This year on Fantasy Fun Reads I will be featuring various writers in different stages of their author journey talking about the whole writing business. Today I am pleased to host a guest post from Jennifer Zamboni. Jennifer is working on that debut novel and doing all the right things that I wished I had done more of when I published my first book. She is making friends in the author and reader community, networking, participating in writing discussions, and of course, reading!
I am a lover of books. I love the look of them on my shelf, the feel of them in my hands. I’ve learned to love the ease and convenience of e-readers.
Early on in elementary school I was in a title one reading class, because I wasn’t keeping up with my peers. After three years, I caught up. After that, I was addicted.
I started so many novels, then got distracted by other ideas, and life in general. When I hit high school, I got more serious about my writing. I delved deep into a sword and sorcery style fantasy, entirely hand written in a large binder.
I wrote by the seat of my pants, with notes in the margins to keep me on track. At 19 I completed my first ever first draft. I polished it to the best of my abilities (which weren’t as awesome as I thought they were), and started querying agents.
In the mean time, I started penning a sequel, this time on my brand new lap top.
After receiving a few rejections, all form letters, I went back and read back through my manuscript one more time. I made a startling discovery: My writing was crap. Well, at least my editing skills were.
I put that manuscript on a shelf. I’ve read through it a couple of times. I love the story, I love the characters, but the words on the page need more than love.
Enter National Novel Writing Month. I meticulously planned and plotted another fantasy novel. I finished it, I love it, but it still wasn’t “the one.”
When I discovered Urban Fantasy, a switched flipped in my head, and lit up my world. This was it, this was what I am supposed to write.
I wrote a rough draft. I went on to another book, but that first one stuck with me, and I’ve gone back to it. This time, I’m better armed. I’m reeducating myself on grammar (a continual process for me), and networking, and reading.
It’s a slow process. I’m not sitting in a quiet room with a notebook anymore. I’m a stay-at-home mom of two toddlers. I’m exhausted, but I can’t stop writing. I’m doing edit after edit. I’m hoping this will be the year, maybe even the spring, I’ll send it off to beta readers, and editors. I can hire a cover artist!
Hopefully soon, I’ll hold my book in my hands, put it into the hands of others, and wait with baited breath to see if it’s really as good as I feel it is.
On that day, every book I’ve ever read, every connection I’ve made in the last couple of years, will be there with me, cheering me on.
Read. Read a lot. Write and write some more. Edit, and edit again. And while you’re doing that, reach out to others, and they’ll be there for you too.