As far as years go, I’ve had better, but there were some very wonderful aspects of the past year that I would like to mention.
I began reviewing for the Pod People a little over a year ago, shortly after one of my own books received a favourable review. My intent was to help other Indie authors by giving them the honest critique I always hope for with my own work. I have professional editing skills, twenty-five years of literary study, not to mention the thousands of books I have read, so I thought I would put my skills out there for the greater good. It’s been a great year, and I have read many splendid Indie Books. I hope to continue with the Pod People for as long as Emily and Chris are into it. I will also continue to review mainstream books independently with Amazon and with Breeni Books, so you can catch me there as well.
As far as my own writing … well, I hit a little bit of a bump in the road in the beginning of the year and had to take a step back and seriously consider my motivations. Writing and Literature have been life long loves for me, and I am and have always been in it for the art of it. Career writing was nowhere on my to-do list. Lulu was a wonderful resource and venue at first, but I quickly became dissatisfied as I came to realize that Lulu was just not the place for me to flex my rather dark creative muscles. Changes in their policies prohibited me from listing my work as general access, costs were prohibitive, and quality had begun to slip. I needed a new business model.
So, as many know, I took a year off, a hiatus/retirement if you will, while I sorted through the static. There was a lot of static, personal and otherwise, but at the end of it all, I came back with a clearer understanding of my intent. I write novellas, dark disturbing novellas, not for the squeamish or faint of heart. I wanted all the control when it came to that, and of course, I want people to read the work, so I needed to be able to make it affordable for the reader willing to take a chance on me. With Lulu, I just couldn’t do that nor could I get the quality of product I was seeking for the money invested. I pulled all my work out of print in January and left Lulu behind. Now at the end of 2008, I have a new plan.
So, as far as resolutions go … 2009 is all about the work. Kissing Room is already back out for sale on Amazon with exceptional quality, and my goal for the new year is to get all my other work reformatted, reedited, expanded, and back out in print. During my hiatus, I spent a great deal of time writing essays, poetry, existential/philosophical short stories, and some of that will appear in a compilation I have planned for 2010.
So, I want to wish all the Indie authors out there much luck in the new year. Don’t compromise, always work to improve, re-evaluate your goals often, look at all your options, seek constructive criticism, and don’t be afraid to change course. Last but not least, be daring, be bold, be inventive, write what you want to write, write the stories that move your soul. Those are always the best.
So, Happy New Year to All. Maybe Emily and Chris will post a New Year blurb of their own to let us all know what’s up with them for the coming year. Time to party and get my freak on.
Cheryl Anne Gardner