My Journey To Writing…
Many people have asked me what in the world made me write a book. I mean, I’ve been a physical therapist for the last twenty years! And all of a sudden, I write a book? So one of the first questions people ask is, “Why?” My answer to that is, “Why not?”
Ok, I admit that it does sound strange that just out of the blue, I’m trying to publish this book. But let me start from the beginning. When I started writing Chaysing Dreams, I had no intention of actually writing a book. It was literally something I wanted to try as a hobby- for fun. Initially, I had no intention of trying to publish it.
I’ve always loved to read. I’ve been a reader my whole life. I still remember when I was a little girl, hiding under the blankets at night with a flashlight, and staying up way past my bedtime just to finish a book. I literally get lost in the stories I read. I know it sounds crazy, but if I really enjoy a book or get attached to the characters, I am lost in that world for weeks!
Ok, so we’ve established that I love to read. But to be honest, I love to write as well. I’ve written poems, speeches, short stories, and songs. No, I’ve never published any of it, but I do enjoy writing, and have received numerous compliments from my friends who have read some of it. I think they’re are as surprised as I am when they see some of my work! Lol!
So, one day (I believe it was in April of 2012), I said to myself, “I’m going to try to write a book!” I think it was right when I finished the Fifty Shades trilogy. I was just going to try to write a story, more for a challenge, and to use it as my little “escape” from the BS of the real world.
The thing is, the more my story started progressing, the more I fell in love with my characters. I loved where my story was going, and I got more and more invested in it. Since April 2012, I would write, research, and take notes practically every evening and every weekend. Even as I would drive to and from work, the story continued to develop in my mind. I spent countless hours on it. I was so attached to my story and my characters, that on some scenes, the characters basically dictated how that scene should go. Call it crazy, but it is what it is!
When Chaysing Dreams was finally done, I had my sister and a couple of my really good friends read the manuscript- just to see if they even like the story. And trust me, the unedited version needed a lot of work. But when they were done reading it, they loved it! They advised me to pursue this.
At first, I was hesitant, and then I thought that I’d really be doing my characters a disservice if I don’t somehow bring them to life. So, I got an editor, revised the book at least a thousand times, and decided to self-publish. I had no patience for following the traditional route: find an agent and then the agent finds a publishing agency to publish the book. This route could take years! Yeah, I’m way too old for waiting around, and Chaysing Dreams is the first of a trilogy. I still have two more books to write, edit, revise, and publish! The first one took me almost a year and a half by the time it will be available! (I’m predicting release date to be around the end of August)
This literature world is very new to me. But hey, I’ve learned a lot. So I go to my day job (Physical Therapy), and now I have a night job (author). I’ve worked on the cover for the book with a professional photographer and a graphic designer. I’ve had to write a synopsis for the back of the book, an author bio (this was hard- who likes to write about themselves?), and I’m trying different ways to market! I have no idea what I’m doing- lol! But I did start a twitter account a few months ago (Jalpa Williby), a Facebook account for the book (Jalpa Williby and Chaysing Dreams), and my own website! (www.jalpawilliby.com) I’m not quite sure how to use all of it yet, but again, I’m learning.
I know I have a long way to go on trying to get the word out on this book. There are millions of authors who are doing exactly the same thing as I am- and believe me, this is hard work! I have a whole new respect for the literature world!
So there you have it. This is my journey thus far! I’m working closely with my publishing agency to get the book out, and I also started working on the sequel. At this point, I’m proud of myself for such a huge accomplishment. I put my heart and soul into this book, and I do hope people enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
If anybody has any advice for me, I’ll take it! And thanks for all your support! J