As many of you that may have followed me in the beginning of my journey to publish my first book may have noticed, I have been noticeably quiet since October. One reason for this was my illness and hospitalization. Another reason I have been quiet was from the particularly nasty, bitter election season we had this year.
I’m a vocal person about what I believe in and I have a liberal ideology. I’m from a very conservative area and a lot of my Facebook friends are conservative, so this led to sparring back and forth. Social media became a little less social for me and more anti-social. The very bully-like behavior that I write about happening in my first book was, and in some instances, still is happening in the world, particularly on Facebook.
Just recently, I have read in the news about teenagers killing themselves for being bullied through social media, tortured daily because they are accused of being gay or ‘slut-shamed’. Social media has become bully central or so it would seem. I’ve thought a few times about deleting my account altogether. I lived in a time of no Facebook, no texting, no internet as it exists today, and I remember it well. Unfortunately, my book page is linked to my main account. So I persist with keeping my Facebook open for now. I have pretty much given up on Twitter as a thought-provoking media for advertising my books, so I’m rarely on that site anymore.
The third reason I’ve been quiet is because I have started to get the dreaded ‘bad’ reviews I knew that would eventually come about. I expected bad reviews immediately and was elated into a false sense of security when I started getting 4 & 5 star reviews. Unfortunately, every author has critics. When I first thought about this series and the controversial content I would cover, I knew that there would probably be a lot of people not keen on the concepts in my book.
I wrote about situations that people usually only talk about behind closed doors or in secret. In some instances, especially in towns like Oak Grove, where Broken takes place, controversial issues such as I cover are swept under a rug and not discussed in ‘polite’ company. My goal as an author, in writing my first few books, was to shed light on situations that are usually kept in the dark and the repercussions that those secrets can bring about.
Of course, being from a small town much like Oak Grove in the fictional world of Broken, I was immediately asked by several people if this book was personally about me or my experiences. Being an author, I have a vivid imagination. I can take a seemingly dull situation and make it pop with the right character spin or twist. I have heard rumors that everything that happened in the book is true, that all my characters are based on real people. Not exactly true. As an author, I observe people. People’s quirks stand out to me, as well as their unique traits. For instance, Logan Bellwood, may or may not have been a combination of several personalities of boys that I actually remember from school. That’s the beauty of being an author. You can create fantasy. You can pull people into a different world and make them see that world too.
I haven’t been doing too much advertising lately. I’m sort of gone off the grid and I am valuing my seclusion. There is a real peace about keeping to yourself. I have time to be reflective right now. I will continue to write until I finish the 3rd book and then eventually I will release the 4th book. If my books never get me famous or amount to anything, at least I can say that I wrote them. As one of my critics on Amazon said, “Don’t quit your day job”. I never quit any job. I still work a full-time job, which I enjoy, working on computers every day. It’s my nerd dream job come true! Writing began as a hobby for me. I didn’t think I would become famous overnight, nor did I really want to be famous. I never got that interview published in the local paper and for some reason, that makes me relieved.
All I can say in closing is that never give up on your dreams. If you let what other people think about you, say about you, or feel about you, control your thoughts and actions, you are not an individual anymore. You have become an enslaved zombie for the masses. Be strong and be free. Be creative! Be positive! And stay safe!
Thanks for stopping by and reading my ramblings and musings.