Today I received a shipment of the first twenty books of my debut novel, Flour City Blues. The feeling I had when I opened the box was not of excitement, but that awkward sigh that showed me this was the end product of something I’ve worked on for almost five years. Five years from brainstorm to that heavy box of shrink-wrapped books that were just lying all over the living room floor earlier.
I’ve come a long way, baby.
I’ve always wanted to write. I am not a romantic, but I have a romanticized view of everything. This is what helps me be a writer. I don’t just think–I illustrate the whole idea in my head as wild and crazy as it may be.
Like, anyone can say they want to be a writer. Me, I want to be that hidden entity in a Parisian cafe, believing I am unseen behind large sunglasses while I scribble away in my (Hello Kitty) notebook about everything I see around me, crafting it to be the next big story. I take the simple and make it complex.
This first story was simple. It was born out of my love of music, and I took it to the next level to become complex. I fell in love with punk rock in my teen years and now, many years (maybe well over a decade now?) I never looked back. This book became an homage to those years, still sprinkled with innocence and naivety. Of course, a heavy dose of music does a book good.
I dove into writing the story with ease, the next scenes and somewhere in the midst of it I came to a screeching halt. Writer’s block. Where to turn next. Conflict? Sure, every book needs conflict. Should I go gritty or high school juvenile(ish?). Needless to say, I am pleased with the final result, even after numerous drafts, a lost manuscript, many more drafts, loads of editing and revising to now seeing a bound copy put together.