It's Thursday again, so it's time for the Author Blog Hop, hosted by Sassy Brit at Alternative Read.com. Each week a question is posed, and authors post their answers. Then everyone hops along!
This week's question: Becoming an author, being a new author, and aspiring to be one is a confusing time. What is the most “difficult” hurdle you’ve encountered on your journey to fame and fortune. *laughing at fortune.* How did you resolve the problem and what do you recommend to avoid it? Or are you still in need of help?
I wish I could say my most difficult hurdle was behind me, but I'm still in the thick of it. The writing is the easy part. Even the editing, which can be a huge drag, is better than most jobs I've ever had. The most difficult part of this whole journey has been the problem I'm having with my publisher. It's bad enough that attorneys are getting involved.
I think I should mention that I'm no naive girl. I went into submissions--well, submission would be more correct since I only sent my manuscript to one publisher and they said yes--expecting rejection. I sent my manuscript to a publisher who had a "no simultaneous submissions" policy. This meant I would hold off submitting to another publisher until I heard from them. I am nothing if not a follow-the-rules kind of gal, so I read their submissions information and followed accordingly. I sent them my manuscript and then waited.
A few weeks later, they emailed and offered me a contract. Here's where the difficult hurdle part comes in. I assumed that they read my manuscript and offered me a contract because they saw something that would work with their lines. I've recently found out from the publisher that, in fact, they didn't read the initial manuscript and therefore didn't know that my hero is a man who has spent time in prison for murdering his wife in a crime of passion. So when I signed the contract, I believed that the publisher knew this was an integral part of the story--hell, it's the cornerstone of the damn story!--and was fine with it.
Then edits came last week and lo' and behold, the biggest problem with the story is that the hero must be changed because as the publisher told me, "Readers will hate him. Don't you want people to love your hero?" So when I refused to change the story because then it wouldn't be my story but some freelance editor's in Topeka, the hurdle became so big that now I've had to contact counsel because the publisher's behavior has gone from difficult to completely bizarre (i.e., offering me the choice of what day I want my book published after telling me the book won't sell if I don't change my character to something more likeable and exercising the first right of refusal clause in the contract for the sequels to the book and then telling me that her word is good when I told her I'd need that in writing. I still don't have that in writing.)
I got into writing because I loved the stories I had to tell. I still do. I never thought of writing as something that would mean fame and fortune. Trust me: I'm a college history teacher. I don't choose my careers based on the monetary return. As for the business end of writing so far, let's put it this way: I've been divorced twice, so it's my heartfelt opinion anytime counsel must be involved, the fun is reduced exponentially. But I still love to write, so for me, indie publishing may be the way I go for a while.