So, I’m really excited right now. I turned my novel over to my editor for the second time and I feel like I’m getting really close now. She thinks she’ll have it for 2 weeks at the most and then it’ll come back to me for final, final polishing edits and then, gulp, formatting for publishing!
I can’t believe it. I’m constantly thinking about it, wondering how my reception will be in the book world. I’m hoping it will be positive but I know there will be critics. There are always critics no matter how good your writing might be. I know people will probably complain about the sheer number of swear words in my book and possibly about the format.
My book is told through some sequential and some non-sequential chapters. And I jump back in time and forward. So it could potentially be confusing for some. But it made the most sense to me about how to tell this story and to keep the pace moving. I also use journal entries to propel the story and give even greater insight into my characters head. The journal entries also highlight how writing is a release, a necessary friend to my main character.
A goal of my novel is to get directly into my main character’s head, so as you can assume there are a lot of “thoughts” and this might be annoying to some readers who only want pure action and not thoughts. That isn’t to say that the thoughts are long and drawn out without action, in fact, both happen at the same time, but I’m sure some readers don’t find it fascinating to get into someone’s head. For me though this is critical for the type of story and for me as a writer.
The story is also first person, present tense, which could also be a challenge or different for some, even for me at first, although as time went by, I got more and more used to it. It was hard for me to write say or says after ever line of dialogue instead of said. But soon it became clear to me that this was the only way for me to tell this story. I wanted the reader to be up close and personal, in the moment with Victoria. I wanted them to hear her thoughts as every situation presented itself. I wanted them to hear her sly sarcasm, her humor, her depression and most of all, her panic and to understand how she feels, how she copes or avoids things and what ultimately happens to her.
As I read through my novel the last time, I really felt like the emotion was there, the raw human experience and I hope that my readers will feel this way too. That is truly one of my goals, to illicit emotion, to illicit understanding about this mental illness, to bring you into her head. And I think I’ve done that. I hope I have. I truly can’t wait to share this with people and for me, even though it will be nice to make some money off my novel, from something that I truly love to do, it isn’t really my main goal. My goal is to educate, and to help those who suffer, to tell them that they are not alone. I want to convey the message that suicide isn’t the answer, even though sometimes it feels like it is. Because your life is your own, it’s YOUR life and you can’t just throw it away in a dark moment. We all have dark moments, we all have those moments when life seems unlivable, but that doesn’t mean we won’t one day experience the beauty too. And life is worth living for the beautiful moments.
The other message I want to convey is that it’s okay to let others in. It’s okay to ask for help, to admit you need it, to find others to help you. It’s okay and even necessary to admit what’s going on, to find someone to talk to and it’s okay to feel mentally, for just a little while, that someone else is holding all your worries. Panic attacks and anxiety may feel like a huge stigma, they may feel like you are different, however it’s okay, it truly is, to admit what’s happening.
It actually sort of makes me want to cry that I’m this close to my dream, a dream that I’ve had for so long, even before I started writing 3 years ago. I’ve known for a long time that someday I wanted to write this story and now here it is, everything I had always wished it could be. This is my story, even if it’s not exactly mine in the details as this is fiction. It is however, my emotion, my breakdown, my recovery, my struggle, each and every day and I want to share. And not only that, I think it’s human. It’s emotional and we have all experienced those emotional, overwrought times in our lives. And I think this book captures that.
I can’t wait until the day that I can write to you that my novel has been published. This isn’t just some nice story, some fantasy in my head that I wanted to capture. This is my life, my experience, my emotion. It’s that personal to me and I think that comes out in the writing, the honesty, the truth in the experience. I know as writers, sometimes our first novels should be trashed, should be throw away because they are practice for the ones to come, but this one could never be that for me. I have to share it, I have to get it out there because I have never, ever in all my years of being a dedicated reader, read a story about someone with panic attack disorder. And for that reason, I feel like this needed to be published because we who suffer need a voice, a dark heroine to show others how we feel.
So, I’m hoping within a month or so, to tell you, that I am officially live on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and all the other large retailers. And I’m hoping you’ll want to hear my story and that others will too.