Today I hit the approve button and published my first novel.
I wrote the novel in 2009, at the strong urging of my daughter Heather to join her in that year’s National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo, as it’s affectionately called. Participants sign up to write 50,000 words in the month of November, which divides into 1667 words per day.
At that time I had rediscovered that I am a writer, but not yet discovered that I am a poet. (There were many signs which could have been clear to me, but which I believe I missed because “Poet” was not on the shelf of my set of societally approved occupations.) I didn’t know if I could do fiction; I felt I lacked what I now call an engine — a powerful idea that demands expression in a novel. However, I had, earlier that year, written two poems which had given me quite a bit of satisfaction. I asked Heather if she thought there might be an idea within them that could become a novel. She thought there was, and gave me some suggestions about how.
So I wrote the book, Muse, based on the ideas in Muse and Muse II, the poems. After that, I put the novel through a few revisions, which I think helped it a lot.
The book fits into the category of New Adult, which sort of means it addresses themes most relevant to people starting out their “life as adults”, however they might define that. There is another genre called Young Adult, but that is mostly read by teenagers and even pre-teens, mostly girls, and has come to be dominated by certain themes, such as the paranormal, dystopian futures, and highly sex-filled (but not too graphic) edgy contemporary stories. New Adult emerges for the reader who has outgrown such fare but still wants a good book.
I’ve written two more novels since then, in the NaNoWriMos of 2010 and 2011. The latest one I may still revise and publish; the second one, I currently think, would take more of an overhaul than I feel willing to handle, my sensibilities being, as it turns out, more of a poet than a novelist.
Anyway, if you’d like to read it, you can buy it on CreateSpace or Amazon. Or you can contact me and I’ll lend you a copy. Here’s the blurb that’s on the back:
Melissa and Aaron, geeky, innocent, and introverted, independently invoke muses to help them navigate the puzzling world of career, identity, and relationships. When they meet in an acrylics class, Melissa notices that Aaron resembles the muse she conjured writing a poem—the muse that led her to take the class. Aaron, exploring his tortured internal landscape, keeps seeing Melissa there. As they strive to follow their own muses, they wonder, more and more, what that might mean with regard to each other.