My release day tradition involves my husband (okay, not in the way you're thinking!) Above my computer is what I call my Wall of Fame. I have five by seven framed copies of all my covers. My husband prints them for me, since he's very talented that way, and I hang them up. I have to admit, I really like the way they look up there. Aside from being really pretty, they represent a lot of pride.
I wrote for years and years without being published. I majored in writing in college and had several stories in the school's literary magazine, which was nice, but the stories weren't ones that really came from my heart. My teacher, though I loved her dearly, insisted that we all write mainstream, New Yorker style stories. The ones about middle aged couples who were sick of each other but lacked the energy to do anything about it, and the most exciting thing that happened was that somebody made toast. I wanted to write about dragons and swords and unicorns and healing and lust. Not allowed. But I learned a lot about the craft of writing.
Then I went to graduate school. All my teachers there were men, and they wrote what we called "hunting, fishing, and fucking" stories. Obviously, gay characters need not apply. I wrote a harmless little ghost story, and got a B in the class (which in grad school was the equivalent of barely passing.) After I graduated, I wrote more of what I was "supposed" to write. I did publish in a few more literary type places, but in terms of money and fame, I was going nowhere. My heart wasn't in any of them.
It wasn't until after my first daughter was born (I have two. See, my husband isn't totally regulated to printing photos for me) that I began writing fantasy again. My creativity needed an outlet and I didn't have much time to write, so I had to get my fiction fix in as fast a way as possible. I didn't really try to publish -- I was just writing for me, for fun. But I did take it seriously, and I worked hard at making my writing as good as I possibly could. I know my writing improved more during that phase than it had during any of my formal education. It was then that I started writing about the characters who were published in my Notice Series much later. When my girls got older, I joined several writer's groups and enjoyed the support of other writers. But I wanted more.
Hitting the send key on the email that contained the manuscript for The Glass Man was probably the scariest thing I'd ever done up until then. Then signing the contract became the scariest thing.
And then when I got the edits and I saw the amount of fixing I needed to do... And then I had to join social lists, and host Live Journal, and start my own blog, and holy cow! There are times I've wondered why I ever wanted more than to be alone with my computer.
Then I look at my Wall of Fame.
Enjoy Silver Pearl, everybody! Thanks for celebrating with me!
Standing in a meadow late at night, not really certain why, Joel is shocked when he encounters a unicorn—one that turns into a beautiful young man. Joel aches to be closer to the unicorn, but everyone knows unicorns only approach virgins. After a brutal attack that left him broken and afraid, Joel is no longer that. Then hunters appear, determined to take down the unicorn, and Joel will have to overcome the horrors of his past in order to save his chance at a future.
Here is a link to a book trailer I've made to whet your appetites: http://mraiya.blogspot.com/2013/03/silver-peal-book-trailer.html
To read the excerpt and enter a contest for a chance to win a free copy of Silver Pearl, visit my blog at http://mraiya.blogspot.com/2013/03/silver-pearl-blog-tour.html and leave me a comment with your email address. The winner will be drawn on March 23.
Thank you all so much for reading!