Some exciting things are afoot around here! I hope to report great progress within the next couple of months. I aim to re-print the first two novels I ever wrote. The first is called "Afraid To Love." I wrote it when my oldest child, Logan, was 2 years old, and I was 27. Andrew (my hubby) and I decided to publish a very small number because we'd never done anything like that before. So we printed 200 copies and managed to sell them all ourselves.
The next one was called "Picking Up the Pieces" and it's always been a sentimental favourite of mine because it's the first one we really felt we ventured out with in a "big" and "scary" way. We published and sold 2000 of them back in 2000. I used to work on it in 1999 as my hobby when Logan was at kindy and my baby, Emma, was asleep in the back of the car. I'd park my car in the carpark of a local park and just work on it flat out.
Both of these books are unlike my fantasy "Quenarden" series. They are contemporary, down-to-earth fictions with more simple settings. In fact, they're both set in the Adelaide Hills, where I live. At the time, I took Jane Austen's advice seriously to stick to what you know when you right. And I enjoyed them just as much as I enjoyed the fantasies. Now that I'm back working on straightening out "Afraid To Love" (because I never had it edited and now I think the original is appalling), I have to say they're even more fun than the fantasies in a way.
I've made a pledge to work on them for at least an hour each day and preferably 2 hours. Just a few weeks ago, it hit me that, without me really knowing it, I'd let a bit of slackness slip into my writing. I still imagined I was working on the books pretty steadily, but I'd let other things push it out of my schedule, such as homeschooling social commitments, more housework than necessary or just sitting around, reading books. So sometimes I'd only been working on the books a couple of times a week. And I realised that maybe the reason was that I'd got a bit disillusioned because of uncomfortable work trying to sell books for what seemed like little return. Sometimes I'd think things like, "So many incredible, fantastic novels have been written, when it's all said and done, who cares if I finish mine or not?" I've made up my mind not to think that way anymore.
To start with, when my sister-in-law from Melbourne was here a few weeks ago, she told me that she'd lent a young friend of hers a copy of my old "Picking Up the Pieces" and her friend loved it and found that it made her feel better and differently about problems she'd been having in her own life! And then I received a great email from a 16 y.o. girl who thought so highly of "Quenarden #1" that she wrote me an excellent summary of her thoughts. And I realised that I love writing these stories and it really is my calling. If I can help people feel better or even boost the world through the stories I write, then that's my contribution to brightening up the world and being a blessing in my own way.
What's more, I realised that with writing, a person will never know the extent of the people they've affected. How many people might've got something out of my books but never given me any feedback? After all, I've never written to all the authors of books I've been blessed by. Using feedback from other people as a gauge of how well I'm doing is a trap I don't want to fall into again.
So I'm hoping to re-release both my contemporary novels some time soon and even have some new ideas for a subsequent book involving characters from both. And of course there's also the "Quenarden #4" I've been working on too. So this'll keep me occupied and happy for some time, I hope.