This Indie Author Life

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This Indie Author Life

This indie author thing started with great expectations. Not as in the classic novel but in how many of us approach life. Whether considering higher education, changing from a dead-end job to a career, or looking for new love, one can easily weave a tale about how it will look. You envision straight A’s on your report card. Fat salary raises every three months and a partner who hangs on your every word and action. He probably never leaves his socks on the floor, and she likely finds wearing clothing around you restrictive.

I'm no exception.


I'm no exception. I'm naked right now. Kidding! That's a joke. I'm wearing a cashmere blend sweater and denim jeans with my indoor slippers. What I mean is I'm no exception to telling myself stories of a grand "someday."


After I wrote the last two words of Trail of the Heart (Spoiler alert: The and End), I fully expected the masses to storm my front door. I'd be casually going about my day, stepping out for a dog walk or errand, and mobs of fans would be holding up signs, chanting" Woo hoo," "Wow," or some other spectacular "W" word to get my attention. They knew I'd just written the most remarkable romantic tale since Romeo and Juliet without all the depressing details.

None of that happened. My life was the same as always. The same face stared back at me in the mirror as I brushed my teeth. My husband never once asked for my autograph. And my pets still expected the same 5-star treatment to which they’d grown accustomed.


So now what?

So what now? All this work and effort and all I had to show for it was a computer document with around 60,000 words and a fantasy that would occasionally insist I at least peek out the window and look for one or two people interested in a good book. I earned that much, right?

What is every writer’s wish? To be traditionally published. Daunting, yes, but clearly, the logical next step. Too bad I forgot that Satan never stops creating new versions of hell, and the process of rating as enough for agents and publishing houses is one he considers a masterpiece.


But dreams die hard, and I’m not afraid to work. I compiled a list of every agent who represented romance writers. I wrote the best submission letters within my capability. I worked and reworked my summary, removing excess words and phrases without losing context. (Agents are busy. Don’t waste their time.) I ensured the first few chapters of my stories were engaging and edited well. Finally, the day had come. I was ready to flood email boxes with my request. “Please, God, take me on!” Okay, so It was more nuanced than that, but you get the gist.


Responses came almost immediately. My heart raced. My breaths quickened, and my belly twisted as my index finger hovered over the “open email” key. I hit the button, and one after the other, the response looked similar to this:

No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No.

No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No.

No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No.

Dead end after dead end, sending me back to square one. I didn’t regret the toil without harvest because when we don’t try, we can never get a “yes.” Yet, sadly sometimes, when we do try, our ego takes a beating. Life doles out the lessons we need for the life we choose, and rejection is only a stepping stone.


What's a Luddite to do?

This is a new world, and there are many tools we can use as a workaround., mainly the internet. Sounds good, unless you’d spent the previous decade-plus existing in your own insulated world, surrounded mainly by four-legged friends and the great outdoors. I lived in the natural world while the other humans on the planet had entered this virtual one. As a Luddite, I had no choice but to dive into the abyss, a sea of unknowns.


If I had to do it alone, you wouldn’t be here reading because this blog post wouldn’t exist. I may not have an agent to advocate for me, but I can do that myself. I don’t have a publishing house behind me. Still, I have exemplary professionals on my side, namely my graphic designer, Jamie Ross of Fat Cat Design, and my editor, Stephanie Blackman of Riverhaven Books. I’m not in any bookstores (yet) or libraries, but my sister sells them in her gift shop at the Inn at Ellis River in New Hampshire, and Amazon is where most people purchase paperbacks these days. When you add in the friends and relatives who support me in too many ways to list, it’s apparent that though my dreams may not be traditionally fulfilled, indie-filled is still full.



Be well,



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