Have you ever wondered what it would be like to become successful at something, for people to love, want, need something you offer? As an author who spends most of her free time writing Young Adult fantasy, it is something I think about every day. Will my novel IN THE SHADOW OF THE DRAGON KING, be something young readers will want to read? Will it be something anyone will want to read?
I think authors probably top the list as the most insecure artists out there. We’re certainly the most unrecognized, which is probably a good thing because who wants to go into a Piggly Wiggly and be mobbed by the paparazzi while you squeeze the lemons? On the other hand, if the paparazzi is following you around, that means people want more of you. It’s not enough you gave them a great book that may have taken years off your life. Your fans want your body. Your soul. The napkin you used to wipe your mouth.
But how do you create this desire? This hunger? This need?
Bottom line: I haven’t a clue, though I believe it is all in the timing, and being in the right place at the right time, with the stars aligned perfectly, and I’m sure the moon rising in Venus has something to do with it.
I’ve seen very talented and wonderful people spend $$ on seminars and books. They take classes on marketing. They step out of their comfort zone and make themselves vulnerable to the ravenous public, to an ever-watchful boss, but nothing happens. They are skipped over. Then, someone comes along with a product that sometimes appears to be less inferior, and voila, they have a following, a ravenous crowd, a praising boss who wants more, more, more.
In the case of books, remember the Twilight series? How many critics, professional or not, ridiculed these novels, saying how awful they were? Guess what? Stephenie Meyer laughed all the way to the bank and the franchise is still growing. Look at the newest sensation: Fifty Shades of Grey. I can’t even read these books all the way through because Christian Grey creeps me out. He’s a stalker, a sado-masochist. He’s everything a man should not be towards a woman and yet his and Ana’s story is so dreamy. I shake my head in confusion, yet the author is in the ‘laughing to the bank’ club, while so many other authors with much better books, more positive stories, struggle to get anyone to notice.
I looked for similarities between the two authors, Meyers and E.L. James, and couldn’t find anything remotely the same as it relates to marketing, EXCEPT that E.L. James began writing 50 Shades as fan fiction based on the Twilight series. She developed a following and now she’s a gazillionaire and people are swooning to see a film about a rich, good-looking guy who stalks naive, insecure virgins. Prior to Ms. Meyers hitting it big, she was really quite obscure, a woman who had a story inside of her that needed to be written.
But there are many authors like her, including myself, who have stories inside that need to be written. How do some get the accolades, all the attention, while the majority do not? How does one amazing singer get passed over for another? What is it about that person at work who always seems to capture the awards and the atta boys, while others work just as hard and sometimes contribute even more, and don’t even get a good-morning?
I don’t have the answers. All I know is we just need to strive to be the best we can be to ourselves. We must be true to ourselves and not compromise our integrity, our beliefs, our morals just to have a brief moment in the spotlight. At the end of the day, we have to look in that mirror and like the image we see staring back at us … and hope someday, someone will notice us for all we’ve done, for all we’ve accomplished, for all our dedication and committment. Then, maybe we’ll, too, land smack-dab in the sweetness (or at the very least we’ll get a taste), and be a part of the ‘laughing to the bank’ club, even if it’s just one trip.
It is what dreams are made of, you know.
IN THE SHADOW OF THE DRAGON KING coming Spring 2016