mine, and a wonderful writer, Nancy Brandon. Her debut book Dunaway’s Crossing
has been one of my favourite books to read lately and I highly recommend it.
Out of 34 reviews it has 32 – 5stars! Phenomenal!
novel, Dunaway’s Crossing, the heady
feeling of being an author has not abated. Readers email me with compliments or
write positive reviews on my Amazon page, and I must remind myself that I’m not
dreaming. People out there really like my book!
release the story I’d always wanted to write? Part of the reason had to do with
craft. Although I’d published academic articles and textbooks before, I had to
hone my fiction writing skills. For a couple of years I worked on another novel
just to change my writing habits and narrative voice. Then for three years and
through numerous writing group conversations, I revised–even rewrote a couple of times–Dunaway’s Crossing until it was a work I
felt ready to be shared with a wider audience.
hidden procrastination with which many people can identify at some time or
another. I call it the someday factor. Someday I’ll run a marathon. Someday
I’ll get my college degree. Someday I’ll get married and have children.
renowned writer Richard Selzer cured me of the someday factor. Six years ago,
Selzer, author of The
Doctor Stories, The
Whistler’s Room, and Mortal
Lessons, came to my city, Savannah, as the guest author of that year’s
common read. As part of the organizing committee, I had the pleasure of
conversing with Selzer a number of times. During our conversations, Selzer told
me that he’d started writing at the age of forty, during the later stage of his
successful career as a surgeon and med school professor. He advised me to keep
up with my writing, that it was never too late to get started.
thirty-nine years old. I’d be forty in a couple of months. When did I expect
someday to arrive?
and started typing. I joined a writing group. I attended workshops. I read
books about the art of writing fiction. I attended more workshops. And I wrote
and wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote some more.
my drafts helped me to sharpen my details, develop my characters, organize my
scenes, and create chapter endings to keep readers turning pages. And finally,
this past winter, I was finished. But believe it or not, I suffered a relapse
of the someday factor.
make that publication happen, but still, I did nothing. I behaved as if somehow
the novel would get released all by itself. Perhaps the other side of my brain
was afraid of rejection or bad reviews. Perhaps it was afraid of the unknown.
Perhaps I was too busy teaching college classes and raising two sons. Whatever
the reason, I finished my novel, hit the “save” button and went on
about my life.
interviewing another notable author, Jonathan Rabb, author of Rosa,
Second Son, and The
Book of Q. Rabb described to me
a certain confidence writers must possess in order to succeed with this kind of
art form. Not only do they have to believe their stories are worth telling, but
they must also believe their stories are good enough for others to pay for the
pleasure of reading them. And that’s when I realized nobody would read my story if I didn’t make it available to be
Kindle’s best seller list and another story in the making, still a little amazed
that Dunaway’s Crossing has progressed
all the way through the writing and publication process. I guess now I’m
experiencing the pinch me factor. Still, I know I’m not cured of the someday
factor. The only way I can avoid a relapse is consistent writing and consistent
feedback from my writing group. And for that reason, I set daily goals for my
writing and dedicate a specific block of time each day toward meeting those
goals. Someday is always now.
Brandon was raised in middle Georgia and graduated from the University of
Georgia. For the past twenty years, she has taught college English in Savannah,
where she lives with her husband and two children. Dunaway’s Crossing is her first novel. Find more information about
Nancy Brandon at http://www.NancyBrandon.com.
***Please leave your e-mail address for a chance to win an e-book copy of Dunaway’s Crossing. I’m sure you’ve all had the “Someday” factor rear it’s cheeky head in your own lives. I know I have, multiple times. Like “Someday” I’m going to re-write the first book I ever wrote….!!