Wednesday, January 3, 2007

A journey worth taking

When I was twelve, I read a book about Crazy Horse. That was too many year ago to mention. From that moment on, I wanted to write--but not write just anything, I wanted to write a book about Crazy Horse. My problem, I didn't know how, and I wanted to write one where people could not only learn about the history, they could enjoy it, too.

Years after reading the first Crazy Horse book, I read a novel by Ester Forbes titled, Johnny Tremain. I loved the book and it introduced me to two things: the term historical fiction, and a way I could write my story of Crazy Horse.

Again, I had a problem. I liked him, but sure didn't know enough about him or his people to write a book. I used my skills as a historian and investigator from a previous life...:) and began researching Crazy Horse and the Lakota.

This research took me many, exciting places. Ten years later, I still conducted research and hadn't written one single page on the book. I visited every single battlefield a couple of times--every museum, reservation, and talked to thousands of Lakota. I browsed dusty archives, talked to the curators, and walked the places I knew Crazy Horse had. Oh yeah, in the process, I also learned to speak the language.

When I started my journey to learn, I sought people who I thought were in the know. I am now in a position when people need information about Crazy Horse, the Lakota, the battles, I am the one they contact. I still hadn't written a page.

That was soon to stop. I sat down and wrote the book. I can't explain to you how it felt to finally finish that darn book. Bestseller and movie deals swam in my dreams. Riches beyond my wildest dreams clogged my thoughts.

Of course, when I was twelve, none of this mattered. I just wanted to write the book.

I started submitting my masterpiece and the rejections rolled in. This, I couldn't understand. Why didn't these people want a book that would rival Gone with the Wind?

I didn't know why. All I knew is, they didn't want it. I sat my book up and didn't touch it for a year, then got it out. In that time, I began to learn how to write. When I picked my manuscript up, I found out something. That had to be the worst book ever written in history. Hey, a normal book like this is between 80-100,000 words. Mine was only 190,000 spots of dribble.

I re-wrote and re-wrote it, and sat it aside another year, and got it out and re-wrote it again, and then I edited.

When I last edited it, I knew then, that the book was ready. Before I didn't know enough to know if it was ready.

They say that all things have a purpose. Now, just think, if someone had taken the book the first time, things would not have been in place. Those things I talk about are Lisa and Linda at L&L Dreamspell. Yes, my publishers.

Now, the book isn't perfect, but I can't tell you how excited I am about it, but I do think I found the perfect publisher for it.

Is it the next Gone with the Wind? Probably not. It is a book someone's teenager can pick up and enjoy, pass it to their dad. He reads it, and likes it so much, he passes it on to mom. She is so excited about it, she tells her friends, and the cycle continues.

Now, you might ask, is this book that good? I have a simple answer, yes.


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