Good Morning Everyone! (well, at least it’s morning for me as I write this in my home which is in a little town called Darley, not too far from Melbourne, Australia).
Firstly, a little bit about myself. I’m an author writing under M L Sawyer. I also work full time as a real estate agent and I’m about to be a first time mum. My current releases are young adult fantasy novels that are part of a series- Quest of the Demon, Tallen and Elflings (which just came out this December). Instead of bombarding you about my books (which can be found through Amazon, Smashwords and through some book stores in Australia), I’ve decided to write about doing what you think you can, as opposed to giving up when others tell you that you can’t.
For me, Quest of the Demon was originally finished in 2001 where I promptly sent it out to publishers. Epic fail. I heard back from only one publisher after months and months with a polite no thanks. The rest ignored me. People told me to get published, it would be like winning tats lotto, so why bother?
Me, I’ve never been one to listen too hard to those who say you can’t, shouldn’t, won’t be able to… so I kept on writing. At least the stories would eventually be finished and I’d know that I did what I’d set out to do.
So I kept writing, polishing my craft, working on my stories. Every few years I’d do another draft of Quest of the Demon before sending it off to a publisher, just to test the waters… 14 years after I first began writing it, and one finally said yes! It was a small publisher, but I didn’t care. I love writing and I don’t do it for the money, I do it because I can. The chance to see my work in print was so exciting!
So in March 2011, Quest of the Demon was released!
Followed by Tallen in Dec 2011 and now Elflings just released in Dec 2012.
Even after Quest of the Demon came out, some people were supportive while others… let’s just say they hold their own opinions. They hadn’t heard of my publisher before so they were of the opinion of ‘well, anyone can do that’. I’m not a negative person, but sometimes you just want to say… well, I won’t say it here, but you can imagine...
My publishing journey didn’t stop there. Of course, being a small publisher, my book didn’t instantly arrive in book stores Australia wide. I had to get out there, so I researched marketing. Everyone needs their own website – this is a given, but who has the spare money to pay for one to be set up for you? So here begin the hard yards, I can write – but writing html? What on earth is that?
Information for whatever you want to do is out there, you just have to teach yourself. In this instance google was my friend. You can find almost anything on google. So many late nights and a fair bit of trial and error and finally, I got my website up and running www.mlsawyer.com.au – I’m pretty proud of doing this all by myself considering I’m not all that tech savvy. Even so, having a website doesn’t mean people automatically flock to it and instantly know about your work.
I also found out this newish medium called book teasers; like a short movie teaser for your book. ‘What fun’ I thought. I have never made a movie in my life let alone an animated one. Again, much trial and error later, I finally have a you tube channel. Now this is taken for granted by YA’s today, but when I was at school, Hotmail had just come out, not everyone had the internet and you tube, facebook, twitter – none of this existed!
So, for the book teasers, I’ll let you be the judge – again, there’s negative people out there but who cares, I had fun making them, whether they attract people to my work or not, if you’ve watched the video, you know about it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dqqKYwvv2Y&feature=plcp – Quest of the Demon
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mp5XdmlBwlY – Tallen (yes, that’s me narrating)
Not the most high budget of productions, but again, I had fun and they’re out there. Moving forward, I’m now working on Silence Rising so it’s ready for release next year. From there, 3 more books. Subversion, Deceiver and… well, the final book which I haven’t named yet. Who knows, maybe when the time comes I’ll have enough fans to run a book naming contest!
Anyway, to conclude my guest post, writing may not be your thing, but whatever it is you enjoy doing, do it. Who cares what other people think or what your chances are. J K Rowling was writing Harry Potter whilst unemployed – she was told she wouldn’t make it and some publishers turned down her books (how much are they kicking themselves now!) Same thing happened with George Lucas, his script was turned down multiple times (writer of Star Wars)… how much is Star Wars worth now?
Life is full of setbacks and naysayers, but as long as you’re enjoying yourself, who’s to tell you that you can’t do something? You’ll never know unless you try and even if it doesn’t turn out like you thought it would, you have the satisfaction of knowing you did that, it was you! I find there’s no greater feeling.
To help brighten up your holiday season, Quest of the Demon is free this month on Smashwords - http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/39579 - Happy reading!