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Where it all Began

October 24, 2016

You know how you're in a group setting with other couples and all of a sudden the conversation turns to the 'how did you two meet' question? I'm not married, so I generally only get asked that question by strangers when I'm out somewhere with my brother. The best reply I've heard was the guy who said 'I guess it was an early meeting' when I explained we were siblings. Yep, that's true. I was not quite three when he was born, so we've known each other for a long time. Don't get me started about how awkward it is when people ask us if we have kids. Um, just the 4-legged kind, but most people call those type of kids goats. 

Anyhow, I digress.

Sometimes I wonder how certain authors get their ideas for stories. For me, that's a very diverse process because I can get ideas pretty much anywhere. I thought I'd share how my first novel, In Search of Truth, came to be. 

It was actually a school project. No, really. 

I believe it was for grade 9 or 10, but it could've been as late as grade 11. 

See, I was homeschooled and did a lot of the typical A Beka curriculum, and Saxon, along with stuff like Jensen's grammar. Jensen's isn't bad, but it's a little too technical for my disorganized little brain to enjoy. I did really like Writesource 2000, mainly because the cartoons were funny, though there is a ton of good stuff in that book. That being said, my very favourite high school project was the novel writing book. Now, if I could remember where the book is, and what it was actually called, I could do the writer a lot of favours right now. I'm sure it's still somewhere here in the house, and if I find it, I'll write about it, but for now I'll just have to tell you that it was white and blue and kinda in a workbook type format. 

The point of the book was to get highschool students to write an entire novel, and learn about the writing process in the process (Process, process, now there's an interesting English language phrase). Basically, you brainstormed your book, wrote the rough draft, then learned the editing and publishing process. Good times. 

You're probably guessing that In Search of Truth was the book I wrote for this course and you would be correct. I also considered a couple of other options, because that was also part of the program, but IST was the story that stuck for me. 

I wrote it by hand, then typed it, and the story you see today is quite a bit different from the original. My first idea was to arrange for Jason to arrive on the bus in a sport coat and shiny shoes, but I realized as I began to develop the story that he could never develop into the character I wanted him to be with that kind of start. I also at one point had Alicia come to the ranch to try to get him back, but realized that was way too cliche and over dramatic, so she got deleted, except for her important appearance at the beginning of the book. 

When I finished the book, I did make a few attempts to traditionally publish it. At first I was accepted into a publisher called Publish America, but I had a funny feeling about it and declined. I later found out they really aren't that reputable of an organization. I also queried a few other places, but ultimately decided that since I don't write in an exact genre, that traditional publishing was going to be really difficult. I went to Amazon KDP instead. At first, my very bad cover and lack of promotion net me exactly 0 sales. For two years. Or maybe even three. Then I started writing Married for Jeremy, and decided that I needed to learn everything there was to know about e book publishing. I wish I would've done that sooner and got my foot in the door when the market was less saturated those years back, but the great thing about the internet is that it's open to everyone, and we all have a chance to make our mark. 

 

 

IST doesn't sell as well as the DCFD series. I have two ideas as to why that is. One is that while I absolutely love the cover, it might not portray exactly what the book is about as well as it should. I'm considering changing it at least temporarily for an experiment. Reason two, which I think is even more likely, is that it's the only book currently in it's series. Writing a series seems to be the simplest, and most successful method for promoting a book. I regularly see sales bumps in one of the DCFD books. Like one day Married for Jeremy will sell, then a few days later, Protecting the Covenant, etc. It makes me think that one reader is actually making their way through all the available books which makes me happy. 

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