As I’ve sat down to write this post, it’s currently the beginning of December. My novel’s cover art reveal is days away, our Christmas decorations are up in the house and Patch the dog is happily snoozing on my feet. It’s been an absolutely manic (and rather expensive) couple of months for me with regards to my novel, so I thought I would take a moment to reflect on everything that’s happened since I got my bum into gear and begin the self-publishing journey.
Funnily enough though, my story didn’t start a few months ago, but instead, back in 2015…
November 2015 was the year I took part in National Novel Writing Month. I had participated the previous year and won with a great story and I enjoyed the process so much I wanted to do it again. There were lots of story ideas floating in my head that I wanted to develop but I eventually went with one that had been brewing in the back of my mind since I first watched and read Akira back in March of that year.
This of course, was Melanie’s story.
The bare bones of Melanie and her world came from daydreams I used to have as a kid, where I had telekinetic powers of my own and I could get revenge on all the bullies at school. The idea has always been in my head but it wasn’t until I became properly invested in the world of science fiction and my discovery of Akira that the idea started to grow rapidly.
Unfortunately, due to not planning out the story properly and a number of mental health issues at that time, I wasn’t able to complete NaNoWriMo for that year, and had to pull out after 12 days. But the idea of a secondary school girl with unexplained telekinetic powers still lingered in my head.
In 2017, I had a lot of changes happen in my life, both physically and mentally. One of those was the decision to cut one of my best friends from my life due to an incredibly toxic mentality she had. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do and I struggled for a very long time afterwards. During this point, I was thinking about the direction I wanted to take my work in and how self-publishing could open up many possibilities for me. It took a few pep talks with myself, but I knew that writing was a deep burning passion I had. And let’s face it…my stories weren’t going to write themselves.
It was then I decided on the 5th May of this year, that The Ascension of Melanie Winters, was going to be my debut novel. And good fucking God, I wrote like a maniac.
Three solid months of world building and writing went into creating Melanie’s world. Every single chance I got to write my book, I took it no matter where I found myself. Home, work, out on the road, I poured every bit of passion I had into the book. And it wasn’t just the book I worked on too; I even created this website, a professional email and did all the relevant research I needed to so my book could be the best version it could possibly be. Those three months was spent in Melanie’s head and there was a spark of determination and fierceness that came towards my writing that I had not ever experienced before. The drive for me to be better and make my lifelong dream become a reality after all the hardships I had faced in my life was all I needed to get through it.
My manuscript is being edited by Rowanvale Books (it’s currently undergoing quality checks), my cover art is finalised and I’m preparing everything to officially launch the book late January or early February. And let me tell you…I’m so fucking proud of myself.
The day I get the physical copy of my book in my hands is going to be an emotional day for sure. It’s going to bring a sense of closure to a dream I’ve had from a young age and yet will open even more avenues to keep pursuing that dream. I know that my book won’t become an instant bestseller overnight (and I’m definitely not expecting massive sales or me rolling around in money my book has earnt), but I know that if I put enough work in maybe this dream of mine could become a career choice for me.
The fact that I’ve made my dream come true is enough of a reward for me.