“Going places, aren’t you?” one of my friends wrote on my facebook wall. As I’m one who tends to downplay things, I first wanted to say something along the lines of ‘not sure yet’, and then I stopped myself, and said “Thank you” instead.
Sometimes I forget that I’ve only been playing the publishing game for 18 months or so. And that’s just for short stories in anthologies and magazines, not even just publishing my own work. I’ve only had my solo work out there for about six months, and that’s when my life started to change.
People now see ‘me’. It’s scary, but also a good thing. And so far I’ve been very lucky… or maybe it’s just the hard work I’ve been doing. Like I said, I find it hard not to downplay things.
Coyote came out late July, and she’s already won an award for best Western of 2013. When I first heard it I thought “That’s cute”, and didn’t think much of it. Then we got an invitation to the award ceremony in Florida, and I heard that the organization who gave me the prize had a magazine and a lot of followers in different places. I was a little stunned that I got chosen as a newbie.
Yesterday I found out that my horror collection (which came out on Halloween last years) got onto the preliminary ballot for the Bram Stoker awards.
I told myself not to get too excited. After all, it’s not a nomination yet, so it ‘doesn’t really count’. But this morning I thought: “Damnit, I *am* excited about this. Even if it’s just the preliminary ballot, there were people who thought my work worthy to vote for.”
And being a part of this already worked in my favor. People went out of their way to tell me they liked my work, and some even read my other novel ‘Coyote’ because of it. I met other very talented writers and made some great friendships. Suddenly I feel less ‘invisible’, and again my work is well received.
Deeply Twisted has been getting some love from bloggers too, which I adore. There is nothing like reading the reviews of total strangers who love your work (especially if you find out those strangers are critical)
I’d say I’m not doing too shabby for a new writer, and I would like to think I’m ‘up and coming’.
And of course my first book got into an actual bookshop, and quite a respected one at that. In fact the bookshop that's meant a lot to me since my teen years. It was a proud moment to see my own book on the shelves.
So maybe it’s time to stop downplaying what I’ve achieved, and just enjoy it without feeling shame, or arrogant?