In January of 2013, I attempted to resurrect an old story idea called Hollow Hill. It was a story about a mentally unstable woman who had lost much in her life, and for reasons unknown to me, didn’t have a great relationship with her mother. As I wrote around 300 pages of her story, I couldn’t escape the feeling that there was something missing, something not explained or even explicable.
One night, as I wrote more of the story, in the back of a trailer in the woods of Montana, it hit me. I didn’t know why she was made at her mother because my character didn’t know. And then it became clear. We all have intuition, or a sense of things. My character hadn’t sensed it yet, but I immediately did. Why was she angry with her mother? Because Sysan Byrd wasn’t her mother at all, not her real one. And then a name hit me like a hammer on the thumb: Rosalind. Rosalind was Maggie’s mother. Great! Excellent! But, who was Rosalind?
This didn’t take me long at all to figure out. It was as if Rosalind had been waiting for me to find her, in some dark corner of my mind. But once I did, then something magical happened. She didn’t shut up. She couldn’t, and I couldn’t stop listening.
That night and into the early morning, I whipped out 80 pages of her story, almost half of the entire, short novel. A muse had touched me.
It would only take two months to finish the rest of the novel, as I approached the writing sessions more cautiously, and tried to maintain my school schedule.
But in March of 2013, I was able to publish my first novel, Rosalind, on Amazon.
Was it an awesome feeling?
Making the biggest mistake a writer can make, I did not have my novel professionally edited. After a million revisions and some very bad reviews, I felt like the worst person on the planet. I felt like I had let everyone in my family down. But most importantly, I let Rosalind down.
It wasn’t a total disaster. It is now 2014 and the book has had over 12,900 downloads, admittedly most of the on the free promotion. But, as the revisions (all self-edited) kept coming, the reviews picked up, and right now they are averaging 4.1/5 stars on Amazon. Goodreads is a little lower, but for what I forced out there, I am grateful.
Where does Rosalind go from here?
After hiring an editor and a professional cover artist, Rosalind is almost ready for re-release.
I can only say that the new print release is coming soon. I will keep you all posted.
Today, Rosalind is sitting at over 15,000 downloads. eBooks are fine, but it’s time to put the pages into the hands of the reader.
– Stephen Paden