Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Guest Post: My Journey to Publication by Ellen Devlin #KissingMicky #WritersLife

My Journey to Publication

by Ellen Devlin

What a strange journey this has been so far.
You see, I never intended to write a book. Or anything, for that matter. I have never had any difficulty putting my thoughts into words, and I dabbled in poetry in my high school years (didn’t we all?)… But writing? For real? It never even crossed my mind.
Until about two years ago, when I started actively realizing that my daydreams and fantasies always presented themselves in my head not just as visuals, but as narratives, like you would read in a book. I would see/feel the scene in my imagination, but I was also "hearing" the description of the scene as it played out.
Huh. Interesting.
Once I noticed this, it became almost impossible to ignore. And it made the vignettes, the little fantasy scenes, begin to want to escape into a more permanent form. Essentially, I began wanting to save my daydreams so that I could revisit them—keep them vibrant, so they wouldn’t lose detail over time.
I have loved hockey for years. (This might seem like a complete non-sequitur, but stay with me.)
Hockey players are incredible, world-class, competitive athletes, and yet they somehow manage to come across as personable, fun-loving, and approachable, with locker room pranks like overgrown kids. How cool is that?
Add to that how hockey seems to have a very high percentage of players who are exceptionally attractive*... well, in retrospect it was inevitable that at least some of my fantasy vignettes would involve hot hockey players. (And now we’re back on track!)
Little by little I realized that the vignettes were beginning to connect to each other, with the same characters repeating in what would clearly be different stages of an evolving relationship.
By the time I had three or four scenes that were solidified in my head, I decided to write one scene as a short story and submit it to an online erotica site. It seemed like an ideal way to see if I could really preserve my daydreams.
I was just writing for me—my fantasies.
It turned out there were other people that not only read my story, but liked it. This was a bonus I hadn’t expected, and the positive feedback and encouragement was a bit intoxicating. (OK, more than a bit.)
In the meantime, the backstories of the characters were writing themselves in my head, almost without me noticing. It felt like every time I stopped to think specifically about the characters there was a new link chaining the story together, a new wrinkle, an unveiling of a detail that I hadn’t realized until I was sitting at my laptop and there it was, typed out.
My brain was busy in the background showing me that the characters were deeper, with families, and jobs, and quirks. And baggage. It was as if all of the information was already there, I just had to turn a bit inside my head to look at it. If I just paid attention, I would see that the story was simply waiting to get out.
Eventually, as the storying was pouring out, I realized that there was enough for an entire book.
The whole writing process has been new, exciting, unexpected, and, frankly, slightly terrifying.
And fun.
Roane Publishing has been wonderful to work with, and my editor, Lynne McAnulty-Street, was kind and insightful in her suggestions. I couldn’t have asked for a better first experience.
After “Kissy Micky” had made its way out of my brain and into the hands of Roane Publishing, my brain felt rather... empty. As if the process of pouring out the story left me creatively done, so to speak. I wondered if there would be other stories, or if this would just be a one-and-done, and I should simply be grateful to have had the experience, without looking for more.
Turns out I just had to wait a little while for ideas to start filling up again. They trickle in, a bit like a leaky roof into an empty bucket. The bucket fills up slowly, but it does fill up.
Fingers crossed…

*Please note that my observation regarding the attractiveness of professional hockey players is objective. Completely objective. No bias here at all in that regard. Nope, not from me.

About Ellen Devlin:

Ellen Devlin lives in the Northern Virginia area with her family, both human and furry. She is an avid hockey fan and lover of animals.