Monday, 26 May 2014

Where do you want to be? -- by Children's Author Kurt Chambers

I'm at that point as an author where I have to decide where I want to be. I'm a children's author, which means unless I get a contract from a major publishing house, I would struggle to reach the masses of my target audience. This isn't one of those, I'm a hard-done-by starving author tales, just a fact of life. Any authors writing for adults can network directly with their target audience, children's authors simply don't have that outlet on such a grand scale.

So, the obvious answer is to find a top publisher or agent. This is difficult, but not impossible by any means. If you're willing to learn and work hard for many years. Put your heart and soul into something you really believe in and be willing lose a huge chunk of your life to this project. If you really want it enough and chose to never give up, no matter who you are, you can do it. Easy, right? No! It's a very long way from easy, but it is doable. Do I sound confident? Well, I can, because I speak from personal experience. Over many years I have stumbled through the amazing world of the writing community. I have met the most amazing people I ever met in my life who helped me through to the point I am at now. But the question still remains, where do I want to be?

Like all new authors I had big dreams! I had written the best book in the world that was going to take the world by storm. Reality hits hard and fast, slashing at your hopes, destroying your dreams. And that's just your first encounter with a critic forum! You swallow your pride, pick yourself up and start to learn. Wow! So much stuff all at once. It feels impossible to apply so many rules without destroying my masterpiece. But you learn and grow to the point where something clicks in your head that tells you it is time. You are ready. You have crafted your skills, learned the protocols. You enter the submission process brimming with confidence. That was when I became, The Rejectionator! A pet name from my darling youngest daughter.

What I wanted when I set out on this life changing journey is something very different from what I want now. I published book one and book two of my children's fantasy novel, Truth Teller and The Wrath of Siren. It is something I doubted would ever happen on many occasions, but I didn't give up. I love my story and lucky for me, so did my readers. Truth Teller has won an award for its stunning cover art thanks to Dawne Dominique, author and cover artist. I have copies of my books in all five major libraries in the United Kingdom including the British Library. It is also in libraries in other parts of the world including, New Jersey, New Zealand and Australia not to mention the countless school libraries. I don't sell a massive amount of copies, but those I do sell, the readers love to read.

This is a massive achievement for someone like me. I still have a third book to edit and publish in the Truth Teller series, Favian's Law, but my shining glory is my newest novel, Unknown Reality. I had a near miss from a top UK publishing agent who sent me a personalised email explaining how much of my story she loved. Yeah, it was a rejection, but it told me that with enough perseverance I could get this novel published mainstream. But do I really want to?

Like most writers and authors I live between two parallel worlds. My writing life and my real life. I have a day job and a life that takes up most of my free time. If I bagged myself an agent, would I really be able to work to deadlines and give them the dedication they would need from me? I don't think I have that in me. Real life is too demanding. I will look forward to publishing my new novel myself and show some fresh writing to my book collection.

Where do I want to be? I would seriously love a film deal and enough royalties so I could retire and live a life of luxury, obviously. But, you know, I think I'm pretty happy with where I am now. Thank you to all my friends that made this dream of mine possible. I hope, whoever you are, that you are able to get to where you want to be. When you feel despair, try to remember all the wonderful things that brought you to where you are now.