Sunday, July 6, 2014

C.B. Pratt: Guest Blog

C.B. Pratt has lived all over the United States, including California, New York and many stops in between. Having been a professional writer for over twenty years, she is ill-suited to any normal work and hopes to continue writing for the rest of her life. Independent publishing has allowed her to write the things she has always wanted to, including fantasy and steampunk. She is the author of numerous traditionally published books, as well as the Eno the Thracian fantasy-adventure series. RIVERS OF SAND will be released late summer, 2014.  

Why did I become an author:
What else could I be? I started reading when I was three. I ran out of books when I was five. The only recourse was to start writing them myself. But just coming up with stories wasn’t enough. I had to share them with others. That’s the difference between a writer and someone who daydreams. We all have more or less vivid internal lives, fueled by dreams, movies, books, or current events. When you write them down, you take a step into a whole different world, the world of the writer. When you try to sell them, you become an author. You don’t have to be successful to call yourself an author. All you have to do is put yourself out there. 

Going Indie
 You know just how much work it is going to be…or at least you think you do. Then it turns out to be much more work and much more rewarding than you believed.
Like a good few writers working independently, I had a 'traditional' career. But the market changed in a way that I wasn't comfortable with. I used to write romance novels, always with a twist of paranormal or humor, sometimes both. But the market decided that erotica was the way to go. I'm just not someone comfortable with that much 'show 'n' tell', not enough to spend countless hours working on it, anyway. Besides, I felt that I'd said just about all I had to say about love and romance, at least love and romance within the confines of a romance novel. I wanted to expand my voice and my style, just not in that direction.
But if you want to be published traditionally, you must be attentive to the desires of the marketplace. I tried several different pieces but the air went out of most of them before I passed chapter three. Then one day, a voice and a character came to me unlike anything I'd done before. HERO FOR HIRE, the first Eno the Thracian novel, kept me enthralled way past chapter three. I'm on my fourth book about this character and keep finding new depths to explore.
However, no agent could see potential in an epically funny story about an Ancient World where the gods and the monsters are real. Some wanted it not to be funny. Others wanted me to move everything into the modern era as urban fantasy is 'hot'. Ten years ago, I probably would have done that because traditional publishing was just about the only way to break through to an audience. Times have changed, thanks be to goodness. Now I can reach an audience without having to talk anyone into publishing my work.
The marketing end of things does not come naturally to me. But the best thing you discover about indie publishing is just how many people are happy to help you fill in the skills you lack and how many people you can help in return. Indie publishing is 'casting your bread upon the waters' with a vengeance. You may not make a mint, though some do, but you will gain readers who become friends and get to know more writers than you ever would believe possible. And that makes it all worthwhile.

C.B. Pratt’s Books
Eno the Thracian Series:                                                    
Hero for Hire
The Stone Gods                 
Dark Mountain
Rivers of Sand (2014)
Eno and the Dragon (2014)
Clockwork Universe: Steampunk Vs. Aliens Anthology
            The Red Queen and the White by C.B. Pratt

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