How am I supposed to start this?
It's just not a natural thing for me to reach out and talk about myself to people I don't know. So perhaps I should start with a plea to whoever happens to read this, to bear with me. :)
A wise woman told me something the other day, that prompted this blog's creation. I don't know her; have never met her, but I think she was right. (as much as I hate to admit it) It was on a message board where Indie Authors, such as myself, talk about their plight and what does and does not work for them in their attempts to be successful. What did she say?
She told me that in order to reach an audience as an Indie Author, I have to forget about my books. What?! That the product I have to promote, is myself. Well, that didn't sit too well with me. I wrote my books to share my stories, I never expected to have to put myself out there to be scrutinized too. However, as I thought long and hard about what she had said, it all started to make sense to me. I think back over some of my favorite authors and while their work is what I fell in love with, I do remember them. But they had the advantage of a major publishing house, huge campaigns and managers. Me? well...that is where this blogging journey comes in.
I published my first book about three years ago, but didn't even realize the social media aspect of marketing until last year, when I started researching it. I figured that I would spend the hundreds of hours dreaming up the story, writing it down, editing, proofing, formatting, etc. and it would just sell itself. HA!! Wrong. There are literally hundreds of thousands of new ebooks published every year. SO. What makes mine unique?
I started by setting up all the appropriate things: Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, message boards and even a blog. But I made a big mistake. I marketed my book....not me. So my blog called 'The Forgotten Origins Trilogy', while okay is..well...extremely boring! I don't have much to say on it. It really acts more like the other website I created that just advertises my books.
So THIS blog is going to be all about ME. Who I am, what makes me tick, what makes me think and I hope that maybe I might even entertain a person or two along the way. I really can be funny sometimes, when I try.
Who am I?
I guess I will start with the basics; I am a 45 yr young woman. I have a couple of dogs and two amazing kids. No, really. I'm not just saying that. I have been incredibly blessed with these two precious gifts. (they are currently 21 and 17 yrs old - you'll see my daughter on the cover of my scifi trilogy!)
About fifteen years ago, I pursued a goal, and become a volunteer firefighter/EMT (yes, you read that correctly). I LOVED it. I was in the best shape of my life and doing something I felt led to do. My intent was to become a paid firefighter/Paramedic, but fate had some different plans for me.
I won't bore you with all the details, but let's just say I've got arthritis and bad joints. After several surgeries, dislocations, etc. I was no longer able to throw a pack and crawl around in bunker gear. I was slowly coming to that realization when the MS (Multiple Sclerosis) symptoms hit me. Nothing major, but enough to send me to the neurologist and get a diagnosis. I was diagnosed with it about six years ago and it is very mild (so they say), but still bad enough that I had to eventually stop working a regular job, until the symptoms leveled out. I had some other related episodes, which led to me first cutting back hours at my job at the time: an ER technician. (I've also been a security guard and 911 dispatcher...but I can save those stories for later)
I eventually had to admit to both not being able to respond as a firefighter and not being able to work the hours and stress level that my job required. For a few years I restricted my activities to teaching CPR classes and an occasional part-time job. I was recently able to go back to the ER in registration in a part time position, which is perfect in my situation!
I am a prideful person. It has always been one of my hangups. I was a single mother working full-time for years. It was very hard for me to not contribute the way I wanted to. So I struggled to find ways to keep myself busy and feel like I was still growing as a person and maybe even make a little revenue in the process.
I had gotten a new Nikon D40 the year before my diagnosis and I was getting more interested in photography. It's always been a hobby of mine, but the whole new digital age put a new spin on things. Three years ago I upgraded to a Nikon D7000 and the rest is history. Well, okay...maybe not quite yet, but things have progressed with my photos. It turns out that other people, even strangers enjoy the images and are willing to pay money to own them. I've had a great time this past year exploring this avenue. (check out my photos here: https://www.facebook.com/TaraEllisPhotography/timeline )
I have always loved to both read and write stories. I was one of the kids that never went anywhere without a book. I wrote my first children's book when I was sixteen. Well, I started it then. I finished it when I was twenty and I briefly tried to publish it, but things were different back then. When I didn't get an offer after my first ten attempts (I know, I laugh at it now), I shelved the story. I didn't try writing another one again until about eight years ago. It was an adult thriller but I couldn't get it finished and I wasn't very happy with it. I started a couple others but they never went anywhere.
Three years ago, I decided to try again. But this time, I was going to do it right. I researched how to write a correct outline. It might sound funny, but wow...what a difference that can make. I spent nearly as much time writing the outline, as I did writing the story. My plot was so involved, that it was necessary to have everything mapped out in advance, or else it would have ended up a mess. I don't want to give too much away...but Infected is something I am very proud of. Even though I think Heritage and certainly Descent are better written and more compelling, Infected is special to me.
SO...if you have stuck with me this long, I'm impressed. But thank you. And I hope that you come back. I plan on using this site to share my photos, my triumphs and perhaps even a few defeats but my intent is to be positive and maybe even inspiring.
I would love to hear from YOU also. Please feel free to leave comments or send me a note. AND, if you are a writer, I'd like to see your work. I think we can all learn from each other.