Home > Blogging, Japan, Photos, The Monster's Daughter, Writing > In pictures (and words!), a year of being an author

In pictures (and words!), a year of being an author

Seven years ago, I wondered if I could write a book in a week.

I answered that question soon after by the following voice post:
“Six days and 67,000 words later, I’ve written a novel, and I’m now going to sleep for nineteen years. Good night.”

I celebrated the accomplishment by writing the book’s two sequels in quick succession. After realizing I hadn’t written a single perfect book the first time around, I banished the books to a suitcase, where they lived for several years.

I wrote about the journey from unearthing them to editing the first book here.

On January 18, 2011, I was feverish and feeling crummy, but not enough to keep my paws off the just-received first proof of my soon-to-be-published first novel, The Monster’s Daughter.

Not feverish enough to mistake the book for a unicorn

Barely more than a week later–a year ago today, to be precise–my name showed up in Amazon searches. The ex-boyfriend who’d suffered my typetypetyping through much of his visit to Japan was the first person to buy a copy of my new novel. I whooped at the picture he sent me:

Hey, that's my name!

I went into indie publishing understanding sales would be slow, especially for the first couple of years. Indeed, I just sold my 100th copy of the novel last month.

I wouldn’t be heartbroken if I’d sold 1,000 or 5,000 copies instead, but am I disappointed by the hundred? Only if the sky is zebra-striped today, for my hope was that somebody else “could come to love [Ginny Connors] the way I do.”

A hundred pairs of hands have held my first novel. Some of the hearts behind those hands were moved by it, and by Ginny, as is evidenced here.

Am I disappointed? Looking at these pictures, how could I possibly be?

Pictured (Top to bottom, left to right):
(1) Angel Girl. (2) The Dash Between and her daughter, Megan. (3) I Want A Dumpster Baby‘s
hand. (4) Running from Hell with El. (5) MAD Queendom’s crown. (6) MAD Queendom.
(7) Madilyn. (8) GoGuiltyPleasures and her extremely literate canine, Uncle Jesse.

Pictured (left to right):
(1) Transitioning Mom‘s daughter C. (2) Sapphire and Rain‘s son Chubbs.

Today I rejoice a year of being an “author,” a word it’s taken me most of that year to grow into. I celebrate the new connections I’ve made–to other writers, readers, bloggers and generally good folks–and the new lives that have since bettered my world.

I’m so thankful to those who have shaped, read and shared this book. I’m especially thankful to Mackenzie, who designed the book cover, the real Miss Sassypants, beta reader extraordinaire, and Silver Star, who read virtually every draft of The Monster’s Daughter, including the first one. And still loved me.

Soon she’ll have finished writing her own first novel. As you can see, she’s got more than writing to keep her busy in the meantime:

Silver Star and her apprentice

As for me, today? I’m just going to keep sitting here listening to “Tattoo” and grinning at how very, very grand it is to see that releasing Ginny freed me, too.

© 2012 Deborah Bryan. All rights reserved.
Duplication in whole or substantial portion is explicitly forbidden.

  1. January 26, 2012 at 12:18 am | #1

    Wow! I cant believe how fast you wrote that! Congratulations!
    I love the pix of people reading your book! I’ll check it out on Amazon!

    • January 26, 2012 at 5:15 am | #2

      Thank you! It took me six months to write a novel earlier this year, which was definitely the more enjoyable approach! I don’t anticipating this one again. I love reading zombie stories, but being like a zombie myself isn’t quite as fun! ;)

  2. January 26, 2012 at 2:17 am | #3

    Congrats on your book anniversary! A huge accomplishment to have written a book and self published, you should be really proud!

    • January 26, 2012 at 5:28 am | #4

      Thank you! I don’t regret my decision to self-publish, but “huge” definitely describes how the accomplishment feels with everything falling on my shoulders: so much editing, responding to beta feedback, more editing, working with an editor and a copy editor to take off some of the load (as well as improve the book), fix formatting errors and pricing issues and so on! It’s definitely a job of itself, but a fabulous one. :)

  3. January 26, 2012 at 2:25 am | #5

    Congratulations on your book! A huge accomplishment!

    • January 26, 2012 at 5:29 am | #6

      Thanks, Jennifer! My hope is to convert some of my excitement from sitting here and looking back on one awesome year into edited other books in the very near future. If I don’t have another one out by the end of 2012, someone’s going to need to ground me!

  4. January 26, 2012 at 4:02 am | #7

    Comgrats. I will order your book today. Always happy to support a new author

  5. January 26, 2012 at 4:35 am | #9

    Ohhh I was so hoping this post would be up before I have to start work – and it was! This is going to make me smile all day. I am so happy for you, and hope that many, many more get to read your beautiful, inspiring words, both in The Monster’s Daughter, this blog, and the many more works I hope you’ll share with us in the future. :)

    • January 26, 2012 at 5:42 am | #10

      This comment will be making me smile all day. ♥

      I want to thank you so much. I know I touched on it in very, very short form in my review of 2011, but I’m so grateful to you for reading and allowing me to share some of your thoughts on The Monster’s Daughter. Your doing so raised the “aha!” flag in a way that had so many clear and wonderful impacts.

