In fact, it was the most pleasant surprise I could have possibly imagined and I am enchantedly happy for its unexpected results.
This week’s YA Indie Carnival poses the question, “What has been your biggest Indie surprise?”
Walking into the realm of Young Adult was more than a little exciting and only slightly less than a lot of scary. I was trudging through the final revisions of The Understorey with little to no idea of what exactly I was supposed to do with it. Granted, I’d read every agent blog imaginable, followed a few of my favorite authors, that included a list of Indie’s as long as the ocean is wide and was still incredibly naive to the inner workings of the industry.
I told myself to dive in. I steadied my footing on the side of that jagged cliff and disappeared into the unknown. It was exhilarating, the wind whipping through my hair, the salty air biting at my skin. I readied myself for an invigorating swim but got something else entirely. I wasn’t prepared for the depth or the chilling temperatures. The instant shock of it all had me scrambling for one of those ridiculous red and white striped life preserver rings. I screamed out, called for help, feeling my voice muted beneath thousands of other author’s voices and just when I felt myself beginning to slip under, to surrender myself to the icy expanse, I suddenly become aware that I wasn’t just surrounded by preservers, I was surrounded by about thirty women, all pushing and prodding me back to the surface, with life jackets in hand.
That was my biggest Indie surprise. Not the obvious things like, ‘Oh my, is it normal to only sell a book a week?’ Or ‘Egad! Am I really one author in a literal sea of hundreds of thousands?’ I could not wrap my head around the unprecedented and absolute selflessness of the other authors around me. One word to them that I was a newbie earned me a soft blanket around my shoulders and wise words from those more established around me. I couldn’t believe how welcoming they were, how sincerely interested they were in seeing me succeed. I kept thinking, ‘I’m their competition. Why are they doing this?’ And the answer was simple, it’s because they are just some of the most wonderful people I’ve ever met. It’s possible that an author’s character is based solely on kindess but I think it’s more than likely that, coupled with something a little more profound. Something like this,
“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”
Truer words have never been spoken.
The men and women within the Young Adult Indie community were the most shocking yet wonderful surprise I could have ever gotten on this ride into authordom and I couldn’t be more confident. I am armed with the fact that though I may swim in dangerous waters, I have the most astounding set of preservers floating all around me, ready to pounce when I say the word. And because of them, I’d give up my own vest to save another. We are a rare breed and that is the most gratifying thing I’ve said all day.
Thank you fellow Indies. You are my lifelines.
And just because it feels appropriate. I dedicate this to you,
Meet my fellow bouys,