Sorry for the string of off-topic posts, but I have some great non-jewelry news: my novel REVENGE OF A BAND GEEK GONE BAD is now available worldwide in Amazon's Kindle store!
I began writing this book way back in 2002. I was feeling very depressed after 9/11 and my 2002 New Year's Resolution was "Do stuff." At the time, I wasn't exactly sure what that "stuff" would entail, but I was determined to get out, live my life and achieve some goals. So in 2002, I battled my fear of flying and took a trip to London with my husband (this was the first international trip I'd taken since I was 18), played flute several times with a small jazz combo in a local restaurant and decided to write a book.
Writing has been my second love (music is my first) since I learned how to read and spell. When I was a kid, I wrote little books which I also illustrated. I even wrote a novel about band when I was 12. My mom, who was a teacher, graded it an A++++++, LOL. But I never did anything with it. I mean, it was a novel that I wrote when I was 12. There were some good parts in there, but the story wasn't really cohesive.
When I got to college, I put my fiction writing aside and focused on entertainment journalism instead. Then, as an adult, I wrote for the TV magazine Soap Opera Digest for 14 years. It was a great job, but I was writing about OTHER people's fictional creations. I wanted to write something where I had complete control of the characters.
That's when I got the idea for BAND GEEK, or at least the inspiration to write a book. The actual idea for the story came about when my husband and I were wondering if we'd have been friends in high school. I was a shy, quiet good girl and he was a naughty boy who did things like lock teachers out of classrooms. I took that idea, combined it with my original novel which focused on music and came up with the story for BAND GEEK. After I came up with the main characters, Melinda and Josh, the tale kind of took on a life of its own. It ended up being a dark comedy that's a bit like Heathers-meets-Glee.
After a lot of work and rejections, I managed to secure representation with a top-tier literary agent. She had me do some major edits and suggested that I change my title. I was certain that she'd get my work published and that I'd be rich and famous! WRONG! She shopped it around to about a dozen publishing houses and no one bought it. Two houses came close, but rejected me in the end. My agent then dumped me.
I put the book away and decided to focus on other things instead, like my music and non-fiction writing. A few years later, my husband and I came up with a fab idea for a fun travel guide (I'd rather not divulge the details because we're not finished with it). We pitched the idea to agents and again landed one who's well-respected. She shopped it to several publishing houses and the editors LOVED it! They were all set to buy our work and we were so excited. We were going to be published! We were going to be rich and famous! WRONG AGAIN! This time, it was the damned marketing people who rejected us. They couldn't figure out where to place our books in stores and so they didn't want us.
By now, I was getting very frustrated with the publishing industry and took a break from writing (other than at my job) for several years. I put out a flute album and found a new love when I began making jewelry. Then last year, I started to think about my book again when a couple of friends asked me to edit their manuscripts. I wondered if I should finally take my novel out of the drawer and do something with it.
After much thought, I decided to turn it into an e-book. Back in 2002, you wouldn't have caught me dead doing this. I thought that if you couldn't get published the old fashioned away, well, then you had no business writing. I don't think that this was very fair of me, but at at the time, the industry itself looked down at alternative publishing methods. These days, however, the industry has changed so much that e-books are becoming the standard. Most people have a Kindle or Nook, or some other ireader device -- and it's made it easy for authors to get their work out there.
Now that I've had success in selling my jewelry on Etsy, I love the idea of being an independent author. I love the fact that authors are taking back control and that we're no longer writing to fit some publishing house's standard. There are some terrible indie books out there, but I've also come upon some gems -- some great stories that probably would've been deemed to "out there" for a publishing house to pick up.