After more than ten years, Bonita and I feel like we’re finally ready to look at publishing our novel, ‘Gamenian – ’till death do we play’. It’s a scary idea; we have slaved over this thing. We’ve written it, scrapped it, written it again, changed themes, changed titles, changed characters.
To be fair, I come up with the original idea when I was roughly ten; the main character, Tori was a badass anti-hero… with super powers. Which she got via toxic sludge. Needless to say when I told my amazing fifteen-year old sister about my cool idea I was quickly shot down with a very blunt opinion on how lame that was. But, I was told, Tori sounded like an interesting character and I should think of something else for her story. We completed the first novel a few years later and a few years later I was old enough to realize it wasn’t what I wanted for her at all (She giggled. To this day, that is the ultimate horror I have ever inflected on a beloved character).
So began the first rewrite. Tori and the villain, Craik, were the only characters to survive the slaughter; everyone else was put firmly to pasture and a whole new story was born. The plot still changed quite a bit over the next few years; I would say the defining moment was when we decided we wanted to put some of our faith into the book. Well, I should say Bonita decided. At the time, I just couldn’t see how someone like Tori could ever want God. Again, that took a bit of time before I was old enough to realize that someone like Tori didn’t have to want God at first; she needed Him and the want would come later.
We finished the book and sent it to a friend of ours, Tim. He has turned out to be an incredibly valuable editor; Gamenian honestly would be no where near the book it is today without him. He was able to point out the problems with the book whilst still celebrating the things that he liked and I’m amazed he was willing to put up with the number of times we made him read the book to check our edits. Not to mention the number of times I had an author tantrum, insisting the plot point/motivation/random item was perfectly clear to everyone, aka me.
But eventually we had to reach a point where we took a step back and went, ‘I think this is as good as we’re going to make it.’
While I would be perfectly happy writing for just myself for the rest of my life, the dream is that other people will have the opportunity to love these characters as much as I do. And I do love them and their stories, far too much not to try to get them published. So my sister and I are about to start our querying process. As I said at the beginning, it’s a scary thought. At the moment, there is potential for the book. It might possibly be able to get published. But once this process has started, it will either be yes or no. I’m sure all authors believe, or at least hope, that other people will see the book and the characters the way we do but the number of rejections would prove us wrong in that regard. Things like marketability are words that terrify me; even if a publisher does love my book they have to think it will sell.
Still. I love these characters too much not to try. I feel privileged to have been able to write their stories and all I want is for them to be heard.