I have always been a writer whether it was creating short stories in school or sending family members personalized hand written letters (I grew up before computers and cell phones were in practically every household). When I was a teenager and we discussed what we wanted to do for a living, I told my friends I wanted to be an author.
Friend 1(as she flipped through a teen magazine): “You should totally write a book about your life.”
Me (as I picked at a piece of thread dangling from my jean jacket because everyone wore a jean jacket back then): “Hmmm. Ya, maybe I will.”
I should note that most teenagers feel that their lives are full of drama, that they are alone in their woes of suckiness and basically their lives should be a book or a movie. At the time, my friends and I felt this way but now that I am through that stage of my life, things were not as bad as it seemed at the time (but you still couldn’t pay me enough to go through adolescence again). The point is, I did not write a book about my life though I do draw from some of my personal experiences when writing a scene.
Moving along into my twenties, I joined the military where I met my husband. I released from the military just shy of serving a year, we got married and started a family. We moved many times and were pros at adapting to change and making new friendships. My tag line at the time whenever a friend did or said something I felt should be documented was, “That’s going in my book.”
This turned out to be a great conversation starter. People would ask me if I was really going to write a book. I responded with, “Yep. I plan on publishing before I’m 35.”
Friend 2: “Well, if you’re putting me in your book, I want a really cool name.”
Me: “Ya, I’ll totally give you a cool name.”
At the time, 35 seemed so far away. I can tell you now that I’m over 35, and it went by fast. Too fast. But I did publish before I said I would (pats self on back).
One day I decided to get back into the military since we moved to a place where I could take my training only a few hours away from where we lived. This way I could come home on weekends so I wasn’t apart from my family for months on end. I completed my training, started a new job and eventually we moved to yet another base. The good thing about moving around so much, is that you meet a variety of people.
Me (talking to Friend 3): “So I watched a really good movie last night called ____________.”
Friend 3: “My husband bought me the books. I can lend them to you.”
This is the part in my post where we play a little game. What movie am I talking about? Hint: it rhymes with “bye fight” and yes, I turned into one of those obsessed fans eventually buying my own set of books. And movies. And the collector’s set.
Me (to my husband one night before going to sleep): “So, I’m going to start writing my books.”
Husband: “That’s nice, dear.”
By morning I had a rough draft in my mind of the trilogy I was going to write.
Me (to my groggy husband even though I should have been the groggy one since I rolled around most of the night): “While you were sleeping all snug in our bed, I came up with an idea. I’m going to write a story about time travel and psychic abilities. It’s going to be a trilogy actually. Isn’t that awesome?”
Husband: “Ya, that sounds totally awesome.” I think he was being sarcastic. He claims he was being supportive.
I went to work and told Friend 3 (the same one that lent me her “bye fight” books) about my idea and she volunteered to be a beta reader. It took me nine months to write a rough draft of Altered – Revelations of the Evolved. I passed it around to coworkers and basically anyone else I could guilt into reading it but then I shelved it for a year or two.
Another move later, I finally started the ball rolling by contacting someone I had met years earlier to assist with self-publishing. I was ecstatic. My book was going to be polished by an editor and published for anyone to read. Once I realized how much competition was out there, my balloon deflated a bit knowing that writing the book was the easy part, getting it noticed was going to be a bit more difficult.
I researched ways to publicize. I needed a blog even though I didn’t know the first thing about how to get started. More research, and now you can see, I have a blog complete with widgets and a constant changing theme (though I really like this one so I’ll keep it for a while).
I joined a variety of social media sites (Twitter & Goodreads) and made two Facebook pages:
Shawnda Currie Books: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shawnda-Currie-Books/357335524296184
The Evolved Trilogy: https://www.facebook.com/TheEvolvedTrilogy
The biggest challenge was contacting book bloggers for reviews and interviews. I highly enjoy reading people’s thoughts about my stories and value everyone’s feedback (positive & negative). One point that came up a few times was my cover for Altered (some felt it was less than flattering). I love nature, so I happen to like my covers and each cover is from a scene in each book. They’re different and original, though not as detailed or eye popping as ones created by a professional. The good news is, I plan on writing many more novels and have a family member who is a graphic artist!
I made some book trailers and even came up with the concept “authormercial” that I thought would draw some attention. The authormercial was a blast to create but a little nerve racking to put it out for the world to see. Nobody wants to be seen as foolish or made fun of. But I also happen to be comfortable in my own skin and this is the way I roll………………
Altered – Revelations of the Evolved: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Td-brREUzgE&list=UUwhl9J119Sk6vZ6QDEml_Qg&index=4
Broken – Afflictions of the Evolved: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvSVlkXFwLU&feature=share&list=UUwhl9J119Sk6vZ6QDEml_Qg
Choices – Complications of the Evolved: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_kI4rWdSHQ&feature=c4-overview&list=UUwhl9J119Sk6vZ6QDEml_Qg
I also made up some business cards. Now I just have to start putting them up everywhere. I have also recruited my friends to do the same. And yes, I have more than three friends.
That basically sums up my road to publishing. Thank you so much to my friends, family and fans for taking the time to read my books and supporting me with your kind words and helping me put myself out there.
I am Shawnda Currie. I am an author. I will never stop writing.