      This is one of roughly eleventy billion ways you have rocked my world. (Slap bracelets? Another. Li’l D loves that he can make hearts out of ‘em. When he flattens out the bracelets, he says, “Uh-oh, where hearts go?” Hee!)

  6. January 26, 2012 at 4:39 am | #11

    Wahoo!! So happy for you –100 times over! (Still impatiently awaiting my turn to read, but patiently awaiting C’s completion of Hard Times so she can finish it first.)

    I don’t know how to do it using just the keypad, so picture lots and lots of confetti being tossed in the air in celebration with you! Congratulations! ♥

    • January 26, 2012 at 5:10 am | #12

      I came back to share this post on my page, and I saw you added C. She will be thrilled! Thanks for adding her. :) Off to share your joy on my page.

      • January 26, 2012 at 5:45 am | #13

        I only wish it had been there at original posting! I saved the pictures to my computer, but noticed after I was done that I’d only saved half in the proper folder. I went through and redid those ones, but apparently ended up saving two in the “Download” folder again . . . and not catching on until it came time to tag the post on Facebook, when I went, “Wait, there’s a serious lack of blue here!”

    • January 26, 2012 at 5:43 am | #14

      Thank you so, so much! You are a light to me, with these words and always. ♥

  7. January 26, 2012 at 5:29 am | #15

    Congrats. You are an inspiration. I will think of your story for motivation as I’m staring at the screen writing Chapter One. (which I’ve started! YAY!) Thank you.

    • January 26, 2012 at 5:53 am | #16

      First off, thank you so much! Second, congrats for starting! For a long time, my first piece of advice when asked about writing was “keep a journal.” Now, it’s “Start.” The dreaming and planning has its merits, but that’s the first step toward crossing the finish line . . . which is such a magnificent feeling, I hope to hear you be describing it in your words before long! But, whoa, that’s a lot of pressure, so instead I’ll say: enjoy the journey!

  8. January 26, 2012 at 5:44 am | #17

    So exciting. You gratitude is contagious. And a really good book to be proud of. I fell for Ginny. And you.

    • January 26, 2012 at 5:49 am | #18

      You gratitude is contagious.
      These words make me even happier than this anniversary. True story. This is what I hope people will remember me for, hopefully many, many years down the road. Thank you so much, rockin’ lady. ♥

  9. January 26, 2012 at 6:00 am | #19

    Congrats on your Author-versary!! I think it’s perfectly clear in the way that you write that you’ve always BEEN an author! Even more special, is that you are the author of a book that both captured mine and my daughter’s heart! Thank you for sharing yourself, with the world. I know my world is a MUCH better place because of you.

    • January 26, 2012 at 8:53 pm | #20

      I didn’t get a chance to reply to this before work, but I spent a lot of my drive time thinking about what makes an “author.” For me, it was the point where that book became searchable just after noon on January 26, 2011, but it’s not like that was the first time I’d published anything, eh? (250 blog posts confirm this, for starters!)

      Thank you for sharing yourself, with the world. I know my world is a MUCH better place because of you.
      Thank you so much for the same. Truly.

  10. January 26, 2012 at 7:02 am | #21

    Wow! One week! That’s truly amazing! I hardly have the energy to think what that must have been like. As you said above, you must have emerged zombied yourself.

    Congrats on your anniversary. I will head to Amazon later today to check out your book.

    Hugs,
    Kathy

    • January 26, 2012 at 8:55 pm | #22

      Thank you!

      I got so immersed in the stories, I’d have a hard time maintaining conversation in English–let alone Japanese! It was somehow exhausting and exhilarating, but overall a blessing. Through writing it, my previously crushing loneliness was diminished.

      Now, it means other good things. ♥

  11. January 26, 2012 at 7:51 am | #23

    I don’t know if I can think of a grander anniversary than that of finishing a novel . . . you’re, truly, an inspiration to me.

    • January 26, 2012 at 8:56 pm | #24

      I hoped by posting this that I’d allow myself to revisit an exciting time, shine it off and allow myself to fully move on to the next adventure. I think this was the right approach! And thank you so, so much. :)

  12. January 26, 2012 at 7:59 am | #25

    Congratulations on your book! I think that is great and an amazing accomplishment, writing a book, polishing it, and finishing it is a hard journey but you did it and not only that you published it. I will have to go back to my writing eventually, and use you as inspiration too. :-)

    • January 26, 2012 at 8:57 pm | #26

      I hope you do! I’m struggling with my editing right now because there’s so much reordering that has to happen; revisiting all of this is giving me the rush I need to do it. There’s a light at the end, and while it seems far away most the time? It’s awesome to finally reach!

  13. January 26, 2012 at 8:29 am | #27

    “I’m now going to sleep for nineteen years. Good night.” I bet! I need a nap after cranking out ONE blog post. I’m really proud of you for owning your author-dom :)

    • January 26, 2012 at 9:01 pm | #28

      You know what’s crazy? Most my blog entries come pretty easily, but sitting down to write this 450-word post took forever. I was hyped up and tired, and totally unfamiliar with writing with a specific deadline/objective. Maybe I need more practice? ;)

      Thank you!

