Switched by Amanda Hocking. Loved it. Loved it. Loved it. I have shown remarkable restraint ever since. All I wanted to do Friday night was rush back to the Kindle store and buy the rest of the trilogy. But I told myself I have to wait until my current edits are done...
The story is solid, and although I spent more time than I should admit trying to pronounce "Trylle" (her word for troll), it was a smooth and polished read. (I'm not kidding. For the first 20 uses of "Trylle," I sat there and said, "troll, trile, trill, treelah, troll, treelah" over and over until it sounded right in my head... BTW, I think "treelah" is closest to the right pronunciation.) It had everything I wanted - teen confusion, a handsome and mysterious love interest, a secret past and a psychotic mother who tried to kill her daughter when she was six.
OK, maybe I didn't need the psychotic mother, but it worked in this story. I read and read as fast as my finger could flick the Kindle pages, then transferred to my laptop version and finished it there.
But what I love more than the book is the story behind Amanda's success. I'm not going to list it here, but if you're interested, you can check out her blog or the many mentions of her on A Newbie's Guide to Publishing. She is a storyteller, and she didn't let anyone stop her. She kept moving forward, and she did it her way. I love that. The indie drive to keep writing, keep working and keep publishing is inspiring.
I don't have a backlist like hers, but I do have stories that I want to tell, stories that I need to tell. Perhaps more than anything else, I love that her path allows her to publish as much, or as little, as she wants. Talk about freedom! I'm getting closer to that type of freedom each day. I am sending my heavily revised draft to my alpha reader this week, to my betas soon after that, and I hope to get my first book in my series published this spring.
Do I daydream of finding success on par with Amanda's? Sure I do. I'd guess that every indie writer does right now. But that's not the most important thing to me. I am drawn to the possibility of telling the stories I want to tell the way that I want to tell them. I want to work at my pace and publish when I'm ready, not according to someone else's schedule.
But above all of that, I want to be a storyteller.