Yesterday was nerve-racking, but fantastic! For the live interview with Emma Griffiths, see the link below. It starts a few minutes in :) Thank you so much to the ABC for the opportunity to do the interview!
This week has been messy, but incredible. So many fantastic things have happened this week, but I feel like an imposter. I've aimed high with some of my marketing ideas for Vault of Verona, and when someone emails or messages you back who you think would have no idea you even exist, it's a very surreal moment. I almost thing of replying with "are you sure you've got the right person?"
The generosity and kindness of people is astounding, and the support from people who don't know you from a pumpkin is amazing. They have absolutely no incentive to help me get the book out there further, yet they do. The ideas, suggestions, invitations and offers cannot be described, and make me feel like the luckiest person on earth. Vault of Verona will be officially launched on 2 December at the Caboolture Public Library, and a book signing will be held on 9 December at the Bribie Island Library. Thank you so much to the Moreton Bay Regional Council (Library Division) for your professionalism, enthusiasm and support of local creators.
I love writing, and part of me wishes that I'd written the book earlier. But at the same time, I wasn't ready. I wasn't ready for rejection. I wasn't ready to create the story that really needed to be told, and any psychologist who reads Vault of Verona and knows me will see some parallels! Some of the deeper meaning of the Into the Abyss series is starting to be identified, and I am so thrilled.
I have several amazing announcements up my sleeve, but I'm waiting for them to be set in concrete before I release them to the world! In the meantime, it's been a great week for the Lit Factory with the introduction of Jessica Davidson to the tutoring team and the addition of two workshops for the upcoming holidays.
Finally, thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to everyone who supports me and my family, and who help make it all work. Some illnesses among our support network this week have made it clear that we depend on you all so much, and we're so lucky to have you in our lives.
It's been one of those weeks...you know the ones. They're massive, they're messy, they're the get through it one day at a time type. Everything seems to skid out of control and events move faster than you can keep up with.
But that also means that wonderful things are happening. It's been such a wonderful week, for both me as an author and the tutoring and literacy work I do with local students. The Lit Factory creative writing competition is heating up, and the Creative Writing Course that I am co-hosting with Jessica Davidson is now THIS MONTH. Crazy! Any Bribie locals or those who can get here, I'd encourage you to get on board with this one. It's going to be a cracker.
I had some wonderful kiddies come and pose for me for the local paper...unfortunately, most of my students were doing their normal Wednesday afternoon routines (some are unfortunately ill too) and couldn't make it to the shoot on very short notice, but I know they'd be just as excited as these guys were if they could have been there.
Friday morning started with a text my from Dad, pointing out my mug in the top left corner of the local newspaper. I was really happy to see the enthusiasm from the local paper about what we do with the Lit Factory, and to welcome a new tutor into the Lit Factory network in the same week. We have a trifecta of announcements, but I'm saving the third for a few days while I get my ducks all lined up.
In the meantime, I'm planning on enjoying some writing time this weekend - I need my happy place. Can anyone order in some rain for me? That would be wonderful! Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful days out there: may you be spoiled with all the socks and jocks your loved ones can supply!
Awesome question by Sarah from Qld! The video link is below:
Essentially, definitely telling people. Quite frankly, I'm not all that great at marketing. The idea of putting a part of my soul out there, in the big bad world, for public dissection is terrifying. And then actively choosing to tell people...nope! Total chicken!
I actually told very few people when I started writing the book - in fact, only my husband knew. When I knew I had something to work with, and I was pretty confident I was going to finish it, my closest friends knew about it.
When it was done, the first people to read it were my sisters-in-law and my parents. My Dad is a particularly avid reader, and I guess my love of reading comes from him. Vault of Verona isn't his usual crime thriller, but I guess he has to love me, right?! He enjoyed the story, and alongside my sister in law and close friend (and of course my husband) they supported me and pushed for me to get the story out there. I got the courage to take the final leap of faith and publish.
And man am I glad that I did. It's only been 6 weeks since VoV was first released, and it's been a crazy ride already. I can't wait to see what the next six months brings. I have to thank the amazing people around me, professionally in my teaching career, who have taken a very reluctant writer and dragged her into the spotlight, sometimes kicking and screaming. Most people would have walked away and put it in the too hard basket, but your persistence has taught me that I can do this, and if it sometimes makes my heart pound and my hands sweaty, well hey, I'm doing life right.
