Thursday, September 27, 2012

How Do I Explain?



OK, time for me to plaster my heart against the screen of your electronic devices. Just let me crack my chest open and pour out every last emotion that tries to cling to whatever is left dangling in my heart. What words can I say that would give you a glimpse into the pleated folds of my mind that nobody has ever seen before? I don’t know, maybe the possibility of speaking before I think of the ramifications, or in the attempt to keep my sacred moments locked away in my heart...I may appear distant or uninterested. 

If you only knew I am exploding inside, wanting to connect with every word, letter, email, and review. And the deep gratitude I feel for each person who has invested part of their life in Wilson and Max’s story.

Life is so precious, and how we spend it is so important. I am completely aware that what we do with our lives equates to how we end up spending our time. And in today’s world, I know that time is one of our most valuable commodities. A commodity that once spent, we can never get it back. We can’t ask for a refund or exchange it for something different.

Time is priceless, treasured, and irreplaceable; therefore, I truly understand the price you’ve paid to spend time with the characters that found their way through me and out into the world. Is there even a word in existence that can explain the emotion that swells through my body when I find out that someone has fallen in love with Wilson and Max? Possibly, but at this particular moment I can’t seem to find it.

Maybe it’s like when you see the man of your dreams and the spark it ignites deep within your heart. Or the unconditional, untainted love that saturates you when you see your child for the first time. This whole experience really does rank up there for me. When people give their time to my words, it is an indescribable feeling. A feeling I want to blurt out, share with everyone, and canvas the world with it; but it is so personal, so intense, and so awe-inspiring that to try and explain it seems almost too…limiting.

It is so powerful to feel people’s emotions. Every response I get from a reader about Wilson is poignant because they have taken their time to think, feel, and process the emotions that boiled to the surface of their life when they read her story. That resonates with me.

I can’t tell you what waits for me later today, tomorrow, or even the next. But I can tell you this…I am exceedingly grateful to all of the people in this world who have decided to share in the stories that swamp my head and pour out through my fingers. To those of you who have invested your treasure and time in my words—I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

With Gratitude,

Gretchen 
Okay, Let's just Visualize okay! Humor me!

Hello, Jennifer Lawrence as Wilson?


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Where the Heck is WM18@L?



Alright, right off the bat...I gotta tell you, I don't have a release date for WM18@L...yet. **grumble**grumble** (feel free to replace previous grumblings with your personal words). 

I feel this book (WM2) is much more of a hurry up and wait game. I gotta say, the “hurry up and wait” aspect of publishing this book, sucks. I want to come up with a date, I want to tell you, it is perfect, done, and ready. Because I know there are hundreds of people waiting to find out about Wilson and Max. I know where I left you, and I know how hard it can be to wait and see. It’s disheartening to keep telling you, my most amazing readers, to be patient. I feed off your energy and the anticipation that's building through all of your reviews and emails. I wish I could give you the inside scoop of the exact day it will be released, but I am waiting just like you.

I have so much love for all of you, and totally wish I could tell you what you want to hear, but I can’t. There are some aspects that effect the release of the book. So we are in the waiting process. But I promise you, WM18@L is completely written, and it has been edited twice. I have some small tweaks I have to make to the content and then meet again with the graphic designer to finish up the cover.

NOT TO CHANGE THE SUBJECT BUT…

Trust me; I know how you feel having to wait, because that’s how I write. When I sit down at the computer I have no idea what journey Wilson and Max will go on until my fingers are tapping on the letters of my keyboard. I wish I could tell you that I am a plotter, that I know exactly what character is going where, and what actions, feelings, and events are going to occur from one chapter to the next, but I don’t. Sometimes I stop mid-paragraph, mid-sentence, and have to come back when the story decides to continue. I write from that place of inspiration that decides to turn on in the middle of dinner, at my son’s basketball game, or even in the middle of the night.

Any writer will tell you, whether they plot or not, you can’t force the characters to do something they don’t want to do. It will come out awkward or unbelievable. I can’t sit down and tell Wilson what she and Max are supposed to do. She will argue until I see it her way (and just so you know…Wilson always win—always). Sometimes when I want to protect her or the other characters I will try and write it from a safer place or a different direction and sure as sh*t, they’ll flat out ignore me. When the characters decide to do something I would personally never do, I find myself pacing the floor, arguing with them. My body begins to perspire and my heart thunders in the back of my throat. I guess that’s when I know it is authentic. Eventually, I find myself tapping the keys and writing exactly what Wilson asked me to in the first place.

Even though I know what happens next, I struggle with waiting just as much as my readers. I know, I know…I can hear what you’re saying, “Come on Gretch, you have no idea how we feel. You have Wilson and Max in your head all the time!” Actually, I don’t. They aren’t hanging out telling me what is going on. Heck, it would make writing their story a lot easier if they were. But like you, I have to wait and see what they are willing to share with me.
 
Wilson Mooney, Eighteen at Last…Coming REALLY soon, sometime in 2012.

With So Much Love and Gratitude,

Gretchen

Friday, September 14, 2012

When A Spark Catches...



When a spark catches, a fire will blaze until its unstoppable flames consume without consideration. It is at this particular moment when we must decide if it is a blessing or a curse. We can either stand on the edge of a new opportunity grieving for what was lost or choose to celebrate the newly discovered possibilities.

