Recently I was at a book signing in Indianapolis at the Maleah Solange book store which is located in the Washington Square Mall (Um…check it out!). Let me tell you, this is the second time that I have visited this location and both times I was show some major love by book lovers. This time, however, was different. It was different because this time, readers who know me and my work showed up! Like, yes! People who have already fallen in love with the CagedFantasies brand came out to see me! One woman drove over 2.5 hours! Like... for who?? For me? Crazy.
Now, the reason I am writing this isn’t to say, oh my god people know me! Its to say…. I was SCOLDED! Yes, scolded by a reader, a fantasy lover! She ripped me a new one, tore me to shreds! Brutalized…. okay maybe I am over-exaggerating a bit. The point is, the reader, who took the time to research me when she found out that I was coming to the store, said something super important and super deep to me! She told me that I needed to do better. Yep, I needed to do better. Do better at what? Well, self-promoting, putting my work out there. Now, at one point in time, I was good at that. I was everywhere, shouting about how every person in the world needed to read my books! And then… Reality check. I had a situation with a reader that got a little too intense (lawyers were contacted for counsel), and in the same moment, readers and bloggers, and other authors started looking down on those of us who promoted ourselves so boldly.
Granted, I should have never let either of these instances kill my momentum, but I did. Part of me was afraid to continue as I was because, lord knows I didn’t need a Misery incident on my hands. I like my ankles intact thanks! Another part of me started to question if I was just being an annoyance by talking about myself and my books so much. Trust, as a natural inverted persona, it was hard enough to get myself out of my shell the first time around. Sprinkle in a little bit of self-doubt and boom, total shut down.
During this moment, when I was being hugged so tightly by someone who was so enthusiastic about my work (one of the best hugs I’ve gotten in a long time btw) I made a promise to both her and myself. I will do better at spreading the word about myself and my books. I will shut down the fear of overzealous (nice term here) readers/fans, and poo poo on anyone who tries to put me down about doing the thing I am supposed to do!
Sorry if my promoting bothers you, unfollow me. Sorry if I talk about how much I love Syrinada, Alexa, Josephine, Malcom, Jeremiah, Lacal, and all the rest! I do love them, they are a part of me. If my excitement for future projects, collaborations, and events, irritate you, well, turn the channel. I have to shout at the top of my lungs about how awesome I think my work is and how I hope that others agree. Why? Because there are people out there who absolutely want to hear it. There are readers out there who definitely agree with my analysis and want to hear more from me. No, not everyone will love me. Hybrids, Sirens, Witches, Demons, and Dragons simply aren’t for everyone. But I don’t write for everyone. I write for people who love fantasy and adventure and…. to escape. That’s why I write! I want to give readers a world they can drift away to, because that is what books have always been for me.
I hope someone see this post who needs to see it. Someone who may be having a moment of doubt. Someone who may be feeling the pressure (like I did) to sit down and be quiet. For that person, I want to tell you, don’t do it. Don’t be quiet, get louder! You’ve worked so hard, hours of your life poured into your work. The world needs to know it. The world needs to know you. You never know what reader/lover of your craft is out there just waiting to find you! They probably give the best hugs too!