For YA steampunk writer Alison DeLuca, author of the The Nightwatchman Express (available from Amazon and soon-to-be in print from Fantasy Island Book Publishing), coming up with a story to tell was nothing new. Her childhood summers spent on a television-less Dublin farm with plenty of siblings and cousins on hand meant some story or another being created and enacted at all times.
But when it came time as an adult to focus that creative energy into novel writing, balancing the demands of writing, working, and taking care of a family proved to be far more difficult than just giving birth to a novel. Like so many other writers, historically and today, DeLuca has not just a day job, but a full-time family job as well.
“I was a stay-at-home mom for five years before I began writing full time. My biggest fears about writing weren’t about writer’s block and rejection letters, but about losing time with my daughter,” DeLuca says.
One of the aspects of writing that took up so much of that valuable time was the publishing process. After years of trying to publish traditionally, DeLuca knew exactly what was involved in the query process and knew that her job as a young adult/fantasy fiction editor, plus her family demands, weren’t going to be possible. She decided to submit her manuscript to her own employer, Fantasy Island Book Publishing, founded by J. Darroll Hall.
“I was the third author to sign with this new press, and within no time at all that number exploded to twenty authors. I was asked to be the YA and fantasy editor because of my experience writing in that genre, and I gladly agreed because I love for everything about those genres.”
So when does DeLuca find the time to write? The scheduling takes as much creativity as the writing. After getting her child off to elementary school, she has about two hours to fit in approximately two thousand words, then spends the next hour or two on editing. After that it’s on to social networking and answering emails, both vital steps in marketing herself as both an author and an editor. That leaves her with roughly one hour before her child returns from school to clean house, run errands, and make dinner. After bedtime, though, it’s back to the computer for more editing for the publishing company.
“I first went into publishing my manuscript, first to e-reader, completely blindly. I knew nothing about what constitutes a typical word count, so I put a 150,000 word manuscript to e-reader, not realizing that the publisher taking it to print was going to have to break it up into almost a complete trilogy. I have learned so much in this process, which was time consuming but also made it a lot more fun.”
Her e-book is a three-volume work, and so far, it has turned into two volumes for print, slated to include The Lamplighter’s Special. A third novel, The Devil’s Kitchen, is currently in the works, meaning DeLuca will have a lot more juggling to do for now.
Stay tuned for further articles about the plights of independent authors in our continuing saga of the “Good e-Reader Indie Initiative.”