One of the most useful things I learnt at university, in relation to writing, was archetypes. I had a fantastic teacher who was fundamental in my education of archetypal characters and stories. She will never be able to understand how much she effected my own journey and how she influenced my writing. Archetypal characters and tropes are useful for writers and often writers use them without realising that they have. One of the most widely used archetypal stories is The Hero’s journey most Hollywood blockbusters seem to follow the basic formula of the Hero’s Journey (and trust me, once you start picking up on it in movies it’s almost impossible to stop). My favourite explanation of this story base is Joseph Campbell’s (if you’re a writer and you haven’t already read The Hero with A Thousand Faces I highly recommend it. I also recommend The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler). The Hero’s journey is not simply a literary phenomenon. Most aspects of the Hero’s journey are applicable to our own lives and the cycles repeat with new situations. The Hero’s journey is, in my opinion, a definite psychological path of growth that I have been through several times.
I’m not going to go into a long-winded explanation of the Hero’s journey. Plenty of other people have already written succinct eloquent descriptions, and much better than I could I’m sure, and this information is readily available on the internet. But, I’m pretty sure that if we applied The Hero’s Journey archetype to my publishing story right now I’d be somewhere between the trials or in the belly of the whale. I’ve stepped out of the “ordinary world” that is my world as it was before I published The Kingston Chronicles and we’re into the initiation into my new life as an Indie Author. It’s surprisingly just like my “ordinary world” only with a lot less free time and a lot more things to cram into my day. I’ve launched my book, I’m working on the sequel, and I’m waiting. This is honestly the hardest part of the journey I think. The waiting. I update my social media daily to help market The Kingston Chronicles and generate interest but a lot of my job now is waiting and praying. Once your book is out in the world you lose some of the control over the path of your career. You become more dependent on other people. You are dependent on people reading and recommending your book, as well as your marketing, for growth in sales and reviews.
So I’m focusing on the things I do have control of and trusting that with time and patience I will get to where I want to be. I’ve almost finished the first draft of Samhain Sorcery and it’s soon to be reviewed by my fabulous editor. My next step with Samhain Sorcery is focusing on the marketing and generating things like cover art. I’m running my first ever Goodreads Giveaway which is having a better response than I expected it to (US residents can enter by clicking this link. Competition ends April 2nd 2018). Running the giveaway hasn’t been cheap and I can’t say definitively yet whether or not it was financially worth it but I’m monitoring the progress it’s making. As I’ve said before, this whole publishing journey has been a learning curve. As well as Samhain Sorcery I’m also drafting another novel. I need a little break from the world of the Kingstons and the Conways for the moment. I’ve dedicated over ten years to it and it’s time to start some of my other projects.