Thursday, May 26, 2011

Welcome Guest Blogger Jennifer Rainey

This is a great guest blog from Jennifer Rainy. author of These Hellish Happenings. Enjoy!


For me, inspiration is like a ninja wearing an invisibility cloak.

You never know when it's going to hit, and when it does, it hits hard and usually from behind. Bam! Pow! And just like that, you've got to write or your brain is going to explode.

Inspiration for my first novel, These Hellish Happenings, hit me four years ago in a grocery store. That's right, as I was trying to figure out what kind of soup I wanted for dinner, that ninja came up and knocked me over the head real good. Once I recovered for the initial shock, I realized what I had just, for whatever reason, been inspired to write: the comic story of a vampire who works at the registration desk of Hell.

Maybe that was some particularly devilish minestrone I was looking at.

To be honest, I can't really tell you exactly what inspired me. Like many writers, my ideas just kind of show up. Others, though, can always pinpoint the exact experience, image or emotion that drives them to write a story. Each source of inspiration, each writing experience, each publishing experience is unique. Even our goals are different. Some want to make a living, some don't think about the money at all. Some use writing as a means to connect with others and some use it as a means purely to express themselves.

After no success with querying, I independently published These Hellish Happenings in November of 2010, and I was pleased to see that there was an incredibly supportive community of other indie writers online. I always thought that all other writers were douchebags, if you'll pardon the phrase, but the people of Goodreads and Kindleboards really proved me wrong.

There's an incredible sense of indie solidarity; I suppose you could say we're not competitors, but rather teammates. But at the heart of it all, we are very, very different. Each one of us is writing different books, celebrating different successes, mourning over different failures and all around having different experiences. This balance of individuality and solidarity are what have made the indie publishing experience a wonderful one for me.

To me, the greatest thing you can do as an indie in order to market your books is to get involved with your peers. Everything I've learned, I've learned from people who are in exactly the same boat as I am. Get involved on Goodreads, on Twitter, on forums. Talk to people and see what has worked for them and what hasn't. Everyone is coming from a different situation, and so, everyone will have different advice for you.

But don't just take advice, give it, and keep up that sense of solidarity that is so unique. I've been on the internet since George Washington got his first Macbook, it feels like, and I can tell you that I have never been a part of an online community that was so united. This patchwork quilt of people who are always ready to help each other out despite any differences are a big reason why I'm happy and proud to say that I'm an indie writer. Just as our inspiration all comes from somewhere different, our writing careers all take us somewhere different, and yet we stick together.

For the record, the inspiration for my second novel, the sequel to These Hellish Happenings, came from a song by my favorite band, Muse. Not as strange as soup, but we'll see where the next inspirational ninja strikes. Perhaps the idea for my third book will be conjured by a visit to the dentist or something someone says on the bus or even by an oddly shaped potato. One can never say.

Jennifer Rainey was raised by wolves who later sold her to gypsies. She then joined the circus at the age of ten. There, she was the flower girl in the famed Bearded Bride of Beverly Hills show until the act was discontinued (it was discovered that the bearded lady was actually a man).  From there, she wandered around the country selling novelty trucker hats with vaguely amusing sayings printed on front. Somehow, she made enough money to go to The Ohio State University for a major in English.
Independent Paranormal

No comments: