. In 1998 I was managing a couple of video stores in the middle of Michigan. Busy in the evenings and weekend, but the middle of the week not so much.
I’ve always written, so it was a common thing for me to jot down ideas when there was nothing left to do. The story I thought would be my first novel was plunking along, slowly fading. I decided to write something I wasn’t so serious about.
The Vista is that story, the one that was there just to keep me writing something. There was a tiny idea, probably from a movie – what if a place, a town, survived An Apocalypse. How would they defend themselves from all the Nasty Mutant Alien roving bands of Terrible Things out there? And after all of that, what would their children be like?
I had an outline and 42 pages hand written out on the back of computer printout sheets and a spiral notebook when the holidays of 1998 rolled around. Abridged version of those days – my husband had a heart attack and was hospitalized several times over the next few months, baffling the doctors and ending up with a diagnosis of CFS. He wouldn’t ever be able to return to work. My writing life got shoved in a drawer. I had a sick husband and three kids to support on my own now . . .
The Vista re-emerged four years ago as I was attempting to unclutter my life. I knew where it was all along. I’d carefully packed it to move from Michigan to the desert of New Mexico, where the hot & dry climate would help Jim cope with his disease. I read it and loved it and of the two partial books, knew it was the one I could finish. It has changed a lot, but then, so have I.
There was an attempt at a traditional publishing house, just once. Standard rejection letter, five months later. At this point Jim said “You could have published it on your own and been selling it for four months already.” Point taken. Do it myself – so I did.
The past few months have been an interesting learning experience. As of now, I did what I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember – I got a book published. There are a few dozen more waiting to get out of my head. You’ve been warned.
Congrats on your first release, Sheila! What have you done when there’s nothing left to do? You know I love comments so much that I pick a favorite to receive my monthly AnaBanana gift basket ($25 value). Recipient is announced the first blog post of the new month.