#PublishingTheAlpha’sDream

A month ago, I published for the first time ever under my own name. I’m still freaking out about it.

I’ve mentioned before, this isn’t my first published work. The thing is, it’s very different publishing under a pseudonym or as part of a collaborative work. Taking ownership of my words is something I’ve always struggled with, and thus The Alpha’s Dream is no small creation for me.

There are tons of things I learned on the road to writing it, but what I want to discuss today is what I’ve learned from dreaming it period. Here are five things wanting The Alpha’s Dream has taught me.

 

Career changes are risky.  

When I first decided to write The Alpha’s Dream there were only two things of which I was certain. I wanted a career from writing my own books and I would have to cut back on my ghostwriting.  That great book you love, it took hella long hours to write. There was no way I was going to be able to keep the pace of my ghostwriting and add in the creation of my own original work. I had to cut back my hours, which translated into missed income from my home. At the time, I had two littles and had just discovered my third pregnancy. I wanted to put it off longer. Collecting great premises that I would one day flesh into novellas or novels had become a hobby of sorts. After weeks of quietly deliberating, I talked to my husband. His response was for me to go for it. We would restructure and figure out how to make it. I was terrified anyway and rightfully so. Our budget was already stretched to it’s seam, but then the first certainty kicked in. I knew I wanted to publish my own work, and there was only one way to get there. I would have to take the chance and pull away from creating for others to build the life I wanted for myself. I had to face the risk of it, or I would never know what could come of it. Thus, the Year of the Leap was born. 

Plan. Execute. Repeat.

I have limited time. Balancing wifehood, motherhood, and writing full time leaves me short of hours. If I was goin to do this I would need to be sure from the beginning. I took a couple of weeks to determine what premise I would use for my first release, then the plotting, and writing came. I’m more of a write-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of girl (pantser) but I couldn’t afford the writers block I inevitably end up with when I do that. I had to make the hours count. So I took the time to research the best outline methods and crafted one that worked with my writing style. Then, I went to work. Executing is by far the hardest part of this process. There were times I would fall asleep at the keyboard, or scrap an entire chapter. There were also moments when I doubted I’d find my idea market and question whether the work would sell. Ultimately, I just had to get up everyday knowing I am an author working on her latest release and see it through. Not always fun, but worth it now.

Have faith or fear, but not both.

I am naturally a worse case scenario person. I have a hard time visualizing success, and am actively working to change that about myself. The base for my doubt is always fear, and I couldn’t afford to e afraid any longer. I was taking the biggest risk of my life, with the oldest dream of my heart. I had to pick faith in my God, my work, and myself over the fear. Fear is a powerful emotion. Faith is a strong counterattack. I’m still learning to shift my focus. It has been important to me that I don’t inflate with hyper positive but unsubstantiated ideas. Instead, I honor that I have to work hard by giving voice being uncertain there will be a payoff. I have faith that with every published work, I will build and grow a little more. That is what I hold on to when things are murky. It is a work in progress.

Find your market, or be fearless in creating one.

Initially, I wasn’t sure there was a market for shifter romances with both hero and heroine as African-Americans. The norm seemed to show a comfort level for BW heroes and WM shifters as well as Caucasian hero’s and heroines. I knew I wasn’t the only brown woman who loved shifter romances, but there didn’t seem to be a recognizable market. I searched for months and didn’t find anything. There was more doubt, more fear that the risk I was taking was not going to work. After a while, it didn’t matter that I didn’t see the market. I saw the characters, and their stories. I believed that would be enough to attract readers, even if they were checking out shifter romances for the first time.  I found my niche and I am working it like it has been heavily established. I am a reader of the books I write. I am my own market. As it turns out, so are you.

You don’t have time to wait for the “perfect time”.

The time you are in is always the perfect time. Don’t get me wrong. There is an ideal setting in which i would have liked to start writing. Ideally, we would have been financially sure from other endeavors. The market would be fairly established and my darlings would have a lovely routine that allowed them not to miss me when I was writing. Suffice to say I am still working on that part of the dream.  I had to come to terms with the fact that I would have to make time, I would have to have faith, and just start. Start. I couldn’t spend anymore years waiting for my ideal scenario to make it easy for me to pursue my dreams. I had to begin right in the thick of my uncertainty. I had to start where I was and hold steady until something great happened. It is happening now.

As I celebrate The Alpha’s Dream very cute and meaningful milestone, I am happy that I took the chances I did. I’ve learned a lot, grown a lot, and produced a work I love because of it.  There will only be more from here.

Comment below with your thoughts on The Alpha’s Dream.

Joy.

 

 

#WIP Status Report: The Alpha Dream

If you’ve been following along, you’ve noticed that I’ve finally printed for edits my debut novella. It even has a name, The Alpha Dream or The Alpha’s Dream. I don’t know which one will show up on the cover yet, but you get the idea.

As we speak, I’m taking a break from procrastinating on my edits. Here’s the part where I confess it is because I’m kinda scared of all the chopping I’m going to have to do. There are a few plot holes I have to fill and a few choppy sections that I have to smooth. However, I’m up to the challenge.

Hopefully.

I can’t tell you much without feeling like I’ll be giving it all away. Suffice to say, that my characters are two transplant professionals who take a leap of faith right into each others arms. Yeah…right after they find every decent reason to run screaming in the wrong direction. A turn of events neither of them are sure they are ready to face forces them to confront the issues holding them back. It’s a total disaster…until it isn’t.

My debut hits close to home on a few fronts. It’s based in New Orleans, because I’m a Louisiana girl. New Orleans has always been an amalgamation of transplants and natives for me. It makes a lovely setting for a romance.  Louisiana is the perfect location for all things Shifter. I love when a setting comes together. Don’t you?

It’s hard for me to draw you in without giving you all the juicy details. Honestly, it feels kind of selfish to dangled them over your head. You’ll forgive me when you get the chance to read it. I’m sure of it. 🙂

In the meantime, I can tell you that the biggest hurdle for me was getting it to this point. The initial finish is always the hard part for me. Now, I have to get down to business. The baby-will-be-here countdown is t-minus four months. That’s like two weeks in pregnancy urgency time. I still have a few other books to get written and under my belt before the little love makes it here. Because what being a mother of two has taught me is that I am useless after birth. All I want to do is sleep and nurse my child. In addition to being a mama and eating all the junk food because I’m constantly starving.

In other words, I won’t be writing immediately after baby is born. So, I have to get it done now.

In the coming weeks, I will be posting snippets on my Instagram, twitter, and Facebook. Maybe even one or two will suddenly appear here. Who knows?!? I might get a little spontaneous.

I’ll also be looking for a slew of readers, bloggers, and book lovers to receive a free copy in exchange for an honest review on Amazon and Goodreads.  I’ll give you more details on that when I’m ready to dish it out. I can’t wait to share this with you. Save the date. #April 23rd, 2017. I can’t wait to see you there. Leave a comment on how you’d like to be charmed into reading my debut!

Joy.