Well ….. where to start?
I’ve started this blog in the hope that it will allow those who find and read my books to share my journey as an author.
Let’s hope it all goes to plan and that my stories entertain an inspire children’s imaginations – and make my own children proud of me.
My name is Steve Lothian and I’m an aspiring children’s author who has started the long road to sharing my imagination though books. About 5 years ago I was compelled to make my long-held dream come true and I embarked on writing my first novel. This took some time to complete as it needed to fit in with my family and work commitments. But, I was determined and I made the time to get the story I had in my mind onto ‘paper’. The stories I have for the characters I have created are too big for one book, so I have plans for up to 5 books in the series that will continue to explore their experiences.
Once I had completed my draft I re-read it many times, making changes here and changes there. Refining the story and the text. When I was finally happy with it I was ready to take the next step – lets publish.
As a new author this was all new to me so I hit the web to research the ‘how’. The more I read about experiences of authors to get their break the more I felt I was heading into disappointing territory. The majority of information dwelled on the harsh realities that publishers were almost impossible to find for first-time authors. My enthusiasm stepped down a notch or two – this was going to be harder than I imagined. How did any author get their break?
I kept on researching and felt that if I was to get where I wanted to be I’d need to ignore all the negatives and create positives. I needed to keep focussed on my dream and make it happen – no-one was going to knock on my door.
Finally I took the plunge and sent my manuscript to a publisher. I followed the ‘rules’ that they eloquently stated in their submission guidelines to make sure they would have no reason to just discard my work – as some of them stated they would do if you strayed from the ‘rules’. This was my first introduction to the world of publishers. There was an overwhelming message in their guidelines that publishers would take months to respond and that they would not offer any advice or feedback on your work – they would simply say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ – and that it was not to cost them anything (one rule was that if you want your work returned you need to enclose return postage).
The days turned to weeks, then turned to months. Then I got my first rejection letter. I took it on the chin and didn’t let it worry me too much as I had a list of other publishers that I would try. Over the following year or two I sent my manuscript to different publishers, waiting the standard 3 or 4 months for each reply. Before I knew it a couple of years had passed and I was beginning to think it was just a dream.
But …. I have a stronger resolve than that. I’m not expecting to become rich with my books but I have a desire to share my imagination with kids around the world. Who knows? one day I may be a successful author.
This is the path that has led me to the decision to self-publish, and hopefully show the traditional publishers that they don’t hold all of the cards. Without authors the publishers would have nothing to publish.