In the summer of 2009, I sold my pickup truck. I could’ve taken what profit I made and done something responsible, like put it towards my continent of student loan debt, but I didn’t. I bought a netbook. And I started writing a novel.
I’d had notes and something that resembled a draft leftover from college, but it wasn’t the book I’d wanted to write. I changed names, tempers, ambitions. The story got fat on thought, feasting on bigger ideas than the silly one that started it. It had no title, and then it had a working title, and then it was just plain entitled to way too much of my time.
I finished writing the following spring. When I wasn’t revising, I was querying. For anyone who writes, or even anyone who reads, this is not news. The sorrow and vigor of the publishing industry is more transparent now than I suspect it’s ever been, but it doesn’t change why we do it. The compulsion to write is primal and vital, but it’s also social, at least for me (as an introvert, this is a Big Deal). I’ve never written a word I didn’t want to share with someone else, even when I was only calling my best friend in junior high school every forty-five minutes to read aloud what was basically erotic friend fiction (but with post-apocalyptic scenarios and/or elves).
But now I get to say a thing I’ve wanted to say for a really, really long time. I get to share my first novel with you (and you and you and you, too, if you want). The Hidden Icon is forthcoming from Fable Press, and I am so, so ready to geek out with you about it. I’m so excited about this I’m sure something’s going to go horribly awry, but a little healthy skepticism can’t still the thump-pumping hunk of my heart I’ve put into my unreliable narrator’s hands. Because now you get to meet her, too. And that’s just damn cool.
Even if nothing or everything or only a little, lovely something comes of this opportunity, I won’t be sorry. Because this story didn’t begin in 2009, but in 1989, when I wrote my father poetry on the back of an envelope and he kept it on the dash of his work truck.
And this story isn’t over yet.