I promised the other day on Facebook that I would make a blog post to update you guys on what has been happening in my life and why I haven't been as present on Facebook and in the writing community as I used to be. And why I'm not attending GRL this year. I'm going to do just that. And you're getting it as uncensored as possible...I say as possible because a guy has gotta avoid lawsuits. :P
(this will be a long one so I apologize in advance)
If you guys remember, back in February I made a post talking about my indefinite leave from writing. It may have come as a shock to people since those who I've spoken to know how passionate I am about it and how my face lights up (or so I've been told) when I talk about it. It's true. I love writing. It's been a core part of me for years - about fifteen years. So clearly something happened to warrant me dropping something that I've done for fifteen years and loved so much. I'll explain as thoroughly as possible without namedropping because that's a bitchy thing to do.
Back in November of last year I submitted a novel to a certain publisher. I submitted because I was told that one of the higher ups of the company was expecting it. I waited the full 8 or so weeks (the standard) and received no response. Now immediately this gave me pause. I've been in the business for three years and published by two other companies: Wilde City Press and Rocking Horse Publishing.
It's pretty standard that if you submit randomly, you endure the wait time, or if your material is requested/expected, you wait less. In the case of Wilde City, I waited...like two weeks? Maybe less - before my novel was read and accepted. Rocking Horse I waited a month. But much less than 8 weeks.
So this felt, in my opinion, a bit unprofessional. So I sent a nudge, got a response that they'd get right to it, and continue waiting patiently. 3 or 4 days later - I got the equivalent of a standard form rejection.
Well, of course I was devastated. I mean, again, I'm no stranger to the submission process - yeah, form rejections are standard at a certain level but usually not if someone higher up in the company is expecting it. That usually requires a more personally response. I'm not arrogant. I don't mind the novel being rejected. Lord knows I am probably the most self-depreciating author in the world. It's true, I'll fight you for that title. But I do mind how the situation was handled. And I feel like there was a severe lack of communication or something because I strongly feel like the person who was supposed to see the novel didn't.
Anyway, so I'm really broken up about it and I spoke to a really good friend of mine in the genre about it. The person who promised me that they would help make it happen for me and be there and claimed to be my #1 fan/supporter. This was all, unfortunately, not the case.
After being ignored for weeks and weeks I got (what I felt at the time and still kind of do) brushed off and my feelings weren't validated. They didn't honor any of the promises they made to me and when it came time to armor up and go into battle with me, they didn't.
Now let me explain something here. I know legally I'm an adult. But at my core, I'm very much still that young boy I've always been. The one who sees the good in everyone, has to turn the lights on in the house before heading to the bathroom in the middle night in case there are monsters or something lurking in the darkness, and who believes in heroes. Who believes in people.
And I can honestly say I believed in this person SO much. I trusted them. They were like a super hero to me. And maybe that was an unfair burden to place upon someone but I can't control how I feel about a person. And it was like my hero let me down. I did my best to always be there for them when they needed it and I feel like they weren't there for me when I needed them the most. It hurt.
This wasn't the only thing going on at the time, either. I was dealing with personal IRL problems a few of which I'll share. My fiance was getting laid off of work and I needed to get a job in a restaurant to help out, we were struggling with an infestation of termites in our house and a crappy landlord who wouldn't fix the heat or air conditioning so we were a bitch to the elements, and other things I don't care to mention.
So what do you do when it feels like your life is falling apart and you feel as though one of the people you thought you could always count on isn't there for you? Well, in my case, you pull away. I decided it was the healthiest option to distance myself from writing/the community and spent some time just doing other things I loved.
I actually managed to release a book even though I was taking a hiatus (Sequestered Hearts buy it now on Amazon! :P) and have been working hard to balance myself and kill the anxiety/depression inside of me. It's been working for a while.
As for why I'm not going to GRL this year: I can't justify spending the money. It's so far away and even though I want to see some people who'll be there, it's just not in the cards. Plus I'm too disappointed in myself to go. I should have already released White Rose and had Black Rose on the way out. Instead I've let a lot of you down and for that I'm deeply sorry. I miss Alex. I want to continue his story. And I will.
I'm working out my schedule for next year. I definitely plan to write more. I can't escape it. I'm working on two novels right now that I know you guys will love because they're both dear to my heart. One about a gay young man raising his younger brother who has autism and another story about a gay vampire hunter. One serious, one dark humor-esque. I'm actually enjoying writing them. I plan on getting to White Rose some point. I'm thinking before GRL 2016. That'll be nice.
So here's where I'll end the blog post. I want to personally thank Taryn, Wade, and Lisa for being there for me whenever I need them. If it wasn't for you three, I don't know what I would have done. Thank you guys so much.
Honorable mentions go to Rebecca, Juli, Jackie, Nicole, Jeff, and Zallora. You guys are also super supportive. I appreciate the love.
Sorry for the rambling/ranting.
MUCH LOVE AND APPLESAUCE </3