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  • austinlewiswrites

Let´s Switch Topics

I have tons more to say about moving to Portugal and international moving in general, but for now, let´s talk about writing.  This is one of those “You´re probably wondering how I got here” posts.

I have always loved writing, in the way that I think most bookworms do. When I was little, I was constantly scribbling poems and stories and making up things in my head. Telling myself stories lasted into the present. I remember being in the car with my now-husband and making some mention of “the stories you tell yourself in your head before you fall asleep” and being completely shocked when he didn´t know what I was talking about. I thought everyone did that.

I am one of the zillion people who always thought I had a novel in me but never actually did anything about it.   And then I was a stay-at-home mom with two little kids, and I developed a huge crush on an actor on a show I was binging.  And as I was driving around one day, I thought to myself, “What if I wrote him a letter, and then he wrote me back.”  And while I didn´t do that, the idea did create a book concept in me that I was dying to write. 

For the next few years, I wrote on it when I had some free time, which was almost never. Then, on January 1, 2021, I decided to make submitting my book my New Year's resolution. I wanted to try and get it published because I figured at least then I would know either way, and I wouldn´t have any regrets about not taking a chance. 

So, at the beginning of that year, I did a lot of research on how to get a book published and tried to polish up my manuscript.

Then I started to query. Oh, the querying process. Is there anything quite so soul-crushing? Here is this thing that you created and are so proud of, something that feels like a part of you, and you send it off for people to judge, and generally, they reply with “Not for me” if they reply at all.    

It is also incredibly slow, especially after COVID-19, when apparently everyone had the time to write a book. And I have never been particularly patient. Around this time, Amazon came up with Kindle Vella, a new platform where you could publish stories chapter by chapter. They liked talking about how much Charles Dickens used to love doing that, which… okay. And I started writing stories from Kindle Vella as well as writing and publishing a lot of fanfiction on WattPad and AO3. 

After I finished my first complete novella on Kindle Vella, I started researching how to self-publish a book. By January 2022, I had done just that. 

And in all of this, I got an agent (yay!) who I eventually broke up with (boo!), and I am not re-querying the first book I wrote (serious boo), but that´s all in the next blog.

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