Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Introducing "To Anoera and Beyond..."

When I was fourteen years old, I was watching my cousin play a video game...and I was bored (I wanted to play).  It was one of those tournament fighting games that doesn't have a real storyline, so, in my boredom, I made one up for some of the characters.  As the story began developing in my head, I began to write down some of the details.  Then I started typing it out.  Eventually, I was planning a whole trilogy, and so The Guardians of Light was born.  I finished the first book, The Betrayer, in a year (Christmas break to Christmas break), and then had kind of a "now what?" moment.  I knew I wanted to publish it, but didn't know how to do that, so I started doing some research.  What I found out was I had pretty much no chance of publication without an agent...and at the time, I was to impatient to find an agent (I'm still pretty impatient).  And then I discovered self-publishing.  It was a lot more work, but I thought it would be worth it.  So, I set about preparing the first book for publishing.  I edited it, and had others edit it as well.  I found a print-on-demand company that I thought would solve all my publishing problems (they had a dog for a mascot at the time, which really drew me).  I learned how to draw (kind of) so that I could design the cover and illustrations myself.  I did all this while maintaining a very busy high school career (volleyball, speech, mock trial, drama, 4-H, golf...the list goes on).  In the end, it took me four years before the book was
ready, and I finally self-published it when I was eighteen.  I thought that would be the hardest part, and the rest would just fall into place.  I was very, VERY wrong.

I had no marketing skills, and had no platform from which to launch any kind of marketing strategy.  I was young, inexperienced, and had entered into a world I wasn't really prepared for.  I went to some book talks, and had a signing at my school, but I was basically flailing around in the dark.  Then I just kind of...gave up.  College started, and life became more demanding.  I continued writing, continued working on the other two books, but the fire that had led me to publishing the first one died a bit.  The print on demand method was expensive, and I wasn't making any money.  It was another four years before I came to my next big decision...I was going to look for an agent.

I started my agent hunt in the fall of 2013, after going through the first book and editing everything again.  I'm still looking, and have done extensive updates to the original manuscript, filling in some plot-holes, and maturing the story.  I've done a lot of growing up since I first wrote The Betrayer, so it needed to grow up a bit too.  I've learned a lot more in the ten years I've been doing this, and have even considered giving self-publishing another chance if an agent doesn't respond (it's proving difficult to get someone to represent a high-fantasy book in a dystopian saturated market).  This blog will be my outlet and my platform.  Hopefully, through this, I am able to share the world of The Guardians with a wider audience, and to receive feedback from the people interested in exploring it.  So, I hope you stick around for the journey.  It's been a long one already, but now it's really going to get interesting.

E. K. Broich

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