The first thing I am going to tell you to do is stop worrying about how you are going to get published. If that is your main focus of writing, you are writing for all the wrong reasons. I have been goofing around with writing from a young age, not because of anything more than the enjoyment it brings me.
Of course, I suppose it also doesn’t help I don’t write for the mainstream audience either. I am graphic, use coarse language, and write dark poetry. In 1999, I submitted a poem entitled, ‘The Midnight Express’. This was for the fun of saying, there I did it, now I can move on.
A small time magazine got a hold of the poem, and paid me $20 to go ahead and publish the poem. I went ahead and purchased the magazine, now years out of print, just to hold a copy of something in my hand that my name was on, outside of the school newspaper. I thought I was pretty good at that moment, and submitted the same poem to the International Library of Poetry. They were great for stroking my ego, and as long as I paid them $60 for a hard cover book, I too could enjoy the benefits of being featured in one of their collections.
They were the hard way of learning, that in the literary world, not everyone wants to be your friend, some are out there to take advantage of others and stroke their egos enough to lure them into a fantasy world, where money is shelled out to a frivolous end.
I continued to move forward though, and I continued to churn out poems and short stories to publications. I had plenty of poems get published over the years, and oddly 13 short stories. Most of what I wrote, I told while it was good, it would not appeal to a general audience. Again, it was too dark and graphic, and controversial. I took a stab at writing poetry from a loving stand point, and although, I don’t feel a part of me was in it, it turned out to be a bit more successful than what I previously had written. It was at that time I realized, I will still writing, but not where my heart was. If you sacrifice your soul to find happiness, you find out you end up with pain and regret.
So I folded my hand, and cashed in my chips. I was thankful for all I had learned through the journey, and I took that away with me. I started to write ‘A Death at the North Pole’. I killed off Santa Claus and tormented his family and friends with a vengeful female cop. Instead of going mainstream, I went independent. I knew it wasn’t something a publisher was going to print, it was violent, killed an icon, and was brutal and graphic. I loved writing it, and I received some great positive response to it.
But one thing still baffled me, when a recording artist goes independent it is great, they are showing courage and strength. When a writer goes independent, they are considered a hack, and talentless. Some of the best authors I have read have been independent authors, not following a mold is a very powerful thing.
The point that I am making, is don’t rule out independent publishing to get your feet wet in the publishing world. If you got something you believe in, chances are other people will take an interest too. The work is harder, but the pay off is greater. You get the blood, sweat and the tears of the whole process. You get a chance to find your soul, and take a stronger sense of pride in your work.
Joel M. Andre was born January 13, 1981 in Cottonwood, AZ. He began writing back in 1994 on a personal level, discovering the passion and feeling the words brought him. Although more of a hobby at the time, he collected his works and in 1999 released the poem The Midnight Express. It received positive feedback, and was quickly followed by For the Salem Witch. To date Joel has released over 60 poems, and 3 books.
Pray the Rain Never Ends was the first book, which includes the poem he wrote for his nephew Christopher Andre. A gripping work that shows a different side to the creator of work that usually holds a darker flair.
The follow up book A Death at the North Pole brought a new side of Joel out. This was a dark journey through a winter wonderland, and provided a more in depth look at Joel and his long form writing.
Most recently Joel released the book Kill 4 Me, a technological ghost story, of a woman haunted by a vengeful spirit through the use of a cell phone and computer.
With a passion for writing, you can tell Joel loves what he does. Although some would say his imagination runs more left field, there is no denying his original thoughts and ideas will provide enjoyment for years to come.
You can visit his website at www.joelmandre.com.