Putting Yourself Out There

Image courtesy of khunaspix at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

2014 has been an adventure and we still have some months to go before it's over! I met some milestones this year, some great and some not so great. After the many years I tried NaNo, I did a little something different and I tried a different month. For some reason, November always seems seriously crazy and I get busy doing stuff that takes my attention away. This year after doing Savvy Summer BootCamp (which I suggest for all Savvy members out there!), I was able to lock down my script and have an idea where my characters are coming from and where they're going. I also grabbed some great resources for plotter (pantsers friendly, o' course).

Camp Nano itself was awesome. I was able to nail down a great schedule for popping out my novel in mere weeks. I hit my 50k mark which was the first time ever during a NaNo session but I didn't finish my novel because it grew into the beast that would not die! I'm proud of it and hope to finish it later this year. It's my first foray into the land of YA but as a YA reader already, I'm enjoying presenting the book. It's a surfer romance with a culturally diverse array of characters including the main leads. I'm so having a blast writing it.

Last weekend I was able to do tap back into my childhood years when the Gidget Comes to Coronado event took place. I just happened to see the event in town while searching out Gidget DVDs and saw it just days before the event. Talk about fortune! I've been a Gidget fan since I could remember and not only did I love the Sally Field 60s version, I also loved The New Gidget starring Caryn Richman in the 80s. I didn't realize that there was a real inspiration for the character but it was created by the real Gidget's father, Frederick, Kohner, with an inspiration from his daughter, Kathy Kohner, who got into surfing during the 50s when it was a boy's only sport. After they screened the documentary, Accidental Icon, I managed to get Kathy and her father's newly released new edition of her book signed by Kathy herself. Plus I got a pic with Kathy and Caryn and got them both to sign my new Gidget DVD. Now if only I meet Sally Field, my DVD will be complete with all my fave Gidget signatures. So awesome.

Anyway, I felt like a kid again meeting her inspirations come to life. I wanted to run out and go surfing the minute the film was over but getting to meet the Gidgets were awesome enough.

Anyway, those were some pretty epic milestones for me and I can't wait to polish my YA surfer romance up and present it to the world. Hope my readers enjoy it.

Another milestone that was not so great was getting a pretty crazy review. Now putting yourself out there not only opens you up to folks who are inspired by your work but also folks who are (sometimes vehemently) opposed to your work. And sometimes even you! That happened to me recently on one of my books. To the reviewer's credit, she did have a few points about where I made some oopsies in my book (which I'll have to hunt down and fix pronto), but attacking me personally after reading just the beginning of the book? Yikes! It was somewhat creepy that the review kind of turned stalkery after that but I digress.

A month before that I received two different reviews and emails thanks to Netgalley where both the readers were inspired by the book. They had gone through (and were currently going through some health issues due to similar causes that my book talks about and the story really spoke to them. That made my day, no my year! Although the book has been out a while and received some good reviews years ago, I have to say these were my favorites because it really touched people and made them feel better about what they were going through. That's what makes putting myself out there really worth it. I've been writing for about twenty-four years (can you imagine?!), and 7 of those years were in the indie game. Before that I jumped around writing poetry, screenplays, plays and short stories and starting selling them about 15 years ago. Wow, how time flies! Looking back I've made a few waves in my writing and saw so many changes in this publishing industry.

I started this blog 8 years ago and I've discovered so many great readers, authors and books. Time has flown so fast I still can't believe how much time has passed and how much I still want to accomplish. The cool thing about being a writer is you never stop learning and I happen to love learning! I've learned so much about myself as a writer and I've learned and keep learning new things about the industry and telling a story. I have so many ideas swimming around in my head that I hope I'm able to have the time, patience and strength to write them all down in my lifetime. The journey will definitely be worth it.

Oh! I almost forgot! A few weeks ago, I found out I was a finalist in the I Heart Indie contest! Wooo hoo! Next month they announce the winners but I'm just reveling in the chance that I received this honor alone not only as an author but also as a cover artist. I'm honored to be among such a great group because there are some AWESOME covers in my category!


Anonymous said...

Hey, Rae, all of this sounds so awsome. I'm just sorry for the bed review, especially because it happend that way. I don't understand people going after the author of a book. I think, it's your right not to like a book, but why should you go after the author and be heavy on her? Doesn't make sense to me.
But then you had quite a few other good things happening, so I suppose that make a balance ;-)

Rae Lori said...

Hey Sarah! Thanks so much. Yeah, not sure what brought on the personal part of it but I guess some people take books more seriously than others! Lol. I try to focus on the positive though. So true about the balance and it keeps me going! :-)