One of my fellow Indie authors sent me a link to an interview with Ms. Grafton of the alphabet series. I have never read or purchased any of her books, and quite frankly, after reading this interview, I never will.
As you, my faithful followers, know, I've thought long and hard about publishing traditionally. You all know this is still something that I still think about from time-to-time. However, I'm Indie. In my heart and my soul, I'm an Indie author through-and-through. I've posted YouTube videos showing how I do the cover art for the books, you've read the frustrations and challenges I've faced as I try to figure out formatting, scenes, marketing and so-forth. Being an Independent Author is extremely difficult, frustrating and rewarding.
Ms. Grafton was stated as saying something to the effect that Indie authors were lazy, taking the easy road out and not perfecting their craft. She states that Indie authors don't take the time to develop their characters, do research or bother to edit their books before publication. We (The Indie authors) simply spew out some drivel, publish it for all to read, and wait for our multi-million dollar paychecks because we wrote a book and that's what we deserve.
After reading her interview I became rather angry and saddened by the ignorance of Ms. Grafton. Now, I will fully admit, there are authors out there who probably do fit her description. They're not solely in the Indie author field though. There are Traditionally published authors I refuse to read simply because they had someone else writing their books and they just went through and fine-tuned it, putting their name on it and spewing out dozens of books a year. There are other authors that even when traditionally published, their books are crap, in my humble opinion. They either start spewing out the same repetitive drivel over and over, or don't even bother sending them to the editor before publication.
I can't speak for every Indie author, just as I know in my heart, Ms. Grafton doesn't speak for every Traditional author, but I can tell you what I do when writing.
I don't expect millions when I write a book. I don't even think about the paycheck as I write my books. I rarely think about it after the book is out. I simply write a book that I want to read and hope that others enjoy it as much as I do and then move on to the next as the muse directs me.
I develop my characters. Perhaps I don't do it like everyone else, but that's the beauty of being an individual. I let my characters talk to me, think about their story, and tell me how they want it to go. Sometimes, when I try to explain my writing to others, I feel a bit schizophrenic. It's not quite like that.
I do research for all my books. I'm constantly researching things. Wether it's in the other books in the series, or sitting in the library reading up on ancient Incan civilizations, or mythology of Atlantis, I'm constantly trying to make my books believable, even though they are complete fiction.
I work full time nights. Anyone who's ever worked the night shift can understand what that does to a person. Those of you who haven't, well, we're a tad sleep-deprived and a little wacky. Things have to be done during the day time hours that cannot be done at night, errands have to be meticulously planned out and our lifestyles completely change because we work when our bodies want to rest. My husband works day shift. On the weekends, I stay up for 24+ hours so I can revert my schedule to a day shift and actually see him for a few hours. During the time when I'm not cooking, cleaning, working, or dealing with family dynamics that I will not discuss here, I write. I have to figure out time to talk to my wonderful fans on FB, Twitter, Blog, and other social media sites during the time I have set aside to write. I have to still try to get my novels out in a timely manor so that you, my beloved fans, don't cause a riot. lol.
This economy sucks. I'd love for nothing more than to write every day, all day long. I'd love to not have to go to my "real" job and have my writing pay my bills. Someday, I hope this happens. Those that know me personally, will tell you that I've always stated that I just want to live comfortably doing the thing I love doing, with the people I love around me. That to me is the perfect life. I've never wanted or expected millions. I don't want the uber-fame of JK Rowling, but I'd like my stories read. When people come up to me and discuss the books, what they liked and hated about them, that's where I get my rewards. Watching them light up as they discuss how the characters have endeared themselves to the reader, that's why I write. I love it.
Are my books absolutely 100% perfect. No. Are there any books out there without an error or two in them? Absolutely not. Do I strive for perfection in my books? You bet your ass I do. I go over my books repetitively. I can't afford to have someone else edit them, so I do all my own edits. I sit and meticulously read and re-read my novels until they look and sound like something I could be proud of. While I know there are probably a few grammatical errors throughout the books, I'm not perfect, neither is anyone else. I try. I do the absolute best I'm capable of doing with the resources I have available to me.
Most of the time, you, my wonderful readers, simply talk to me about the story line and how much it impacted your life. Very rarely do I have someone talk to me about grammar or sentence structure. My sister, who's a fanatic about spelling and sentence structure reads every book and helps me to make sure I'm not flubbing up and distracting the reader with commas, or lack there of. I think my books have increasingly gotten better since I first started writing. I'm very proud of how they've turned out.
As a rebuttal to Ms. Grafton, I work my ass off every day to try and put out a well-written and well-told story that people are going to want to finish. I love writing.
I think that any traditionally published author who believes what she's said, should try publishing a book Indie-style. I challenge anyone who believes Indie authors take the easy way out, to publish independently, without any type of income or name to stand behind. Create your own website, gain your own followers, market, promote, edit, format, copy rite, and publish your own book. Then, and only then will I listen to you. If you can still say to me that I've taken the easy way out, then and only then, will I quit writing.
In closing, she said something to the effect of "I think we’d all be well-advised to ignore the opinions of others." I both agree and disagree with this statement. I will ignore Ms. Grafton's ignorant opinion of Indie authors, but never will I ignore the opinions or reviews of my readers, wether ill or good. You are why I write. Your smiles, your tears, your frustrations, your giggles, your blushes, your "special" times after reading one of my books, this is truly why I write. I love writing. Listening to my characters, talking or reading reviews from y'all, and reading the story when it's finished, is amazing to me. Every time I finish a book I read it and think, "holy crap! I wrote this! I don't believe it!" I'm in awe. Reading or talking to you guys about my books makes it worth while. Even negative reviews are good to have. They help me learn and grow. Also, if someone were to take the time to post a heated negative review about my book, I know I must have touched a nerve, and therefore have still succeeded as an author. I write to impact, to bring emotions to the front, to help you escape from your everyday life. I write because I love it. I wouldn't know if I was succeeding as an author if I ignored the opinions of others.