I hope you will check it out and share it with your friends.
If you would rather not deal with an eBook, it is, of course, still available via amazon. You can find the paperback here for $15.95.
Here is the amazon description of the book: Megan Wane is caught in a life of dull dreariness. She goes to work in a dead end job with a boss she can’t stand, and comes home to a silent apartment with only a standoffish cat for company. She can only get away through her imagination. And there, in her thoughts, there exists a fairy-tale kingdom with wizards and dragons. A place called Prosperity, where she is both a princess and a hero. On this day, both Megan’s external reality and her interior world will suffer tragedy that will turn her life upside down and shake her to the foundation. Can Megan turn disaster into deliverance?
Below is a new introduction to the book and my experience writing it.
I hope you will check out the eBook of my novel, MEGAN. I am really proud of the book and I think you will like it as well.
For a time I was not a good temp worker.
My wife and I had just moved back from Los Angeles to Michigan, and Michigan, at the time, was feeling the brunt of the Recession with new jobs being pretty scarce. And since I was moving back with an MFA in creative writing… well… business owners usually don’t declare in meetings: “Quick! Get me a fiction writer!”
So I became a temp worker as I struggled financially to help get my wife through grad school at the University of Michigan.
Re-entering the business world after almost five years of living and working around a university was a mind-opening experience. And since I was a temp—part of the staff and not really being a part—I felt more like one of those scientists you see studying monkeys, on the outskirts and observing. The fact I was also at office after office of places I had no interest really in working in (usually doing data entry, there is a skill you unintentionally acquire when you are a writer- fast typing), didn’t help me keep my attention. Honestly, I was usually someplace else mentally.
At the time I also felt pretty secure in my future as a writer (it was the only time I have ever felt that, by the way). I was working with a great literary agency out of New York and they were supporting two of my books, CASSANDRA ON THE ISLAND (unpublished) and MY PROBLEM WITH DOORS. And, in not so many words, I was told by my agent that they had their hands full with just those two manuscripts. Which meant, for the first time in my life, I didn’t feel pressured to create something and attempt to jump-start my career. It was completely in another’s hands.
It was a freedom I never thought I would have.
So I would go from temp job to temp job, to the gym, and play a lot of video games, knowing that all of this was just the middle of the story of my life, the bit that would be edited from the future biographies I imagined. The rest of my real life was around the corner once my agent lined up that publisher.
I have always been an observer of characters. I can usually break down a person’s character after a few conversations, and what I realized to my great surprise was that my feeling of not being where I wanted to be was pretty much also felt by the majority of other workers. Yes, a lot of the people I came in contact with did not see that job, that location, that occupation as their final destination.
Many talked about colleges, other careers, etc. I even met a lot of people who wanted to be writers or had a novel in progress. Yes, I had to make a few excuses not to read a first draft!
Sadly, for most of the people it was talk, dreams; so very few were doing anything about it, except wishing. While they did not see it as depressing (to them being normal and natural), to me it was. See, that is how I was before I went off to grad school, forced myself to finish that first book. I knew that life rut! I had lived in that rut too! So that was spark number 1 for MEGAN.
Spark number 2 came on a car ride. After writing DOORS, it was hard for me to turn off the fiction part of my brain and I became obsessed with the idea of creating a fantasy. Not a legitimate fantasy, but more one that is the “illusion” or “dream” of a fantasy. Something you would see more in a sketch by a child, as compared to Tolkien with his different dwarf and elf languages and detailed maps.
Anyway, my wife and I were driving back to our drab little apartment when an incomplete sentence jumped to my mind. I asked my wife to write it down quickly before it slipped away. That bit (which I still have memorized today) was:
“… but in her mind, Megan was a princess.”
Spark Number 3? Well, spark number 3 is more about life, in some ways. You ever notice how in books and movies stories seem to jump pass the everday moments, never walking you through a day or the thoughts that a person may go through over the hours? Yes, I can understand that jump, especially if it is not important to the plot, but as a I worked in these jobs, I started to wonder what it would be like to write a book that only followed one worker through one eight-hour day. Because it is there we all spend a majority of our time on this globe.
My last temp job I had was at a trucking company doing data entry. If the workers there remembered I was still there most of the time, I have no idea. It was not a difficult job for me, not with my mad typing skills. The job had crazy hours, starting at 4 and going until almost 1 to 2 in the morning. (To this day, I remember that phone conversation with the temp agency begging for another assignment and them telling me no; the company requested me.) It was more depressing for me since I never really saw my wife. She was gone to classes when I was home, and I was gone when she was back in the evening. I knew after a few days on the job, I was going to need something to keep myself from going mad of loneliness.
So… to keep my sanity, I gave myself a challenge.
That challenge was MEGAN and I was giving myself six weeks to create a first draft and I had nothing to start with save a sentence and some little ideas. This was almost completely from scratch. The idea of working like this was so overwhelmingly awesome. What would scare other writers, left me feeling excited.
Each night I would arrive at the job, quickly get my part of the evening’s work completed and then I would write until the end of the evening. The funny thing is (and before you judge me) I was not the only person who worked at the job liked this. A lot of the actual workers (not temps) were just as bad. We had a knitter, someone who read books, another who spent all night on the internet playing games. But me, I was creating something I felt that could be really special.
I had never challenged myself to create something like this before in this short a time frame, and since the novel would have two major plots I had to write each separately, leaving me with the impression I was actually writing two books, not one.
I was so inspired! It was exhilarating!
And since I knew I was creating something, using my trained and fine-tuned skills, I didn’t feel as depressed and “stuck in a rut” like the others around me. In a meeting? There I was with my notepad working out a scene. During my lunch? I was taking a walk speaking into a little tape recorder or writing. This book helped me keep my sanity.
Usually, I like to tell new writers that the first draft is the fun bit. That is typically always true, but for me and this one time, MEGAN was a heck of a lot more fun during the editing. Because it was in the editing that I had to take my two separate stories and make them one. Oh, for a mind like mine that was awesome fun. Symbolism (color is key, for example), little references between the two… I threw everything I could think of into the intermingling of the plots. And in many ways, of all of my books, this one is the most rich because of it.
A few years later, after MEGAN’s completion, my agent and I went our separate ways and luckily MEGAN, along with MY PROBLEM WITH DOORS, were selected to be published by a new indie press out of Canada after winning a competition. The editor I was assigned to work with on the book was wonderful, and I could not be happier with the final product.
I hope you enjoy Prosperity.