Self-Evaluation Leads to Self-Publishing Triumph (Guest Post)

cat sees himself as a lion

 

Self-Evaluation Leads to Self-Publishing Triumph
Guest Post by Katya W. Mills

I turned 40 on February 1st. A real classic marker, 40. One cannot help but assess the life. I was okay with my life. I am a survivor. I have been through a lot. A LOT. The whole enchilada of my life was looking pretty good. A pretty-well-rounded and far-from-perfect specimen of humanity. That’s what I saw in the mirror. A real personality. The kind of character not even my pen could create. Stranger than fiction. So what if I was broke? Not in spirit! Wow. I realized that I liked myself. And that made me feel happy. So what if I might at times be on the other side of your ticket to the zoo?

So 40 came and I thought I was golden. But then the midlife crisis moment hit me and knocked me to my knees. Ouch! The half-lit marquee in the fog. The one with the big letters dangling off it and some turned around. Two words: UnPubliShed WrIteR. My mind searched my memory banks for writers I loved, who had not been published by forty. There were a couple, thank god. Honore de Balzac maybe. Still, no matter how I might shop around for comparison, I came face to face with my truth; being anything other than a published author was unacceptable to me.

I had put more effort, thought and time into writing than anything else. And people always thought I was pretty talented. In 2007, I became a published writer.  I started my website (as a blog), and was able to alleviate the personal pressure cooker I felt to get my words out to the world. I felt great. Meanwhile, I had just finished my MA in psychology, and was making a living as a social worker. I had a calling! I had a job I really cared about!  But the social work was very hard, and I tended to burn myself out. My larger works of literary fiction gathered dust. But what choice did I have? I had to support myself.

I knew this self-publishing possibility was out there. It seemed unreal. I had tried and failed in my twenties, to promote my work to quarterlies and top-tier magazines like the New Yorker. I set the bar too high. I lost confidence in the publishing world. I was pretty sensitive.

So I kept writing and experiencing things. I told myself, ‘attraction not promotion, attraction not promotion’. This is true. If you believe in yourself, this will show in all you do. If you dedicate yourself to a craft, you will develop a personal style all your own. People are attracted to courage, grace and effort. These qualities defy marketing blitz campaigns. I kept the faith, reminding myself, ‘I am a dedicated writer. I believe in myself. I have developed a style all my own.’

But I could not steady myself around this saying, ‘writing is its own reward.’ Because there was my dream, you see? I always wanted to be a published author. I had to try. And so, at age 40, midlife crisis time, I realized: ‘it’s time, Kat, you gotta go for it! That was February 1st. Eight months later…  I feel that same kinda blissed out relief I felt when I started blogging in 2007, perhaps more powerfully, when I reach down to my coffee table and pick up my copy of my self-published novel, and hold it under my eyes – wow! Some kinda wonderful.

For more information about Katya Mills, stop by her blog: Kissilent.wordpress.com, and website: www.katyamills.com.

 

 

From Idea to Convention – Planning a Panel for HallowRead (Guest Post by Rachel Rawlings)

HallowRead red logo

The Process of Planning a Panel

By Rachel Rawlings, author and founder of HallowRead

Follow Rachel on Twitter: @rachelsbooks

HallowRead will be held the weekend of Fri., Oct. 25 through Sun., Oct. 27. For more information including tickets, please visit the links at the end of this post.

The panels for HallowRead, much like the event itself happened organically. From the get go I wanted all of the participating authors to be involved in the panel process. After all, if they’re not excited about the topic, no one will have a good time. Readers want to see energetic and engaging authors when attending panels. The best way to achieve that is to have the authors engaged in the process of planning a panel. This is our first year and nearly everything about HallowRead is different from other conventions. Since I cold called the majority of authors attending this year we didn’t have a panel submission process. What we did have was an open discussion in the author group I created on FaceBook. I started a few threads in the group asking the authors what topics they wanted to talk about, some were more vocal than others- and I mean that in a good way! From there we expanded on those ideas and I would post names and descriptions for the panels asking for their opinions and often adjusting according to their suggestions. Twenty plus creative minds really are better than one.

One of my favorite part about the panels for HallowRead is the different locations. The town and its eclectic mix of business owners and residents really become a part of the event because the authors and attendees will be moving through the historic district. A unique feature made possible by the close proximity of each location. Comfy shoes are still encouraged. All of the buildings hosting a panel – from the Trolley Stop, known in its past life as the Bloody Bucket, to Cacao Lane and Diamond Back Tavern – have a haunted history, making them the perfect backdrop for our authors and panel topics.

A panel that isn’t really a panel? That’s kind of how I feel about the SteamPunk Tea. Friday October 25th, several SteamPunk authors will be taking over Tea On The Tiber. Dressed in full garb, Victorian high tea isn’t the only thing on the menu. Authors will be moving throughout the two tea rooms reading from their novels and talking about this unique genre of fiction. A separate ticket is required but well worth the low price of admission which does include a full tea service.

And last but certainly not least is the swag! Door prizes and give-aways are the concurrent theme for the HallowRead panels. Authors have all sorts of fun things to give away. Have a burning question? It just might score you a free book or signed swag!

Whatever you fancy, Horror, Paranormal Romance, Dark Fantasy, SteamPunk, we’ve got a panel for that! So come out and join us. At HallowRead the authors are dying to meet you!

For more information about the HallowRead and/or author Rachel Rawlings work visit the following sites:

www.hallowread.com
www.facebook.com/Hallowread
http://www.hallowread.blogspot.com/
http://www.hallowread.eventbrite.com/

http://www.rachelrawlings.com/
http://www.facebook.com/TheMaurinKincaideSeries

Want to have your own Guest Post at One Story Slinger? As long as your post discusses writing in some form, you’re invited to write a Guest Post. You don’t need to be a published author to be featured; I welcome any professional from the writing field too – literary agents, editors, reviewers, etc. For more information, email me or click here.