First, I must preface this little story with a little secret: we writers are tender souls who need lots of encouragement. We bare our souls to the world when we get published, and we desperately want to hear that people like our work. Then, a bunch of people blast our work on Amazon.com and other book review sites. Even if most everyone else says it's great, we only remember the negative reviews (which is why I won't even look at Amazon or barnesandnoble.com anymore). It's not good for our psyches. Even Stephen King admits that writers are "needy," as he describes, it in his book, On Writing. I'm just as needy as the rest! I'm telling you this story because, well, it's funny, but it also shows how much we writers need encouragement. On that note, I would like to thank all of you for your e-mails, asking me when Out of the Shadows is coming out. Those e-mails made my holiday!
I know I'm going to get a lot of flack for this, but I have to be honest... About 4 hard copies of the newest version of Out of the Shadows are floating around. (Not including the manuscript currently with my editor and the digital copy with the TSME (top secret miltiary expert).) Wait! Hold on! They're review copies for people to review either for editing or for "blurb" purposes. One copy was destined for my youth pastor, Tom Powidski, because I want him to encourage people to buy Out of the Shadows when it comes out.
This is the story of that manuscript. (Kind of.)
I left the copy of the manuscript on Tom's church-office chair a few Sunday's ago. That night, I went to church to watch my nieces perform in the children's Christmas play. Afterward, my good friend, Sarajane, convinced me to let her borrow said copy...
Now, realize that Sarajane doesn't have the manuscript anymore. (See Part 2 of the story.) And before I start hearing cries of "foul," understand that Sarajane, during my first ever book signing, went up to my publisher, held up A Prophecy Forgotten (which she had read twice in about a week) and said, "This is better than Harry Potter!" which caused my publisher to send me a contract for Out of the Shadows the next week. For that, Sarajane gets special privileges.
Anyway, back to the story. I took a trip to Disney World a few weekends ago while Sarajane was reading the manuscript. As I got off the ride, Splash Mountain, I felt my bag vibrate. (I set my phone on vibrate in case I can't hear it, which is often.) I literally pulled the phone out of my bag as I exited the boat and saw that it was Sarajane.
I must admit to all of you that I knew exactly why she was calling, and I was prepared with my answer.
Here is the conversation from my point of view:
"I'm sorry, Sarajane, I had to kill [Fred]. I had no choice." (No, his name wasn't Fred. Do you honestly think I'm going to let that slip on my blog?)
"Look, Sarajane, I knew I had to kill [Fred] when I wrote A Prophecy Forgotten. He was destined to die even then."
"I know, Sarajane, I loved him, too. But I had to kill him. And I cried for fifteen minutes after I did it."
"Yes, but killing [Fred] was highly necessary. It had to happen. Look, be glad I didn't kill [Joe], which was my original thought."
"I know, I know. And I had know you're already mad at me for killing, [Bob], but I had to do that as well."
You can imagine the rest of the conversation. (And no, don't look for clues in the [names]. I made sure all the [names] didn't have anything to do with the characters they represented.)
Well, this is the funny part. I'm having this conversation about killing poor [Fred] in the middle of Disney World while I'm walking out of Splash Mountain. Can you just imagine, hearing some chick talking so cavalierly about killing someone...? I'm lucky I didn't get arrested. Can you imagine that conversation? "Wait! Wait! I'm a novelist! [Fred] is a character in one of my books! Those handcuffs hurt! Come on! [Fred] doesn't even exist!"
Okay, so it's probably not that funny of a story, but I thought it was.
But there is more to the story... (See Part 2.)