Delighted to be hosting author Elle Spellman today as part of her She’s Bad News blog tour with a guest post about her experiences as a debut author!
What would you do if you woke up with super powers? For Bella Brown, life hasn’t gone according to plan. She’s almost thirty, still living in her uneventful hometown, and her dreams of becoming an investigative reporter have fallen by the wayside. That is, until she wakes up one morning to find she’s been gifted with some amazing new abilities. What’s a girl to do with heightened senses, super speed and the ability to lift a truck one-handed? Bella quickly discovers that her new powers can easily help her land front-page leads at local newspaper The Hartleybourne Gazette. Soon Bella’s out every night chasing down local criminals for stories, while keeping her powers a secret from everyone besides flatmate Chloe. But when a burglary-gone-wrong accidentally turns her into the mysterious Hartleybourne Heroine, Bella finds herself on the front page for the wrong reasons. Her secret becomes harder to keep as she tries to track down the source of her powers, and especially when crime reporter Matt Gilmore is intent on unmasking the town’s new vigilante… Suddenly, having an extraordinary life is far more dangerous than she ever imagined.
Becoming an author is a fantastic experience. Fantastic, yet at the same time, strange. My first few months as a debut author have been great, though I’m still adapting to the reality of it.
And yes, okay, that intro makes me sound like I’ve just joined a cult. Though if writing was a cult, I’d be all in. I mean, as a writer you already give up part of your soul, getting that all-important story out of your head and onto the page. And let’s face it, the more writers, the merrier.
Actually, does anyone want to start a cult? You know where to find me…
But in all seriousness, writing and publishing a novel has been a lifelong dream, one that’s been finally realised, and it’s only starting to dawn on me that yes, I am an author, and yes, I can say it now. I can tell people about my book that’s actually out there.
For those who are dreaming of this moment, having waited either your whole life, or at least a good chunk of it, to write and hone your book until it’s ready, you might think it’s full of sunshine and excitement and happy tears, and yes, it totally is. For me, the thought of achieving that goal was wonderful. Yet at the same time, there was a whirlwhind of other emotions just waiting to pull me in at full force.
Firstly, there was joy. That inner cry of “I’ve done it! My book is out there! THIS IS TOTALLY AMAZING!” That expected moment of sheer happiness and finality that meant my debut novel was available to the masses and I had reached a milestone. Which lasted approximately two hours before my happy bubble was burst by my arch-nemesis, known as the Inner Editor, who likes to catch me at inappropriate moments to stomp all over my hopes in her five-inch stilettos and remind me of how this whole thing was a bad idea. For me, my Inner Editor takes the form of a sassy lady who likes to tell me what’s going down. She rocks a pencil skirt and glossy hair and, in a way, is a bit like that scary boss most of us encounter at some point in our lives; the one you’re often unnerved by but at the same time, inspired.
“What the hell have you done?” she said. “Your book is out there. For public consumption.”
“It’s out. That personal part of you is OUT THERE.”
Then, of course, the fear set in. “Oh god,” I replied, in my head, to that imaginary, scary woman, “everyone’s going to hate it, aren’t they?”
“Maybe. Probably. Yes.”
Understandably, of course, this was merely the succession of worries playing on my mind. I’ve come to realise that I’m not alone in this – many authors that I know experience similar thoughts and fears. Publication week is an emotional one; exciting, yet at the same time, scary. Something you’ve worked hard on – a part of you, in a way – is being released to readers everywhere. Of course you’re going to worry if, well…if it’s okay.
Strangely though, that day I decided to argue back with my Inner Editor. I mean, normally she’s right. ‘That chapter’s too long.’ ‘That scene isn’t needed.’ ‘Cut most of this page, even that funny bit you really like.’ I know that I have to be cruel to be kind when it comes to my writing. But this time, I decided to take on my nemesis. Give her a two-finger salute. Or some harsh words, at least.
“Well…so what if people hate it? Not everyone will like it and that’s perfectly fine. But I’ve written a book. I’ve acheived a dream. So there. I’m super happy.”
It worked. She strutted off down an imaginary corridor in her imaginary high shoes. She’ll be back very soon; I’m currently rewriting book number two.
Admittedly, being a debut author has been a wonderful mix of emotions. But most of all, it’s been exciting. And what’s more exciting is that I have plenty more stories ready to write. Bring on the next novel!
About The Author
Elle Spellman is a writer and comic book geek living in Bristol, UK. She’s been writing since a very young age, spending her childhood afternoons penning stories about fictional adventures, and illustrating them too. Now, Elle tends to write contemporary fiction with kick-ass heroines and a little bit of magic. She’s Bad News is her debut novel, and she’s just finished working on her second. Her other interests include running, wine, red lipstick, the paranormal, and all things Batman.