If you’ve arrived here from one of the many links I attached to my social media posts, you already know that my YA contemporary fantasy novel Renna’s Crossing is one year old today! It seems like an occasion worth observing, if not celebrating.
The timeline feels a bit skewed for me– The story is one year old to all of you, after all, but to me it’s technically about four and a half, already running around the house while yelling incoherently. Those years before it was made public in print have ended up being the more impressionable ones for me; honestly, the long-awaited release and subsequent months were pretty quiet. So it goes for a first-time novelist with a small-scale publisher. I’m not sure I ended up experiencing the catharsis I was building myself up for, but that also feels in line with the themes of this journey I’ve set myself upon. Stepping back to observe the larger shape that all these moments have formed, I’d now say that this process of novelization has been one of struggle between the forces of naïve expectation and experiential despair. Not to be too dramatic about it all.
It turns out it’s still difficult to cleanly summarize this whole thing in an appealing way for a blog post or an explanation to someone who hasn’t gone through something similar. Obviously everyone’s experiences will vary, and I do hope that other folks have a better go of it than I did. Not to say every part of my own experience was terrible or anything, but one year after print I still haven’t fully come to terms with some of the lowest emotional states I found myself in during the publishing process. I can wholeheartedly say it’s helped me grow in useful ways. But important growth can often be uncomfortable, and downright painful, since it often involves… capitulating in arguments with yourself that you normally don’t compromise on. It’s like those trips you sometimes go on or rough periods you sometimes have in life, where you know you’re a stronger and more developed person at the end of it all, but if you had known the full extent of the difficulties you’d face before you had begun, you’re not sure you would have had the courage to start at all. Ignorance is not only bliss, sometimes it’s also an effective substitute for courage.
Anyway, let’s not make this whole anniversary post vague and moody. I’m really super grateful to every single person, many my friends both close and quite detached, and some complete strangers, even, for picking up my book and supporting me! It still feels very very weird to have people remind me that I am in fact an author, and even intend to continue being one. It was also only after I published book one of three that I realized I may not be feeling entirely fulfilled yet because Renna’s story is not really a trilogy, but one long-ass story that requires three books to tell. So I am, in fact, only a third of the way done, and my brain’s not letting me get around that fact. The second part of this story, which will become book two, has been underway for some time now. Planning-wise, the story’s outline is quite fleshed out, right to the end. It’s more about making it all look pretty in the words on the page. I think it’s knowing that I’ve already finished the story in my head (more or less) that will end up providing the greatest forward momentum in manifesting it into the world. I wish I could give some sort of timeline here to when it might be done, but uh, the fates do not will it. I do give my word that the story will be finished and produced in some consumable form at some point, and that point will become more specific in the near-ish future. Life has become busier, mostly in good ways. But I also want to make sure this story is part of what makes my life busy as well.
In the meantime, the absolute best thing that anyone can do to support this story is simply to recommend it to people who you think would enjoy it! Also convincing your local schools and libraries to get copies in their collections. And creating and sharing fanworks if you’re so inclined. Genuine enthusiasm from individual people is worth more than anything a corporation can create through marketing; they spend literal billions of dollars trying to replicate that kind of social influence.
If you enjoy the words I smoosh together and would like to hear more about the many projects I’m producing, consider following me on whatever social media channel you prefer to inhabit.