“I had learned already never to empty the well of my writing, but always to stop when there was still something there in the deep part if the well, and let it refill at night from the springs that fed it.”—Ernest Hemingway, Moveable Feast
It’s been quite a year. While working as a full-time editor and part-time teaching assistant, I have kept up well with the new novel, which will be published in 2012. I’ve been struck by how much different the writing process has been between my first novel, The Veiled Mirror, and this one. Both are historical fiction, and the research process has been similar. But the second novel has taken far less time to develop and write. When regarding the quote by Ernest Hemingway, I can’t help but think about how I let the well run dry too often in the past. I burned the candle at both ends, to use an old cliché, and wrote until two in the morning, got up for my 9 am job, and repeated the cycle until I felt there was nothing left at times. I wasn’t well-rested, and most of what I wrote was deleted in the rewriting process. In addition, I slowed myself down and re-read what I wrote over and over. No wonder it took so many years to complete my first novel.
By the time the second novel was underway, I had compiled enough advice to learn it was best to keep writing…keep going. This became especially important during NaNoWriMo, where there simply is no time to go back. Just keep going. The only way I get sidetracked now is if I discover another book that will aid me in my research.
While I busily wrote, The Veiled Mirror made its own progress, and its success was largely due to social media. Helpful friends and colleagues promoted it via their own channels. I signed up to be on Goodreads, started my author page, and was humbled by some delightful reviews when I feared the worst. The short stories, Ivy League Crypt and The Red Witch, are doing well in their own right. The Red Witch gets more mixed reviews, but it was an experimental piece that was written on the fly; it was never on my list of stories to write, and came straight out of a nightmare I had. It was an interesting experiment.
I found myself on the ballot for a publication called 50 Great Authors You Should Be Reading in the summer. It was the result of appearing on The Author Show back in March 2011, when I did an interview for the internet-radio show. Now available in Kindle format, the publication features my profile with an essay about my thoughts on how I became a writer. Twitter and Goodreads have been fantastic ways for me to connect with other writers, readers, and publishing professionals. Guest posts and free ad opportunities have popped up here and there.
Since I first got into self-publishing exactly two years ago with the release of The Veiled Mirror: The Story of Prince Vlad Dracula’s Lost Love, it was been a fruitful and fascinating journey. I thank everyone out there who read my work, posted reviews, and found their way to this site. If you have not read the book, or are looking for something to read on your new e-reader, the novel is available at a discounted rate of .99 cents for the month of January, only on Smashwords.com. Use coupon code DL82Q.
I’ve become increasingly immersed in Ernest Hemingway as I prepare for the next course I’ll be serving as teaching assistant for, a literature course about expatriate writers and artists in Paris. It’s been quite a departure for me in terms of the books I usually read. As I read more Hemingway, along with Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Anaïs Nin, I’m looking forward to learning everything I can about how they wrote. And may the well of creativity never run dry….