John William Drake was born an explorer; just like many, many Drakes before him. His adventure really began with the discovery of a book hidden in the ceiling, followed by the mysterious disappearance of his father. He lived every day in misery until his twelfth birthday. A new friend gave him an invitation he could not turn down… follow me and change your destiny.
He never imagined being captured by bandits and taken to a ship riddled with river rats was part of his fate. Not just any bandits – the Bandits of Basswood; known to be a ruthless and wild crew of thieves. Trying to escape would be a ridiculous idea. No one has ever escaped and lived to tell about it. Uncovering traces of his missing father gave him hope and upped the stakes. John William was determined to get off the ship alive and search for the missing pieces of the puzzle. The chase out of Basswood was on. He took a chance to change his destiny and ended up on a wild ride to solve the most important mystery of his life.
The Rolling Boulder
The other day I was scrolling down my social media newsfeeds (my morning ritual) when I stumbled across a picture of a man pushing a boulder up a mountain. I had to laugh out loud because that was the exact example I had been using to explain the process of promoting! The picture was attached to another author’s blog post about rejection. Does every writer have the same feeling?
The actual writing is the blissful part. I can escape into a world that I created every day. Submitting to publishers, polite rejection letters and getting critiques to improve your craft can be a test of emotional toughness. In other words… being told how terrible your writing is over and over again until your skin is thicker than that leather jacket in your closet from the 80’s. If you continue to write after being run over by a snow plow in a gravel pit the passion must be there.
If you do get published, the mountain only gets bigger. Now you have to promote your work. What the heck! I write fantasy stories about giant bird/wizards and talking frogs. What do I know about promoting? The day my book was released I felt sick to my stomach. Wait… now I have to actually sell books? How am I going to do that? Half my neighbors don’t even know I exist. How in Gandalf’s name am I going to tell the world to buy my book? The mountain only grew steeper; and so did the nausea.
Then came the reviews. Yeah, that whole sick to my stomach thing… I felt like all my vital organs were doing the Macarena through my ribcage after only slightly skimming through one review. Don’t get me wrong, I can handle criticism. It comes with the territory; but now the snow plow is running me over in front of an audience and I want the readers to enjoy the adventure as much as I enjoy writing them.
On the other hand, when someone has something nice to say… now, this is where the boulder can really hurt. I don’t dare take a moment to enjoy a good review in fear that the boulder will roll right over me smashing my face in the dirt. I imagine the fun factor in chasing a rolling boulder down a mountain with dirt in my eyes is low.
The world of writing and publishing can be frustrating, demoralizing, and a crushing blow to the ego. I have scraped my dignity off of the pavement so many times, I’m pretty sure it is paper thin and full of holes. Nothing wrong with a few holes… right? It has been a wild journey and I’ve learned a lot. The experience has evolved from fear of the unknown to all part of the process. Meeting other writers on similar journeys and doing guest posts like this one are a lot of fun! Most of all, I take comfort in the fact that I can still escape all of the craziness and write my fantasy stories.
Thank you, E.P. Bellows and Pump Up Your Book
About the Authors
A few random things about me… Um, let’s see… when I was eight, I had a pet turkey. I used to take it with me on my very short lived paper route. Needless to say, I was terrible at delivering the paper. No one wanted a “Dollar Saver” with turkey poop splattered across the front page. Apparently that’s where the best coupons are. Books… well, “Treasure Island” is a fantastic pirate tale. I love just about anything by Roald Dahl. I would also like to thank C.S Lewis for sending me on an unrelenting childhood quest for portals to amazing worlds (even in the most unpleasant locations, e.g… the older brother’s closet, etc…) I write fantasy stories for children. Yep – I am a HUGE fantasy geek. I can’t help myself! It’s too darn awesome to escape to another realm with sorcerers and wizards. The underlying theme in my stories is empowerment, self love, and living purposefully. When football is on I turn into a different person. I may even use a curse word or two… or three. I enjoy running; which is a good thing because I need to do it in order to fit into my jeans. I love to cook and really, really love to eat. I have a theory that avocados actually contain super powers and have the amazing ability to make any snack epic. I also love garlic… which, according to my loved ones, also has an unfortunate super power … the pungent breath-inator… or something of that nature.
Few things make me smile more than chocolate, cheese… AND, if the Chargers would make it to the Super Bowl again – just once:)
E.P. Bellows is giving away a summer goodie bag containing Azra’s Pith swag! Goodie bag includes a coffee mug, tumbler, beach towel, paperback and kindle copy of Bandits of Basswood!
Terms & Conditions:
· By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
· One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter
· This giveaway ends midnight September 30.
· Winner will be contacted via email on October 1.
· Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!