There are two people, in particular, that believe in me as a writer more than any others. They aren't family; they are both very intelligent, and they show their faith in my writing with deeds, not just words of praise.
For the purposes of this article, I have to dip back real quick; look back about 8 blog entries where I told you that my high school English teacher told me she would be reading one of my books one day (only to later say, "I don't remember saying that," which, to me, is saying, "You can write? Really?" I was so deflated). By the time I found out that she didn't even remember saying it, I had already completed my first novel and been published and paid as a feature and sports writer with the North Pole Independent Newspaper and even interviewed Olympic gold and silver medalist Tommy Moe. THAT was the power of what she said to me that night (all of this was not only during military service, but I was also coaching a little league football team at the same time I started writing for the paper).
The fact is, she did say that on my graduation night. She said, "Kevin, I'll be reading one of your books someday." And the fact is, it did make me go forward, swinging my word-chete through the thick vines of the jungle of published words. She, one person, made me believe I could do it, and I did do it. So, even though she had forgotten, and essentially, with forgetting, withdrawn her vote of confidence, her initial words were a bridge for me; thing is, by the time she yanked that bridge away (unintentionally, I'm sure) I had already made my way to the other side.
When I started in college two years after the deflation and declared my majors, I showed my academic advisor my story. He called me to come to his house with he and his wife; he was pumped. Loved it! Another believer. But I was tired.
I had already been accepted by a literary agency (Thornton Literary Agency) where, at first, my novel was rejected, but upon re-write, it was accepted under the condition that I participate in their writer's workshop(s) which was fine with me. The book was scheduled to be released under the Electric Umbrella or some such thing, right around 1998. But nothing happened. Unless I'm mistaken, Thornton went on a hiatus or straight out of business.
Spent the next 13 years working on computers and copiers. Didn't see writing happening. Yet, all the signs were there. I would go over to epinions.com and instead of reviewing products (which actually earned you money) I would be writing in the Writer's Corner section, fiction, which paid nothing. When I was done, although I had written a few genuine product reviews, I was heavy about 130 pieces of literature that I had created.
So, without getting too far into my personal life, I'll say that this past summer, I was in a position to take another shot at doing the whole novel thing. I had labored in my head for years over my first novel, and it felt like a brick wall. So, I wrote a fresh one, Name of Alt, and haven't taken a breath since, with my third book to be released next week or the week after (already released on Kindle/Nook platforms).
But how did I do it this time? What was different?
Well, one thing was experience, both writing and living experience and in publishing. I'm older. Seen more stuff, done more stuff, learned more stuff. Another thing was taking the fresh angle and really committing to the first novel. The biggest thing, though, was a friend. She said she knew I had talent and that I should go for it. I shrugged that off. I had heard compliments before, in passing, but people had other things to do besides stroke this writer's ego. They were living life; tough lives. But she kept at it, telling me I needed to keep writing. She was proofreading for me. She was doing critiques for me. She was advising. Then, recently, she came out of the blue with some financial support for promotional items.
She not only believed in me, but she absolutely refused to let me kick my momentum over into a ditch while I went back to a life of dead ends; work that was all wrong for me--a life that I was not meant to live, because I was born to write. You that write; you know that feeling, don't you? It's just not negotiable. Needless to say, my first book is dedicated to her alone. And since then, I have another friend who has jumped on with equal enthusiasm and help with the administrative stuff and moral support and promotions.
These two people genuinely believed, and do believe.
That's why I'm doing this. There is no other reason; my need, my desire, my thirst, my nature to be a writer in this lifetime, for my time on this world, was going to fail and go unquenched. Too much competition. No audience. Bills. Procrastination. I would have failed, floundering around in other work, unhappy, but for them.
Thank you, Jo and Tanya. I don't care how many gazillions of bucks I make, I could never do enough to feel like I paid you back, because you kicked me in the ass and kept my focus on the trophy. Without you two (and my resulting fans), I was and am nothing. Thank you, very much.