What Was I Thinking?

I’ve never written a blog. I’ve never had the urge to write a blog. So imagine my surprise when I bumped into a fantastic opportunity that I couldn’t resist: writing a weekly blog for Amazing Stories Magazine. I could barely contain a fangirl squee! So. Much. Fun.

The timing was a little awkward since I was only a week away from the launch of my first novel and was fretting over details. What sample bit would I read? What would I wear?

The information packet arrived from Amazing Stories and I tucked it safely away so I could focus on my first publishing event:

October 26, 2012. A classic dark and stormy night. I parked the car and wrangled a box of books out of the trunk, hunching over so it wouldn’t get soaked. The Wet Coast is well-named, but you couldn’t have dampened my spirits even if you’d fried my hard drive and all of my back-ups.

I was running late. I was illegally parked.

I lugged the box to Dark Horse Books where I could see a few people through the steamy window. Someone saw me coming and opened the door. The box was snatched from my arms and someone took my keys to re-park the car. As I took off my coat, I counted six people. Gulp. Was this it? I’d sent over a hundred invites. I plodded toward the back of the shop where a table held snacks, a jug of punch and a few copies of my book. If I hadn’t been so damp I’d have hugged one for reassurance.

Monique's Debut Novel
Monique’s Debut Novel

The bell over the door jingled and the store filled up quickly. I looked out at the group of attentive faces, and realized that they were the reason I’d kept it up so long, the reason I’d never stopped writing. I’m a story teller and they had come to hear a story.

So I read for them. I signed the books they bought. I was giddy and terrified the whole time but it was the most amazing hour and a half I’ve spent in my life.

A dream come true but much later than I could have possibly imagined when I wrote my first stories several decades ago and fantasized about being a novelist. Even though publishing a book has always been my ultimate goal, I was not convinced it would ever happen until the day I held that first sample copy of Tye Dye Voodoo. Who knew publishing a story would be the most satisfying thing I would do in my life?

There are now more ways than ever to get those stories into the hands of the people who want to read them. It’s easier than it’s ever been to see your work in print, whether digital or on paper. There have always been independent alternatives to the big-name publishers, and now that they’re down to six major lines it’s important to support the more accessible, smaller publishing houses.

That’s what this blog is all about. A platform to share ideas and lessons learned in the world of publishing. A way for new writers to find outlets for their work. Because those of you whose heads are full of made-up adventures know this: there are always more stories to tell.

“If we don’t risk it all, we may as well not write at all.”

– Anne Stuart –

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