I was nineteen-year-old when I wrote my first book The Divine. I was thirty-three when I published it, and it was my second novel. Fourteen years was how long it took me to take a manuscript I had written in my last year of high-school, and get it to the point where I was satisfied with it to bring it to the ebook market. I’m still not finished with it, or any of my published works for that matter, as all of them still have placeholder covers, and are wretchedly edited….if you can even call them “edited”. They are barely second-drafted, but it comes with the test of the ignorance of wanting to put one’s work out there, for fear of criticism, and knowing that without publishing, you become a distant memory. Publishing keeps you in the public eye, and having published three books so-far via Amazon, and a novella through my defunct blog, with a hopes of publishing a fourth book of all my old short stories this upcoming month (for free as all the work is in the public domain) I know that is more to coerce readers to read my stories, rather than to make a profit.
So let’s take a quick journey through how I went about attempting to be published, and the world of publishing on how it has changed in the last twenty years. The Divine is a book of love, and being a young writer with the momentum of arrogant, unabashed enthusiasm coming out of high-school with little real-world experience, the jovial youth was present in the novel. I had a mature voice for the time I wrote it, and that’s due to having been well-read. I had yet to permanently cement my writing voice, which has now been settled for some time, unlikely to erode much until I no-longer am capable of producing the written word. I have discovered much about my younger self, and truly my first novel is indeed a love letter to myself, and others are willing to peruse it...but it was clearly written to, and by me. Still, I believe much can be learned from my first book written, versus my first published novel. I wrote Lolita’s Explosive in a daring time of political turmoil, and factual discrepancies. The book was written in my late twenties, and published on May 23rd, 2019. So a good five years or so between writing, and publishing did I actually see the book go to some form of self-published market.
The novel has been read quite well, but not in the thousands, or even millions, but the humbly lower number of a grand total of 100 people have read it, and that’s including Kindle Unlimited downloads. The novel itself is a love-lorn tale of 80s action flicks, with a strong female protagonist that is unabashedly politically incorrect, and a mass murderer in Rambo-style combat, with giant robots, and over-the-top, purposefully made stereotypes to poke at the modern xenophobic nonsense we deal with presently...it’s also trendy being a post-apocalyptic dystopian future, with less plot-holes than one would expect. I actually did put a lot of love and time into this novel, because it was the pinnacle of all I’ve learned up until that point. Quite honestly, it’s my most polished work, and let me vent a great deal of my self-hatred towards writing styles, especially several of the manuscripts I’ve yet to print beforehand. It allowed me to juggle a great deal of somber emotion I was dealing with, dealing with an ailing mother, and depression. I was rather overweight at the time, sickly, cathartic, out-of-work, and with no serious goals to be met. I was mad at myself, the world, and spiraling downwards in ways that made me contemplate whether I’d live to see thirty, at-the-time.
Then my mother passed away; massive heart attack. She had never had an opportunity to read any of my novels, and had read several of my short stories. She was diagnosed with diabetes at an early age, her kidney function failed while I was in college, and she then had her leg amputated. She suffered so much for a woman who was nothing but loving, kind, and always giving even when she had little to give. She saw I was suffering as well, and hated it, but I knew my number one priority was to take care of her, as it should’ve been. Yes, I had put myself behind a bit, but at the some token, I had pushed myself to always write, to always maintain some sort of cognitive function. I would type feverishly, pumping out a minimum of two books a year, numerous blog posts, and all-the-while assuring that my mother was taken care of, because I knew she had really no-one else to turn to, and it took a piece of my heart every single day when I heard her riling in pain from the onslaught of nephropathy and fibromyalgia. Weekly Dialysis treatments for over a decade didn’t help the stress on her body, and being in that situation was maddening to-say-the-least. Still, I wrote, and I wrote so many different stories, just to counteract the emotional distraught I was battling daily. I fought hard to maintain my demeanor for her sake, and mine.
I wrote horror, comedy, transliterate pieces that defined genre. Fantasy, and much much ado about Death. Death became a short story staple for my blog. Because death, in symbolism is this beautiful absolute, a guarantee, that suffering in the mortal form ends, and something of peace is resounded over the spirit. It is a granted end to the limited suffering, to an unlimited peace, and for me, this was my personal escape into writing, which allowed me to subconsciously deal with what would be the inevitable end of my own mother’s suffering. It was during this time I was searching thanatology, and learning coping mechanism to deal with my mother’s death. I had done-so as anyone who has had the misfortune of losing a person which gave them life, deeming the reality that whatever this crazy thing called existence is, it is on a limited warranty, and will run out before we want it to, and sadly, there is no amount to gain back, only work to slow it down. Death became something of a need in my work: having seen many aspects of the funeral business as a child, growing up with my grandmother running a rather large cemetery, I had always had a connection with the inevitable, and it has shaped me to have unique perspectives on death.
I have also grown to help many deal with the loss of a loved one, and not for profit, but because humanity needs to be helped when most vulnerable, and not makes us so meek as loss of the ultimate kind.
With publishing my works, and the struggle it was to find the proper publisher to deal with this very diversified, albeit, non-commercial writing style I’ve developed, I had carved out a true artistic form in my own creativity, and wrote what I knew, and what fascinated me. I study pathology, anatomy, loss, the concept of aging, and so much on mortality, that I tend to forget that all of it is in-fact a science, when it feels so much like the basis of all art, literature, and human intellect. I had driven myself to know that indeed life is short, so publish now! Publish often, and be creative! If you cannot find someone to help see it through, publish it yourself! Find the variables that will help you succeed in this life that is a dogfight for vernacular, and a jocular heralding towards a bloodthirsty market of a dominating minority, and a continent’s worth of tireless writers, all striving to climb the face of publishing mountain. Write with abandon, and publish with frequently; for there is no guarantee someone will honor your life’s work posthumously.
I published my works because it honors my mother’s memory, and reminds me that no struggle I face will ever be as difficult as the ones I’ve already conquered...meaning nothing forthcoming will ever challenge me in ways I know I cannot already overcome. The legacy of my challenges is writ in digital stone, as my books, for better-or-worse, will outlive me somewhere until all that is finite, ceases to exist, and the echo of memories to what I was, is, and always will be….becomes a blip in the universes, which even itself cannot remain.