I admit that I was a little shy of posting this one, but I’ve been thinking about it a lot for the past week or so. You see, nobody writes in a vacuum. Perhaps, more to my point, nobody publishes in a vacuum, and that’s pretty crucial. As an indie author these days, having a group of people I can as questions of or celebrate with, people who can guide and inspire me. And I have that, to a degree (thanks, brain, for being all shy and introverted!) in a couple of online writers’ groups. But before I had that, before I even pulled the trigger on A Demon’s Duty, I had The Guys.
I met these guys back in college when I was convinced that I wasn’t good enough at… well, anything really. I wasn’t creative enough or interesting enough or what have you. I was a good technician, but I wasn’t a designer. I was an avid reader, but writing my own stuff? Nope, nobody was interested. I’d had that point driven home very neatly in a creative writing class, thanks. Not going to try THAT again.
But I still loved creating things and wanted to be a part of that. That’s half the reason I went into theatre: I could still tell stories, I could work on the shows and be a part of the process, even as a very small cog. And at the anime conventions I went to, I ended up on the back of the tables in artist’s alley, helping my friends to sell their books and their prints.
I’ve lost touch with a lot of those guys in the years since, but not all of them, and they continue to inspire the hell out of me. I know I’ve mentioned Xero’s work here and over on my Facebook page. He’s incredibly creative, multi-talented, and goddamned relentless. He and his wife are a Force to be Reckoned With, and I hope I can grow up to be that badass brave someday. Mookie and I have stayed in touch over the years, and his opinions on heroes have definitely affected my own. He’s also pretty relentless, and wouldn’t let me talk myself down even when I was being all ‘oh, no. Nobody would ever want to read my stuff.’ My friend Garth (who now collaborates with Mookie!) is less prominently a writer, but every one of his drawings tells a story and makes me think. I’m both impressed and jealous of people who can think visually, let alone create something coherent out of line and color like that. I told him the other day that I have a goal to someday commission a book cover from him. Professional goals, folks.
There are more people who have given me the support and the courage to take that first step, and then to continue to encourage me to keep it up, keep writing and releasing my stories: my husband, my parents, several of you who have emailed me… It’s all vital to the process, and even though I feel arrogant and snobby to call my books art, it’s true enough. And art doesn’t happen in a vacuum.