Saturday, January 10, 2009

My Novels and Me...

I have been writing for the better part of 35 years. I wrote my first novel when I was 15. We lived in the mountains of British Columbia Canada and so it seemed easy for me to write a novel about just such a family. The story grew as the years passed and I dreamed of maybe one day seeing the novel in print. Many years later, after a move to the States, a stint in the Air Force and marriage to my sweetheart, I began to write again. I started a short story about a ghost and her quest for a final resting place. It was 80 pages and on a whim... o.k. at the insistence of my loving family, I submitted it to a publisher. They read it and sent it back, asking me to please expand it to novel size. I decided to try my writing again.
In between the writing of course was life, children, a wife who was very ill and work. It didn't leave much time for writing so i bought a laptop and began taking it with me when Sheila and I would travel to hospitals far away. She would have sometimes 4 or 5 appointments a day for 3 or 4 days at places like Mayo Clinic in Rochester Mn. I would write while waiting for her at the appointments that were tests, in which I could not be with her. At night, after appointments were done and we had eaten, there was often 12 to 14 hours before her next appointment. I would use the time that she was sleeping or resting after a rough day of extensive tests, to write in the novel. The novel was 3/4's finished when I started writing another novel. A thought had crossed my mind and so away I went with the thought.
I didn't touch "Christine", the original name for Until Death Do We Meet at all while I penned the second Novel, Abduction. Two months later, Abduction was finished and I sent it out to publishers.It was picked up immediately and was published and in bookstores in 8 months. My dream, the one I really wanted to see in print, "Christine" still sat on my desk, unpublished. I decided to submit it and this novel too was picked up and 9 months and a name change later, I held "Until Death Do We Meet" in my hands. What a fantastic feeling that was for me.
Today, i sit here, wondering to myself what it takes to "get the novels read." I do my book signings, which I love so much. Few things are as wonderful as signing a novel of your own for someone that came out just to get your novel. It takes a person to places few can ever imagine. I talk about them and show them off. I make sales but none steady. The novels have never received a bad rating or review. I own all the latest "How to market your book" books and get information from on-line sources to try and boost their sales. Word of mouth they tell me sells and so i talk, talk, talk them up. But today, sitting here, thinking of the two that are finished and waiting to be printed, the one I write in now and one that will surely follow that one. Is there a secret to becoming a number one best seller? IS there a formula that I have not found yet that will open doors and have my novels spoken or, written about by the New York Times? How long before I realize my dream?
I have already been so blessed just in having published two novels. I do know this. I will continue to try and make it all happen. Just some open thoughts from my heart and mind to share with you. I hope you don't mind... And by the way, "The North Wind Calls" still sits on my desk, unpublished. Perhaps one day... Always, Darrel

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