I experienced a reoccurring dream for many years. The dream came in variations on the one theme - a tidal wave. They began in 1986 and continue. Each time I had the dream, I awoke and quickly wrote down the main thrust of the dream. The frequency was haphazard and I could not determine what, if anything contributed to them. Many people told me it was a warning, books written on the subject of dreams told me I was under stress and it was common for this to manifest itself in frightening dreams.
Over the years from 1986, I varied my lifestyle, changed jobs, moved house - all to no avail. The thing that frightened me the most was that the location of the tidal wave was always where I once lived (prior to the dreams).
I decided to get it out of my system was to write about it. But where was I to start? At the time I held down a fairly stressful position, so I arose each morning at around 5am and began to write. I made a brief outline of the story that I consulted before beginning each morning. I was amazed how the words flowed from my mind onto the computer screen, It was as though someone was telling me what to write. A the time of writing this I cannot remember the facts, but I can say I finished the first draft in a matter of 6 months.
Like most writers I had no faith in the quality of my work. I was not a trained journalist or an expert in the english language. I am just an ordinary person who had extraordinary dreams. I sat on the novel for some months but it kept haunting me, so I sent it to an editor and paid for an assessment. He was very encouraging and made several suggestions for improvement.
I set about following his suggestions and did a re-write. I contacted dozens of publishers, most of which did not show me the courtesy of a reply - the ones that did reply ll had one excuse or another for not wanting my story.
My circumstances changed and my book was left to languish for over twenty years. During those twenty years, I found many of the events depicted in my novel had come true. Some quite frightening. So I decided I should resurrect the novel and did another re-write.
I re-named it 2042:The Great Cataclysm in 1988, at a time when most of the world was uneducated about tsunamis. It was inspired by a reoccurring dream that I still experience even to this day. Mt. Rockwell, a location in the book, was revealed to me in great detail in my dreams, and since writing my story I was amazed to find it actually exists, 46 miles from Washington DC and is known as Mt. Weather. (Also known as the Western Virginia Office of Controlled Conflicts Operations.) More information can be found at about Mt Weather in a Time Magazine article written By Ted Gup Berryville June 24, 2001. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,156041,00.html or at this website:
2042 is available on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AX0034K
Once again in 2010 I submitted it for assessment to another editor. He also was encouraging and made suggestions for improvement. At the time, I was quite disheartened and threw his assessment into a draw and forgot about it. Then one day I was watching the news on television and a young couple were speaking about their success with publishing their novel as an e-book on Amazon.com's Kindle site. I immediately got excited and thought 'Why can't I do the same?'
So I read through my novel making some changes here and there and making sure the story flowed correctly. Then I spent some time checking out the Amazon rules and regulations and decided to go for it.
The next step was to design a cover . What now I thought? Many years ago I had some skills in designing web pages and became reasonably knowledgeable enough to use Adobe Photoshop. So I designed my own cover, one that I experimented with many times following Amazon's guidelines.
It was very easy to upload my manuscript to Amazon's website just using the Microsoft Word software - no fancy formatting was required. I priced it a $4.99 which sounds like a ridiculous price, but I followed suggestions of other authors and publishers on forums, all of whom said 'anyone will pay $4.99 to see what the book is about', but few will pay more.' Sales were very slow, so following another suggestion I reduced the price to US$0.99. Sales picked up immediately and I’m please to say are increasing every month and I guess that’s because Amazon is now promoting it on email blasts etc.
Following that I emailed all my friends and told them the news. Guess What? Hardly any of them purchased my book! Oh they all had excuses - too busy, no Kindle etc etc. So I learned another lesson in life. Your friends will not always support you.
There it sits. Now I have to find the time, the knowledge and the inclination to market it on-line. I will write about this when I have learned more.
My message? Don't let anyone (friends or relatives) read your drafts other than a professional editor, as they will try to influence you on the way you have written your novel, whereas an editor will advise you on the correct way. All writers experience what I have, and you the reader will probably find the same.
And never give up, no matter how long it takes!
The ABC's of a writer
- Attitude. Develop a Never Give Up attitude
- Business. If you do not turn up every day, you will not get paid.
- Consistency. Set a goal to write a number of words every day. Does not matter how many, just write.
It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way.
- Ernest Hemingway