Laid Bare Before the World
Anyone who knows me will tell you: I hate to talk about myself. I’m great at helping others and I love being a part of what they create. I have no problem promoting my books on the free websites like BookRix or Figment. I plaster things all over Facebook and Twitter about my writing or my progress. But…when it comes to telling people about my eBook, I clam up. It isn’t that I think it’s an inferior work. At least three of my highest rated short stories on BookRix are in the book, so I know it has at least a few good stories in it. Plus, I wouldn’t have published anything less than my best. I just…hate imposing on people.
I originally published Freedom From Chains because I wanted to test the eBook market. I offered up a collection of my short stories to the Amazon gods and prayed they’d take off, but I forgot about promoting. When it failed to draw in any buys, even after telling family and friends about it, I floundered. Writers have to be made of resilient stuff, to be sure, but we’re not immune to disappointment. I don’t think I’ve ever been as disappointed in my life. Freedom wasn’t necessarily my greatest work (because I considered my novels much better), but I still thought it was good. To have even family and friends turn it down when it cost less than a cheeseburger was tough. I’d been writing for years and finally got up enough courage to put it out there for the world to see and it fell flat. I think to date I’ve sold 10 copies. That’s not enough even for a royalties check.
Now, I didn’t get on here to lament my failed book. The flopping of it was entirely my fault. I didn’t do my share of the work. Yes, I wrote it. Yes, I edited it. Yes, I told a few people about it. I failed to really promote it, though. No one outside my Facebook friends knew about it, and very few Facebook friends actually care what someone else posts. I have some wonderful reviews and a few books sold once I started promoting in BookRix, so I know there’s some merit to it.
Freedom From Chains is a collection of short stories I wrote during high school and college. Most of it deals with the turmoil we go through as teenagers. The stories from high school reflect an air of invisibility. As the nerd in my class and my family, I had the same insecurities so many other teens face. I was just another face in the hallway. I was just another child in the house. Those teenage years were some of the most difficult in my life as I struggled to figure out who I was and where I fit. Writing was my way of crying out, of getting attention. Stories like “Dolls” and “Graveyard Hour” are great examples of that, full of the emptiness and desolation I felt.
Many of the stories are tinged with the depression, fear, and wonder I felt when I got pregnant my freshman year of college. They were either inspired by that new feeling of love or by my attempts at looking for the good in that terrifying event. I knew it wasn’t fair to blame a child for my own mistakes, and writing became yet again my form of therapy. It was an outlet to form the new dreams and desires I would have as I shed the old hopes and plans. “Dust of the Earth” stuck with me throughout the entire pregnancy as I faced the disappointment of my parents and the judgment of the people around me. Life took on new meaning, and I began thinking much farther than just my little world of school and friends and the CW at night. Everything became so much deeper and so much more intense.
Freedom From Chains, while written at a younger point in my life, is a patchwork of the transformation I had from an immature, insecure high school girl to a determined young mother. It holds all of my pain, all of my fears, and all of my passions. Perhaps that’s why I’m so afraid to tell people about it. It isn’t so much that I’m afraid of imposing on them. After all, $.99 isn’t a big amount to ask. I’m afraid of exposing myself. Perceived reality is still a reality for whomever experiences it. Freedom contains so many elements that many people close to me wouldn’t understand or would question me on, but it shows where I stood and what I felt. It is, in the truest sense, one of the best pieces I’ve written. It isn’t a novel, but it has just as much of my heart in it. Even more, it lays out my mind more than any novel would. Freedom From Chains is a naked reflection of me, free from the trappings of plot and story arch and characters in need of further development. It is simply just me.
If you’re reading this, I would be so honored for you to buy the book. I don’t so much care about the royalties from it. At $.99, there’s not a whole lot I can garner from it. I would be honored to know if any of the stories touched you. We as people are all essentially the same. We all have our insecurities. We all fear. We all dream about the future and mourn the past. As a writer, my dream is to touch the soul of my reader. If I can or have done that, I’ve succeeded.
Leave me a comment if you have read the book or if you think you might buy it. The picture below is a link to Amazon. Thanks.
Posted on December 18, 2011, in Book Reviews, writing and tagged anti-drug, book reviews, BookRix, facebook, Freedom From Chains, Kindle, life, lost, love, motivation, musings, S. G. Ricketts, twitter, writing. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.