Hayley from Qld asked the question: 'what inspired you to write Vault of Verona. Here's the answer! (See the link for the video, it's too large for this site)
I was inspired to write VoV when I was doing essentially the same thing with my Year 10 English class last year. I had a lovely, small class of kids who weren't as engaged in English as they possibly could be. Still gorgeous to teach!
One of my girls (I only had two!) I sat with, and went over and over all of the ideas that she could use to fracture Romeo and Juliet. I guess I was a bit enthusiastic, because after a while she turned to me and said, 'You're really good at this, why don't you write it yourself?'
So I did. The ideas kept coming and that scenario inspired me - not just to write this story, but to show her that women can and do write amazing stories about amazing female characters, despite the times they might be living in.
You will have seen that my last post was about the sting of rejection. I have to say, getting those feelings out was cathartic.
It also allowed me to appreciate the positives so much more. The quick turnaround of luck - really, it can swing either way from day to day! The last two days have been fantastic, full of opportunities to promote Into the Abyss, wonderful feedback from readers and a review that I think I'll print and keep forever, looking back on it whenever I feel like I'm not enough.
So to everyone who has been part of that turnaround, thank you from the bottom of my heart. xx
We've all been there before. The dreaded rejection phone call after a job interview. The letter to say your application has been declined. The email to say you just aren't what someone is looking for.
Sometimes it can be hard to keep your chin up when rejections come rolling in. What's wrong with me? Why don't they like my work? What do I have to do to be better? The answer is nothing - you are perfect just as you are. But sometimes we need someone else to tell us that. Our brains are funny things, they're always ready to believe the worst about ourselves, often even when others aren't.
I published my own book, and I'm so proud of it. It took me some time to reach that position, though. Self-publishing was an enormous amount of work, worrying, sweat and tears, and a gigantic leap of faith, but it's done and I've achieved something I never thought I would. I worried and wondered whether publishing on my own would make me 'less' than someone who was selected by a traditional publisher. I worried that I wouldn't be taken as seriously, that my book wouldn't be as successful.
But having spent some time on this ride, I don't think that's necessarily true. I think it's what you make of it, and what you take out of it. It's about the support - every single person who supports you, whether it's because they already love you, or because they like the idea of what you've created. It's about hard work and keeping a smile on your face when you can feel the pit of your stomach in your throat and you just want to bury your face in your hands and cry.
Just because I published myself doesn't mean I'm immune from hurt. I can't access the bigger distributers and book retailers as a little fish, and that can be frustrating at times. I still get rejections - from distributors, from suppliers and so on. Just because I don't have a big name publisher doesn't mean I'm immune from rejection. I just have to choose to focus on the people who do want to stock my work.
And then, of course, there are the opinions of the people who read my book (which is a little like placing a big piece of your soul on display, naked for everyone to see and comment on - it's hell terrifying). I'm sure there will come a day when someone simply doesn't like what I've created. And you know what...that's okay. Sometimes we aren't what someone is looking for, or what they wanted at that point in time. But that doesn't make us any less awesome for it. It might take some time to get to that level of zen with the universe, but perseverance will get me there.
So to anyone who has experienced rejection recently and is feeling the sting of it, please consider this - we all fail, we all feel and we all grow as people from it. Embrace the bad feelings and use them to make yourself a stronger, more resilient version of you. Love who you are and what you can do, and others will appreciate the light that you have.
PS Feel free to comment below, tell me what you think or feel - when have you felt rejected and what did you do? Did you get over it, or did it fester?
I am THRILLED to be involved with the inaugural Lit Factory Creative Writing Competition for 2017. If you are an aspiring author, or you know someone who is, we are looking for stories that have great characters!
See www.theliteraturefactory.com.au/competition for more details and to enter! Competition closes 1 December 2017
Congratulations Lynne! You've won a signed copy of Into the Abyss: Vault of Verona, simply by liking and sharing a post and following Marissa Price - Author on Facebook!
A huge thank you to everyone who participated in the competition, including the hundreds of people who liked the comp posts, but didn't follow the social media pages. Oops! Never mind!
I can't wait to see how you react to VoV, Lynne! For everyone else who doesn't yet have a copy, go through www.theliteraturefactory.com.au to use credit card facilities, or through the shop on this page to purchase your book!