Today, Callie Kingston is back, sharing with us the story of her journey as a writer :). She recently published her first novel, UNDERTOW.
Take it away, Callie!
My mother passed away unexpectedly a few years ago. For a week afterwards I stayed up late each night to write her eulogy, after having spent the day planning her funeral, cleaning her apartment, and taking care of myriad details. I hadn’t written anything for years, although I had wanted to be a writer since I could hold a pen.
Something gave way in those midnight hours. I haven’t stopped writing since.
The months that followed found me turning over plots and characters in my mind. Twilight had taken the world by storm, and I started imagining Belle as a young girl who was suffering a delusion, a girl on the brink of a psychotic break. What would that be like, I wondered? What if the story was not about her union with a magical creature, but instead focused on her resilience and recovery from a mental illness? Undertow was born.
At first, I wrote in secret. In longhand. Months later and at risk of developing carpel tunnel, I had a rough draft. Finally, I shared my “hobby” with others and discovered an amazing community of supportive writers. Rounds of critiques and revisions were followed by the standard next step: querying agents and pitching editors.
My timing couldn’t be better. Traditional publishing was just getting hit by a tsunami of incredible proportions. The rise of indie publishing, the demise of the legacy model, and the massive implosion caused by the recession; all of this was eroding the likelihood of a new author like myself getting picked up. Especially with a genre-bending novel about a girl in college who was losing her mind.
The indie publishing journey has been a wild ride, and one I wouldn’t give up. I like the freedom, the control, and the fact that my work remains mine and true to my vision.
Thank you so much, Callie, for sharing your journey with us :). You've been through a ton, and it's inspiring that it brought you to such a great place, publishing your novel!