This Writer’s Creative Leap Forward
- in which a mid-list writer takes control of her professional life.
Like many writers who enjoyed a wide and responsive readership during two decades, I was more than crestfallen to discover that I was part of the great mid-list cull of the Noughties. It dawned on me that I had been abandoned for more sensational, genre-distinct and lucrative novelists.
Since then it has taken me a year or so to get my creative breath back. I have used some of this time to learn the process and re-issue some titles from my back-list using the rather magical Kindle and Createspace processes.
The processes proved not to be as complex as brain surgery. Referring to some useful sources. I embarked on republishing some of my early novels. Of course I made some mistakes and corrected them, learning a lot among the way.
As they had been refereed in their original form by skilled major company editors I was quite confident about the interior content of these re-issues. I re-read them, brought the content up to date with some revision, some fresh writing and was happy to re-issue them.
The covers were a bigger problem. Amazon have a whole range of credible template into which you can slot your original design notions. I relished this process and found myself liking the look of these books both in Kindle and paperback. I thought I could tolerate for the time being the fact that they were not quite responsive to the creative stuff that was going comforted myself with the though that my big publishers had whole departments and design experts dealing with this same challenge.
In the meantime – continuing my lifelong creative compulsion to write fiction - I had written this brand new novel about which I was very excited. I passed the manuscript to experienced, informed and insightful acquaintances who offered very positive and constructive commentaries which inspired me to nudge the novel into its very best form.
Inevitably the problem of genre reared its ugly head.
To one very informed commenter I replied: As you know genre was always a bugbear with me. All I ever wanted to do is write novels which are psychologically, emotionally, sociologically and historically ‘true’. Sometimes my novels would indeed fall neatly into the ’saga’ slot ( although they never rigidly adhered to the narrow prescriptions of that form). I always preferred writing about life to writing romance. Other novels meandered away from the strict saga form and would be more readily described as psychological novels, crime novels., domestic dramas etc. (I once made a list under these categories. See HERE) By not repeating the same formula time and again I think I managed to keep my writing and my ideas fresh.
This might mean spitting in the wind of Fifty Shades of Literary Fashion but still I believe in writing novels which reflect and possibly further inspire the complex, authentic lives of many of my readers. I keep the faith with them.
So I have taken a really big breath and decided to take this Independent Publishing bull by the horns. With the creative support of our independent support group Room To Write I have now at last got my new novel Writing at the Maison Bleue to the point of publication. (See sidebar here...)
Hooray! This brand new novel is now available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback version. The paperback will be launched at Lafkadio Hearn Centre in Durham on May 1st. Watch your Inbox for your invitation to the launch…
(NEXT POST: The
creative process of designing of the cover of Writing at the Maison Bleue.)