One Indie Author's Journey to the Big 6 and Back Again (a publishing saga as illustrated by my hair)
|1976: Hat Hair|
This is me at the time of my first professional writing gig. In 1976, I was an 8th grade misfit at an academically boffo but ideologically stifling Evangelical school. Girls in my class consumed True Confessions Magazine every month. (Who loves porn more than Puritan's, right?) Reading the stories typically titled "My Father Sold Me" or "A Sophomore's Secret" or some such, I thought, "Heck, I can do that." Because I knew virtually nothing about sex beyond the vague "pulsing" and "engorging" alluded to in True Confessions and the "manroot" physiology of my book-a-day Gothic romance novel habit, my erotic tragedies relied heavily on witty dialogue and lush descriptions of locations, current pop music and fast food. For $1/page, I wrote customized stories starring a classmate and her made-to-order crush. In cases where the crush was a real boy who failed to live up to expectations, a brief epilogue featuring his untimely death could be had for a quarter. Word spread, and I expanded my business to a local roller skating rink, passing off the folded pages in the privacy of the grimy girls' bathroom like a drug dealer. On the first day of 9th grade, I was ironing my hair on the ironing board and branded a broad stripe down the front of my nose. This pretty much set the tone for my high school years.
|1981: Hippie Busker|
|1994: Bald is the new black|
|1996: Chemo-fro and Mr. Clean|
|2004: Redhead with Redbone|
|2011: The American Blonde|
But I've grown up a lot. I've been to the puppet show and seen the strings, as they say. I began my writing career delivering stories directly into the hands of readers, so indie publishing feels like coming full circle. On roller skates.
I've given up trying to color my hair dark. The few strands that aren't white are bleached blonde to blend in. The only thing that hasn't changed is that daily longing to find the right words, the compulsion to set them down on paper. And so I write.
UPDATE: Flash Forward to 2017: Mrs. Grey will see you now...