I’ve done it. Let me rephrase that, I’VE DONE IT!!!
I have written my first full length, honest to goodness, let me beat my chest, novel. Yes I have, I have used 84,000 words and just this morning finished my first full length book.
In case it has not dawned on you just yet, I am ecstatic about it!
Just for the record, I wrote and published and eBook last spring named “Dear Emma.” I am proud of Emma but she is not a novel. She is what is called a novella which means she is too long to be a short story and too short to be a novel. If she was a person, she would be at the awkward age, but being a story, she is at that awkward length. She also helped me develop my courage to actually write a novel. Between you and me, I will always be grateful to Emma.
Did I say it takes courage to write a novel? Well, it does! Why? It’s not because we writers get rejection letters; we expect them. Yes, our egos get bruised when a faceless, sometimes nameless, and most of the time ruthless “tool” from a publishing house tells us we didn’t make the grade. After a few of them, many of us, me included turn to the eBook formula and self-publish.
Here’s where I want to say, “Thank you Amazon and Kindle.”
The way I look at it, every day someone buys their first electronic reader, so my potential audience grows every day.
No, the reason it takes courage to write a novel is because of our friends and family.
Maybe it’s only my friends and my family, but when I told them I was writing a book, they informed me I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t do it because:
“You don’t read enough. All writers read!”
“You read too much. You’re just wasting time.”
“You didn’t go far enough in school. You didn’t study writing.”
“You went too far in school. Your style is too controlled and mechanical.”
“Nobody will read it. What have you got to say?”
“How long is a novel? You’ll never finish; why you don’t even write letters.”
Through all the support, because none of them wanted to see me get hurt, I kept writing and kept telling myself “I can do this!” Then, after Emma came along, she was there with me saying, “Hey you wrote me; you can go longer.”
Well, we did go longer and we got it done.
Now, I hear, “What’s it about?” “What kind of story is it?”
I answer them all the same; it is my submission for the next “great American novel.”
Tongue in cheek? Maybe, but consider the following:
The story is set in Chicago and is there a more American city then the “Windy City?” It’s called the city of broad shoulders, because of its work ethic. Hard work is as American as it can get.
It’s a story with adventure! Who else, besides Americans, went to the moon? We can’t be more adventurous than that.
(RIP Neil Armstrong)
It’s a romance story. Americans coined the term “chick flicks” we’re so romantic.
My story honors motherhood, it has a couple of slices apple pie in it and a twist of science fiction is added.
With all of this, the biggest reason it should be given consideration to be the next great American novel is that it has baseball in it! It has the Chicago Cubs in it!
I can only think of one area where my story is weak and may not be granted the coveted top spot as the next great American novel, it doesn’t have a boy and his dog. I tried to put them in but they just kept getting in the way; had to send them packing.
I don’t know if this will help sway the judges, but while there are no boys with dogs in the story, I have dogs and their names are Peanut Butter and Jelly. That should count for something.
I feel obligated to say “thank you” to a man who doesn’t even know me and yet he has been steadfast in his support. He is the New York Times best-selling writer John Locke. I am a fan of his books and I am a disciple of his marketing ideas. Thank you John.
For truth in advertising and clarification, I have to tell you that my family and friends have been supportive, constructive and caring throughout the writing of this book. Many of them allowed me to use them as sounding boards while I read to them and re-read to them sections trying to get them “right.”
To each and every one of you, thank you.
So, take a chance. I’m a new author with a new book and it’s made in America.
If you have ever been in love, if you have ever wanted to be in love, or if you have ever lost your love, you will love this story.