It's almost done.
Years of writing, rewriting, and months of editing has been completed. Last week I received the galley proofs and I spent the past several days reading the book, making last minute changes (more for clarity than content), and checking for errors that may have slipped through. (Hopefully, I caught them all).
The book is being sent to the printer, and in a few weeks time it should be out.
The past few months have been busy, and the past several weeks have been a whirlwind. Here are a two observations or things I noticed while reading my unpublished book one last time.
- I leave out the "a" article a lot.
- No matter how many times I read the book, ideas for it never stopping coming. This is a good thing while writing, but a frustrating thing once it's finished. I have to stop reading it as its author and start reading it to enjoy it.
So, on Saturday, March 21, 2015, at 10:30, I will be having a launch party for my book to celebrate the past few years of hard work.
Come and check it out! You can also check out the Facebook page for more information. While you are there, you can Like It and get updates!
In June of 2012, I was talking to my wife about a novel of mine called Child of the Downers and all the ideas I had for it.
I began developing the story in 2005-2006, and wrote the first draft in 2007. After that, I spent a year working out the history of my world, splitting the original book (130,000 words) into smaller books, and other rewrites. But in the end, I was never satisfied with the final product, so I put the project away.
In 2008, I wrote another book called The Last Rose of Innod. Then, in 2009, I began another novel called The Drowning of Martin Ashby. In the intervening years, I edited, and worked on other projects. But there I was in 2012, stalled, unable to get past the 30,000-word mark in my Martin Ashby novel.
But during those five years, ideas for Child of the Downers were springing up. Pieces of the story I was never satisfied with began to work themselves out. Holes were being filled, and characters were becoming more defined, while new characters were emerging.
So as I was discussing this with my wife, she suggested something that I strangely didn’t feel free to do. She said, “Maybe you should put the Martin Ashby novel away and try working on Child of the Downers.”
Without hesitation, I agreed.
It was as if I was waiting for her to suggest it all along. It had been five years since I wrote a sentence in and for that book. Once I began writing it again, I enjoyed my writing more than I had in the past year. I always loved the story. I love the world I created and the characters that inhabited it. I loved the changes I made to the story and the world, and I hope that others will love it just as much. (MARCH 10th, 2015)
Since then, the name to my novel has obviously changed (Scar of the Downers) and I’ve written another draft to another novel (The Cry of Kilhaven).
As I’ve thought about this, it made me think that sometimes in life, when things are not going as well as they should, we need a change. Sometimes, it’s all we need. The smallest change can make the biggest difference. You just have to know it when you see it, and hope that when you don’t, someone will point it out for you.
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For as long as he can remember, Crik has always been too scared to seek freedom. Instead, he spends most of his days in Ungstah working in his master’s store, avoiding the Ash Kings, and scavenging and stealing food to keep himself and his best friend, Jak, alive. But when he steals from the wrong person, the only world he has even known collapses around him.
Does Crik give up and die or does he leave his life of slavery and its scar behind to do what no other Downer has ever done before – escape from the city of Ungstah?
Below is the map of the world I've created. Not every place in that world is marked on the map. But it does give you a brief glimpse in what the land looks like.
The last few months have been difficult.
I am overjoyed about getting published. But to be honest, it doesn't come without worries... especially for me. Unfortunately, I am a creature of habit. And when that habit is broken, it opens a flood gate of stress for me. I have to adapt and that isn't easy. I like ritual. There's a safety there. In some ways, I got so used to rejection it became a comfort.
But now things have changed and I have to readjust. To be successful, I need to change my way of thinking.
You see, when you write a book and are fortunate enough to get it published, you would've thought that the most difficult part of the process is complete. For some, it may be. But for me, I have just entered the thick of the woods.
For me, the work has just begun.
I have to sell myself.
For me, this is by far the most difficult aspect about writing and getting published. You have to believe that people out there care about what you write. And more than that, they want to read what you have to write. Unfortunately, I fall along the lines of thinking that no one cares about what I have to write. I am a tear drop in the ocean.
It is a weakness of mine. But if I allow that weakness to dictate what I do, I will never accomplish what I have to.
You see, you can't believe that no one wants to read your book even if it's true. You have to convince yourself that there is an audience out there waiting to consume it, to relate to it, to fall in love with it.
To be successful, you must believe this. That is where I have to change my thinking, and like I said, I'm not good with change. But it helps when you see friends and family share your book and share in the enthusiasm about it. For that, I thank you!
(Now, if you are new to this blog and you don't know this by now, you can pre-order my book Scar of the Downers at Amazon. Or you can click on the picture to the right of this blog. Also, if you're interested, you can check out my Goodreads page as well.)
Scott Keen is the author of three young adult fantasy novels, Scar of the Downers, Rise of the Branded, and War of the Downer King.