  14. January 26, 2012 at 9:06 am | #29

    I’m so inspired by your commitment and determination. Writing is not an easy job, and publishing an Indie book is a great accomplishment. I hope to read it someday soon.

    • January 26, 2012 at 9:03 pm | #30

      Thank you! Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if writing were THE job I did. Most the time the thought is profoundly unsettling, but there are other days that I wish I could devote more time to it and still have a little free time left over.

  15. January 26, 2012 at 10:14 am | #31

    Congrats, Deb, and I agree: 100 books sold is something to celebrate! Wow! Oh, count that as 101, I’m heading to Amazon to buy mine today!! Lots of love, SWM. ♥♥♥

  16. January 26, 2012 at 12:23 pm | #33

    Big, honkin’ congrats you, you…AUTHOR, you! I’m jealous.

    • January 28, 2012 at 6:08 am | #34

      Thanks, Peg! This comment makes me giggle. Maybe it’s (in part) because it comes from a writer I admire?

      I’m seriously reconsidering my definition of “author,” at least as re: other people. The dictionary informs me this is probably the proper path:

      A writer of a book, article, or report.

  17. January 26, 2012 at 1:27 pm | #35

    Congratulations on the 100! That’s something to be proud of.

    • January 28, 2012 at 6:16 am | #36

      Thanks! It’s more like 110, based on reported sales (with a few places 1-4 months behind in reporting), but I like some nice, round numbers. :D

  18. January 26, 2012 at 2:12 pm | #37

    Joining many, many other people in saying Congratulations.! Such an achievement.

    • January 26, 2012 at 9:10 pm | #38

      Thank you so much! Today was so busy, I didn’t have nearly as much time to revel in this as I imagined. I did take time out to have a forbidden and totally delightful latte, though. ;)

  19. January 26, 2012 at 4:00 pm | #39

    I am glad you are celebrating this fabulous accomplishment :-)

  20. January 26, 2012 at 4:03 pm | #41

    Congratulations on your book anniversary and 1 year of officially being an author! That is awesome!

    100 is an amazing number.

    Cheers,
    louise

    • January 28, 2012 at 6:21 am | #42

      Thanks, Louise! It was a sweet day. Celebrating it helped me kinda wrap that adventure up and turn my sights toward what I have to do next, which is clearer to me now than it was two days ago. Thanks in part to this post. :)

  21. January 26, 2012 at 4:09 pm | #43

    Holy smokes, Deb – congratulations! I love how you recognized the anniversary with pictures of folks reading your book. Awesome idea, and the pictures/collage is great! Well done, Ms. Author! Well done! Now, enjoy your rest. :)

    • January 28, 2012 at 1:45 pm | #44

      Thank you, Lenore! ♥ A few months back, I told another blogger I’d do an anniversary post talking about some of the process. Then I put the process in my new year’s post (more or less!) and found that the thought of writing more words about writing lots of words wasn’t the right approach for me, here. I suspect I was influenced by Julie‘s slap bracelet giveaway, for which I’d just taken pictures the day before I had my “aha!” moment. But whatever it was? Man, was it a delight to see those pictures.

  22. January 26, 2012 at 5:29 pm | #45

    I haven’t commented in a while, but I wanted to pop in and congratulate you! Joy is just oozing through this post…could not be more proud of you, Deb!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    xoxoxo

    • January 28, 2012 at 1:49 pm | #46

      Thank you so much! I’m not commenting near as much as I used to (nor reading), but I do love peeking in when I can, and seeing the same. xoxo to you!

  23. January 26, 2012 at 7:12 pm | #47

    Congratulations! As of of the 100, does that make me the 1%?

    • January 28, 2012 at 1:51 pm | #48

      Tee-hee! I love the question, but you’re a slightly higher percentage than that. It’s not a 1:1 ratio, though, since it’s more like 110 copies. (But do I have exact figures? Nope! Totally failed to track this with precision!)

  24. January 27, 2012 at 2:41 am | #49

    These are great memories to cherish… and accomplishments too. Congratulations! ;-)

    • January 28, 2012 at 1:56 pm | #50

      Thanks, Elizabeth! They really are great memories to cherish. I can’t wait to have great memories of having edited the next two books of this trilogy (+the one not of it) instead of having it all (97%) left to do!

  25. January 27, 2012 at 3:24 pm | #51

    Congratulations! It’s a huge feat. I understand that the feeling must be inexpressible when you saw the pictures the first time..:-)

    • January 28, 2012 at 1:58 pm | #52

      Thank you! “Inexpressible” is absolutely right. :)

      When I asked folks if they’d mind sending me pictures, I did so imagining it as an administrative task. I then received the first picture and cheered. Same thing with the next, and then the next. Putting them all together into one image just made me beam. Such a treat!

  26. January 28, 2012 at 12:56 pm | #53

    Bask in the glory of a job well done, Deborah!
    Your hard work has paid off mentally – and soon, monetarily as well!
    Now if only I could finish my book some time this year…

  27. February 1, 2012 at 10:23 am | #55

    Wonderful. Congrats.

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