So with all of the craziness that ensued as a result of moving my blog over from Blogger to WordPress, I never really had a chance to talk about the book I wrote. While I’ve mentioned it in passing here and there (and certainly pimped it out on my various social media channels), I haven’t given you the background on it which I’m excited to do now!
Last summer (around the month of August to be exact) I decided I wanted to finally write a book. No, not some epic 600 page novel or even some 300 page chick lit piece. I wanted to write about what I was most comfortable and familiar with, travel. Early on in my blogging days, I actually wrote many narratives. But then over time my narratives turned more into travel “non-fiction” pieces (i.e. reviews of hotels and restaurants, my thoughts on attractions etc). I always missed this style of writing and always was thinking of ways to return to it.
Self-publishing has been around for some years now and I figured it was the only way I would get my foot in the publishing world’s door. I’ve actually submitted a children’s book I penned to a couple of different publishing houses but was always rejected. I’ve done the same for some travel pieces I wrote for periodicals and encountered the same results. While one of my favorite authors, the great Chris Bohjalian, said that he himself incurred hundreds of rejections before finally getting that “one” I didn’t want to go through that for my little collection of short stories. I would like to actually try my hand at writing a historical fiction work next and that I probably will try to submit to actual publishers.
I first became hooked on short stories as a freshman in college after having read Jhumpa Lahiri’s incredible collection, The Interpreter of Maladies. I had always “looked down” on short stories, considering them inferior to actual novels until I read Lahiri’s work. The creative writing skill and ingenuity of the author is obviously heavily dependent on this, but short stories can be amazing, especially since they can have so much “packed” into such a small page allotment.
While plenty of people write about places they’ve never been, I wanted my stories to all be set in locations where I have been. I just felt that it adds more of a personal connection to my writing. Full Circle consists of 11 stories that take place on four continents and all of the stories speak on the theme of self-discovery, which I think everyone experiences when they travel somewhere regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, financial status, etc.
While I was happy from the get go with some of my stories in Full Circle, others required drastic revisions to. It’s amazing though how much I felt my characters (their personal stories, their relationships, the settings) come to life through my writing. By the end of the writing and editing process, they almost seemed “real” to me.
I will say this-even though I know self-publishing a collection of short stories through Amazon is going to bring me neither fame nor riches, I’m truly glad that I did it. It’s an amazing feeling to hold in your hands something that you wrote. Blogging is great, don’t get me wrong, but in a sense, anyone can truly do that. Not everyone has the skills and more importantly, the drive to do something as significant as write a book. What I think I improved upon the most with writing Full Circle? I’ve become extremely savvy with writing dialogue. Now THAT is a skill to have!
In closing, whether you’re someone who reads my blog on a regular basis or someone who just happened to stop by today, I hope that you will do me the honor of reading Full Circle. If you like to travel and/or enjoy short stories, I really think you’ll enjoy my collection.
Full Circle is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.