There is my message in a nutshell: We need to get busy with the importance of living. Just because my book illustrator (A shout out to awesome Ashley Teets!) designed the perfect business card that reflects my last novel doesn't mean that my job is done. Her job is done. Mine is just getting started. Bombs Bursting in Air is truly a great read and I proudly pat myself on the back every chance I get. The novel won first pace at the 2016 West Virginia Writers Conference. It received an honorable mention at the London Book Festival. It has received praise from friends and family. I recently overheard a fan tell someone purchasing the book "You won't be disappointed."
I am humbled by such praise; but I need to let the moment rest in my mind and get that very message out there. I need to get serious about my writing career. (Mainly because that is all I have in the way of employ right now.)
The biggest reason I need to get serious is that this writing business is a dream come true.
I love books. Oprah's got her bread. I've got my books. (I like the fact that she loves books, too.)
From an early age I knew I wanted to write. I even allowed fellow students to pay for my research/writing services in college. That was kinda boring, though. It is difficult to "get lost" in the technical world of chemical analysis. At least for me the rush just is not there. But the financial income these services provided allowed an otherwise destitute college student a little spending money.
The lesson of ghost writer did teach me something, though. I could actually make money with my writing. So, for years (and years) post college, the idea of writing as a career has festered in the back of my mind. I gave it a sincere shot back in my late 20's only to be burned badly by my blind trust in an agent with exciting promises and secret legal issues hanging over her head. I won't disclose any names, but it probably doesn't matter now. I don't think that business is in business any longer.
I dodged that nightmarish bullet, though, and chose to keep my writing to myself for the next several years. It wasn't until 1999 that the flame of of my writing passion was ignited once again. As a graduate student in Folk Life Studies, I was asked to submit an article to the school based quarterly. Traditions magazine focuses on Appalachian life style and is quite well known in the geographic regions of Appalachia from Maine to Florida. I was honored and still am to be included in the pages of that tome. Money did not exchange hands, but my name was in print. The fire did more than flicker and I realized that writing was what I needed to do.
With a better understanding of the publishing world, I embarked on a rather expensive venture of self-publishing in 2011. It has been worth it, though. I have learned so much, of which the biggest lesson is to not be afraid of putting myself out there. In the age of social media and on internet communication, one does not have to wait for thew rejection of snail mail. Those pink slips come much faster, allowing us to get right back on that horse and submit faster and faster.
That is my job today: To finally get on that rocking horse winner (Do you remember that short story from high school?) and put myself out there so that Bombs Bursting Air, Abby, and I Have MS. What's Your Super Power? can find their forever homes in the hands of readers who "will not be disappointed".
[Contact me at LisaAnnetteMcCombs@yahoo.com to get free shipping on each order.]
Life is much too short to allow opportunities to pass us by. Make an effort to get serious about life today.
Have a great Monday!