For the past several months I have been writing a new book. One book turned into two books and then into three. And there is a possibility there may even be a fourth book before this series is over.
I wrote the bulk of the first book in about 6 weeks. If you've never tried to write a novel before, trust me when I say that is insanely fast. But I was inspired and obsessed with my story. All I wanted to do was write it.
At the time books 1 and 2 were the same book. I hadn't planned on making them 2 separate books. But through the all important editing process (adding nearly 100 more pages to just the first half alone) I realized it needed to be 2 books. I've been fortunate enough to work with several good friends in order to edit, revise, and edit again to make this book happen.
I have felt strongly for several years that I wanted to write a book with a strong female heroine who does not have to compromise her values or what she believes in in order to succeed. I feel all too often mainstream entertainment is the story of a woman who gives up on what she believes in in order to be happy or fit in elsewhere. I have wanted to find or write a story that was about a woman who made the tough decision to stand by what she was taught, and didn't use her sexuality to win. It is incredibly disheartening just how hard that can be to find. And what few stories out there that do attempt this, tend to be very preachy, and niche-market only.
I am excited for this character that I have developed and the events she goes through. She faces very real world decisions, and addresses them realistically. Of course, it is entertainment and fiction, so they are not real world scenarios, but they are real world responses. The main character, Haley, is one that women will identify with, and will find strength in. They will recognize and identify her feelings and responses, and look up to her for how she approaches them. At least, that is what I hope women will do!
I've opted to self-publish this book for multiple reasons. First, I don't believe there is a mainstream publisher out there who will take a book that is this conservative without making key changes. Because I want to keep the morals intact, I don't want to deal with a commercial press. Second, smaller publishers that would accept this type of book would sell it in a niche market (even though it is not a religious fiction book). I don't want to get put into a niche, so I'm avoiding it altogether for now. I have other reasons that I can explain to you if you really want to hear them.
The self-publishing world isn't as cheap and easy as writing and uploading. There are other details that take time and money. For instance, hiring a graphic designer to create a book cover! All writers, no matter how good they are, need a good editor. The feedback and editing process only improves books. And editors have to be hired and paid as well. Last, but not least, in order to protect and copyright your work, you have to pay for an ISBN. And that alone is $100. Plus there is shipping, galleys, etc., that all take time and money as well.
Which brings me to my kickstarter campaign. I'm trying to do a little fundraising to get this book (and the following 2-3 books) off the ground. I'm so close to getting it all done, but it is money that holds me back. Being able to pay for quality editors alone is the most important detail. It will take it from "a nice story that girl wrote," to a book that will make people sit up and take notice. Funding will help make the difference between being sold to my friends and family, and the quality and production needed to reach a mass audience.
If you would like to contribute to making the Haley books happen, please check out my kickstarter campaign. Contributions can be as low as $1! For $5 you get your name on the acknowledgements page. For $25 you get a personalized (and creative) YouTube thank you video. For $50 you get a signed copy of the book when it is available.
I know there are many of you who would love to see a book about a strong, morals driven, smart, single woman and what it takes for her to succeed. I hope you will make a donation!