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Monday, March 18, 2013
When I began my “quest” to become a full-time author, I had no idea about what it would take to get there; even less about what it would take to stay there. Like every writer on the planet, when I started, I worked a normal job-well, if you can call auto sales normal-and wrote in my spare time. I had the same hope every author has when we think about what we want out of life: To spend all day writing, and getting paid enough to do that, and nothing else. I say “hope” and not “dream” because the “dream” is to sell millions of copies and be the next big thing in literature.
Well, I finished my first book, self-published it, and waited. Guess what? It didn’t happen. In, my first six months I made a grand total of one-hundred and twenty-three dollars. This is clearly not enough to support a family (unless you live in a jungle hut on the far side of the Congo). So I did what all writers do… I wrote another book; book two in the series, in fact. I had not learned my lesson just yet. No, I still had hope. But this time, I stumbled on a bit of luck.
GMTA Publishing, a small indie publisher, noticed me, (or more truthfully, I waved my hands in the air until they noticed me), and they decided to take a chance. They re-published book one under their label, and made plans to publish book two. What happened next was amazing!
In the first three months, I sold ten-thousand copies! Oh, my God! Can you believe it? Then, book two came out and did just as well. Everything I’d hoped for was happening. I was writing, making money, and finally working a job I loved. Everything was golden…until reality set in.
About the time I realized I’m not living the “dream”, but realizing the “hope”, it was time for a new book. I didn’t have a year. I had a few months. Sales would drop off, and quickly, if I didn’t keep producing. If that happened, I would be back to selling cars.
The thing is, an indie author has to put out at least two successful book per year in order to make a decent living. It’s far more than authors with the big six publishers are asked to do. Not only do we have to write the book, but also go through the editing and proofing process as well. Then there’s the cover, beta reading, and promotion. Oh, and everything beyond writing the book takes a lot of time, so the more time you take to write, the less work you can put out. In short, life for an indie writer is not what most people may think it is.
Still…I love it! I get to touch lives, make connections, and get to know people who are, without any doubt, the best I’ve ever known. And…I get to write for a living. How cool is that?
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Friday, March 8, 2013
The Darkening Dream has everything I love in a story: Action, adventure, and romance-along with some unexpected twists and turns that keep it fresh and exciting. The writing is solid and composed, without losing style and momentum. Gavin also manages to write young characters without infusing them with an over-abundance of adulthood; and yet he gives them just the right amount of mature wisdom to make the reader believe they could accomplish their goals.
I often am disheartened by what has become of the vampire genre. Don’t get me wrong, though I am not a Twilight fan, I am all for any book that gets young people to read. But it seems that each new vampire story is a carbon copy of the other. Andy Gavin, however, did for me what Anne Rice did so many years go. He made vampires interesting again.
As a history buff, I enjoyed the turn of the century setting, and Gavin captured the feel and vernacular perfectly. I also enjoyed the insight into the life of a Jewish household during that period. This is certainly something new in fantasy, and for me, was great fun.
I would certainly recommend this for readers both young and old. It really doesn’t matter if you like fantasy, horror, paranormal, or anything else. If you like good fiction, The Darkening Dream will not disappoint.