I am doing a virtual event at Mysterious Galaxy Books on Oct 25th. I’ll be talking with fellow author Meaghan McIsaac, whose middle grade fantasy The Bear House came out recently.

You can sign up for the event here!

On a more personal note, I’ve been thinking about my publishing journey. When I first began writing, I had one dream: to publish a book one day. I had stars in my eyes and believed that life would forever be rainbows and butterflies once that dream came true.

Of course, that didn’t quite turn out to be the case.

The publishing industry can be discouraging. It’s easy to get caught in the sales figures and comparison game, and to place a value on your book based on its monetary value (which is not the same thing). It was definitely not ideal to debut during a pandemic. Children’s books rely heavily on the school and library market, both of which were closed / severely impacted during 2020. Even now, in 2021, I’m not sure how many schools and libraries have returned to “normal.” That’s why I’m grateful to everyone who has spread the word about my books.

The cartoonist behind Calvin and Hobbes once gave a commencement address at Kenyon College. I recently came across his speech. One of his quotes stands out to me:

Selling out is usually more a matter of buying in. Sell out, and you’re really buying into someone else’s system of values, rules and rewards. The so-called “opportunity” I faced would have meant giving up my individual voice for that of a money-grubbing corporation. It would have meant my purpose in writing was to sell things, not say things. Authorship would become committee decision. Creativity would become work for pay. Art would turn into commerce. In short, money was supposed to supply all the meaning I’d need.

Bill Watterson

You can read Bill’s entire speech here. It particularly resonates with me and the reasons I write. I do not write to become rich and famous (I think there are much easier ways to achieve those, at least the first one). I write because I love writing, because I love storytelling. Even if my next draft never sees the light of day, it’s the joy of weaving a tale that puts my mind to ease.

For aspiring writers out there, remember the reasons for your passion.