Thursday, September 17, 2015

Book Publishing Secrets with Linda Lucretia Shuler, Author of 'Hidden Shadows'

Name: Linda Lucretia Shuler
Book Title: Hidden Shadows
Genre: Literary
Publisher: Twilight Times
Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published.  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?
I knew I wanted to be an author when I was around six or seven years old. I wrote my first story then, Koko the Monkey, which I still have tucked in a drawer somewhere. I never asked myself why I wanted to write. It was, and is, simply a natural part of me, something that’s always been there.
The idea for Hidden Shadows crept upon me slowly, seductive in its call. I took round-about trips in my imagination as well as in fact, exploring ideas and locales, before I found the path that the story wanted to follow.
I felt the need to explore grief, and how it can cleanse and renew or shatter and destroy. I wanted to illuminate the process of healing, of connection: to the land, to our ancestors, to others, to ourselves – and to the redemptive power of love.
And so Hidden Shadows was born.
Is this your first book?
Yes, my first novel. A prequel is rattling around in my thoughts, demanding to be heard.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
A close friend whose novels I admire recommended her publisher, Twilight Times, a small press well respected in the publishing industry. My friend’s experience was so favorable, I decided to give it a try. So here I am!
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?
My journey isn’t done. I’m still traveling,  road map in hand. However, from what I’ve experienced up to this juncture, there’s much to commend, and much to complain, about such a trip:
Pro: The satisfaction of seeing the story and characters born in my imagination come to life in print. The sense that readers are touched by this invented world, that it lingers in their thoughts, becomes a part of them. The ego-boosting “Yea!” when reading a favorable critique. The feeling that I’ve accomplished something good, and perhaps made a difference in someone’s life – if only for a moment.
Con: It takes work. A lot of it. Patience. Fortitude. Non-creative, non-fun necessary stuff. I’m like a kid wanting to kick her heels and howl in a temper tantrum because she can’t have her dessert now, immediately! So much work, in fact, that my mind hasn’t shifted gears enough to focus on the next novel. It can be frustrating.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
The publishing world has changed drastically over the last few years, and continues to morph. It would be easy to feel lost among the throngs of writers, of the multitudes of books released. Oh, to be listed among the top ten! That’s the dream of us all, isn’t it? It would be easy for me as a writer to feel “in the dumps” because I’m in a crowd, rather than among a select few. Or because my novel isn’t trumpeted in colorful ads plastered across the pages of glossy magazines, or blessed by Opera, or featured in the New York Times. But satisfaction must lie in the present moment, and what we hold in our hands.  
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
As the saying goes, “Different strokes for different folks.” What works for one author may not work for another. I hesitate to recommend a specific path toward publishing: the journey depends upon the traveler. Do what feels right for you, and for the market you want to attract.    
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Believe in yourself. Don’t give up – not ever, no matter how long it takes, no matter how many boulders are strewn along the way, no matter how young or old you are. Enjoy the journey. Enjoy every moment of your life; if not, dissatisfaction or disappointment seeps into the pages of your work.

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