How did it feel to see your book in print?
For me, seeing my book in print was a rush. To this day I will look at MY book on the bookshelf behind my desk, and wonder who this person J Dark is, and how they used my name to write this book that sounds so much like the one that was in my head, and is now on paper and in this book I’m looking at. It felt surreal, and a powerful validation that someone liked, actually liked how I wrote and how I told a story. It still is a warm feeling in my chest, I don’t think it will ever go away.
What did you learn along the way?
Having a book in print is a powerful thing, and being able to repeat the creative process and make a second book is more challenging than the first time. With a first book, it’s enthusiasm, excitement of the journey, and the awe at the finished product. With book 2, at least in my case, it’s more of ‘will people like it?’, ‘am I any good?’, et cetera. My worries and neurotic behaviors gang up on me, and make me question my ability to catch lightning in a bottle a second time. Will the second one be as good as the first. I hope it’s better so people have fun reading it, and worry that it won’t be, that I haven’t learned enough from the first book to do a proper job with the second. Then I tell myself to shut up and write. I have to write for me, and then share. Feedback is awesome to get, but as a beginning writer, my book is not one that will have a lot of purchases, as I am so new. Therefore, feedback is a precious thing when I can get some. Until then, I trust that the editor will tell me what needs to happen with the book and that I will catch that lightning once more and put out a good story.
How has having your book published impacted your life?
Publishing the book was a huge shot in the arm for my confidence. But financially I know it won’t change a thing really. Book sales for beginning writers is always small. If I sell any books, that’s a bonus and validation that someone enjoyed the idea of the book enough to buy it. I can only say ‘THANK YOU’ for the trust that I can make a story. It makes my life more colorful in a way. I can say I am a published author. I have a small card to hand to people. It has given me a shot of confidence, and a little bit of neuroticism was well. I want to make this my life, now that I’ve had a taste of it. So, for me, it has become more a calling, than just a hobby. I still struggle to write every day, and struggle with ideas to write. I need, and want, to write more, and write in a way that would tell a story that people enjoy reading. So while my real life hasn’t changed, the focus of my life has. I may become a fantastically successful writer, I may end up toiling all my life in literary obscurity. Either way, now I write because the stories want to be written, and it’s fun. Above all else, it’s fun to make a story, to create a world, to live a dream that flows from a brain to a computer screen, and can be shared with anyone who wants to read.