Today I am pleased to be hosting J.C. Owens for our first stop on the GRL Blog Tour! Welcome J.C.!
Last year destroyed my confidence with the varying difficulties regarding publishers folding, and then a very large third party seller (how’s that for diplomatic?). By the end of it, I was burned so badly that I seriously considered giving up entirely. I could not see what the purpose was, of letting others profit by my creations, and receiving such negative experiences in return.
My first ebook was published back in 2009, and it seems like eons ago. Things were bright then, the industry relatively new and full of promise. 2016 wore me down with the absolute idiocy and greed that characterized the year. For the first time, my dream of being a published author was seeming more like a nightmare. There were many, many others in the same boat, some having been robbed far worse than I. Listening to other people’s stories saddened me, made me question why I was continuing.
If my creations are simply being used to pad other people’s pockets, then it seemed foolish to give them my work.
And yet, I have had so many good people over the years that have encouraged me and told me how much they enjoyed my stories. That is the silver lining in this whole thing, but, for a while, the feeling of disbelief and betrayal was overwhelming everything else. We, as authors, along with the honest publishers, trusted these people. Put our creations in their hands with the belief of basic decency and morals.
And this is what we got back…
As I have noted on my site, this time has been both a blessing and a curse. Watching events unfold, and hearing so many horror stories from readers, authors and publishers over what could be termed a moral and financial collapse, it made me sit back and take stock of things. Of what had happened, how I felt about continuing in this ebook industry, where it is all too easy for sales numbers to be fudged. I think there needs to be more accountability, in my humble opinion.
But beyond that, it brought me in a circle, back to where I started writing and why. I wrote because I always had, even as a child. It is as natural to me as breathing and as important to my well being. It has empowered me, in shedding harmful emotions through the magic of words, to create worlds and characters who went through terrible things, and yet, came out the other side triumphant, battered, bruised but with hope.
If that is me, then I cannot let these recent events destroy what I do, how I express myself. Writing is not a job to me, it IS me. Therefore, to let others take that away is pure foolishness. I am stronger than that.
The blessing is that I have heard so many comments from readers, who have taken the time to let me know they support me, that they enjoy the stories and it gives them pleasure. If this had not happened, would I have realized that to this extent?
So a silver lining brings me back to why I write. I love reading about characters who go through terrible things and come out the other side, and it was hard to find stories that went deep enough in emotional darkness to suit me. So I wrote stories involving such things, and found others who loved what I did. I could share and it was wonderful in a way I had never encountered before. I love to see people truly “get” what I am writing about.
And it is those people who have sent such kind and total support.
In light of that, how can I quit? I have to go back to my roots and remember why I am writing at all.
Strange, that today, after realizing all this, I have written non-stop, my muse up and running in full force.
Perhaps that was what this mess was meant for.
Thank you to all those lovely souls who wrote to me, both privately and on my blog. Your comments were taken to heart. Any future works are dedicated to all of you.
In line with this new, determined me, this year, I am going to attend GayRomLit in Denver to meet other authors in the genre. Scared to death, but eager to be at a venue that understands what we do!!!
It sounds awesome, and I hope to meet some of my readers there!
GayRomLit is an annual retreat that brings together the people who create and celebrate LGBT romance for a one-of-a-kind, must-attend gathering of dynamic, informal, and diverse fun.
Each year, the retreat rotates to a new city and hosts tons of events from raucous parties to mellow tête á têtes while still maintaining a spirit of familiarity. GRL is the place to connect with old friends, find family you didn’t know you had, and meet with both newly published and established authors in the gay romance genre.
This year’s retreat will be held in Denver, Colorado on October 19-22, 2017 at the Denver Marriott Tech Center.
For more information or to register, please visit our website: http://gayromlit.com/