When Wilson came to me several years ago, I didn’t know what she was all about. Some people told me that none of the big publishers would touch the story with a ten-foot pole. They thought the story was too taboo because it was about a girl and her teacher. But something inside me kept me writing it. The creative urge to tell her story was stronger than the mainstream belief that readers couldn’t handle the subject.

I knew that once people read the story, the whole idea of a student and a teacher would be an afterthought to the relationship of two young people who were falling in love with each other. It was so much more than the superficial, knee-jerk judgment of a naughty novel.

As I passed chapters to people who wanted to read Wilson’s story, I worked really hard to stretch out of the box of conventional thinking. If someone tried to stuff me back in the box, I would find the means to kick my way out. I guess I was too na├»ve to believe that stories like Wilson’s didn’t have an audience.

When I needed help, I would ask and opportunities would always show up. When I didn’t know if I was doing the right thing, I would stop and wait for the answers. When days turned into more days and doubt would creep into my head, I was fortunate enough to have people who would whack me upside the noggin for stopping mid-sentence and then give me positive strokes for continuing with my passion. It never took much to remind me why I was writing Wilson and Max’s story.

If there is anything I learned in the journey of bringing Wilson and Max to the world, it would have to be anything is possible

What mind can conceive, man can achieve.

Patience is truly the most rewarding attribute of seeing your dream unfold. When you feel like giving up, find every moment that sparks the creative energy in your heart and focus on that. When situations hurt your feelings, find something in that situation that helps you grow. Find the diamond buried in the huge mountain. And never forget, sometimes your ignorance of the worlds views will keep you alive and swimming when so many others are eaten by the sharks circling to swallow them whole.

**WM18@L Update**
I’m meeting with my beta readers Sunday! Whew, I can’t wait to hear what they have to say! Also, my editor is done with the book. She should have it to me in the next couple of days. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the first part of next week to see the progress on the cover from my graphic designer.

Lastly, I want to thank each and every one of you. I’m speechless and can’t think of any words to express how grateful I am to have all your support. You took a chance on an unknown author and bought my novel. That means the world to me. You’ve come back to my blog and Facebook page, checking in on my progress and I totally appreciate that. It’s funny to think, not too long ago Wilson’s story only existed in my head and now it’s out in the entire world, being shared!

With Overwhelming Gratitude,

Gretchen



Saturday, September 1, 2012

Truth Filled Confession...

I know everyone is biting at the bit to get their hands on the second book (my editor cleverly refers to as WM18@L).

I want to tell you how much it means to me to have so many people who have invested their time and hearts in Wilson and Max. Being a new indie author, I’ve learned there are a lot of avenues I have to trudge through to figure out what is working or not in this adventure called self-publishing.

Everyone has been caring, fair, patient, and totally understanding. So I owe a fair and honest answer to the hundreds of people who peek in on the Wilson Mooney blog every couple of days, wanting to know when the second book will be available.

Trust me, I wish I could just have the book out tomorrow, and let you all live in Wilson’s head for a couple of days; but if I did that, it wouldn’t be a quality moment for you and your experience with Wilson and Max is very important to me. Especially now that they don’t just live in my head anymore; they don’t just belong to me anymore. 

So, I want to take a moment to tell you what is happening as of right now in the physical world of getting Wilson out to you!

**My editor is 90% done with edits to the book. She likes what she sees and that makes me feel good. She is on her second read through and should be done by sometime next week.

**My designer and I are working out visuals for the cover and I think we will be able to pin it down in the next week. I still have to get the back cover summary hammered out. But I think that shouldn’t take much.

**My biggest hurdle I keep dreading is the typesetting and uploading. I know the process has changed since I uploaded the first book. So here’s to hoping the process is dummy-proof for me!
 
**Amongst all of this, I am behind at getting a book trailer out for WM18@L. But a great musician is letting me use one of his original songs, for the book video! The creative process continues!

Gosh, I can’t tell you how overwhelmingly grateful I am to everyone who has worked on Wilson. I have very talented, selfless, giving people, who are invested in this process with me. Not to mention the readers who love the book and keep it alive via word of mouth.

It is very important to me that people who read WM18@L still feel the connection they had with the characters in the first book. 

Oh my God, the pressure of producing a sequel is totally crazy! There are readers who have read the book over and over again. So keeping the continuity from the first book into the second is pretty important. Also, when I wrote the first book I honestly didn’t know what to expect. Now I do!

So here I am, at the same spot on the Merry-Go-Round, reaching for that elusive gold ring that seems to be so close and yet keeps slipping out of my hand every time I reach for it. It’s a feeling of disappointment that I can’t allow myself to embody. What I want is to snatch the ring, push my feet down in the stirrups of the carrousel horse and thrust that ring into the air, hollering at the top of my lungs…“I did it!” That, yes, I have a hard date WM18@L will be available. But it seems so impossible to predict right now.

Truthfully, what it comes down to is…I don’t want to let my readers down (there I said it). If I give a date and the book isn’t ready…how crappy would that be? Pretty crappy! So that’s why I am keeping tight-lipped about throwing dates out regarding WM18@L’s release date.

But, I promise you, when I feel I’m close I will post it here on the blog, the Facebook Fan Page, which feeds it to Twitter, and on my website.

Thank you for coming back and checking in on me! I really do appreciate your interest and patience. And believe it or not, I truly know how hard it is to wait when you are left—wanting more.

With Gratitude and Respect,

Gretchen