So following my original article on how I started my writing career, I have published my first book. It has had mixed results. But the year is 2011, and I still had a lot of copies of Lies and Deceptions left. It discouraged me a little. I assumed I would sell these copies. So I was a little upset, and a little peeved that I could not do so.
I did everything. I tried selling on Amazon. I sold a few copies. It was not what I had expected. I even tried selling my books at the city market that Huntington Beach hosts every Sunday. There were some curious onlookers, most who touched my book, looked at it and then put it right back in its place. Three people bought the book. I would later learn that two of those buyers would post nasty reviews on Amazon about it and attempt to sell it, calling it garbage writing.
That broke my heart. I wanted to well, but my confidence was down. I prepped myself for my next book, The Story of Jon Drake. I hired an editor who I knew, but she was not my friend. That was the way it should be. She did a fantastic job on the book, mostly with some mistakes. But the book’s editing was not the issue.
While the characters were decent, the storyline itself was not great and needed more work. I should have spent more time on articulating it. But that was not even the worst part. My main female character, Jessica, had no personality. It was a mistake I did not realize I was making. While no one complained much about Jessica, I realized after rereading it, that she needed work.
I ended up only printing 100 copies. It was a safe route and I still did not sell all copies. I also did not put it on Amazon. Despite publishing it, I was not confident in this story. And because of that lack of confidence, I ended up giving away almost all the copies instead of selling it.
It shot my confidence. I retired from novel writing. I decided that I would be a screenwriter instead because I felt I could adapt my story to the television instead. That
took me through an eight-year journey that included two web shows and not much else. It was not until 2019 that I decided I wanted to try again.
I had a clear-cut outline of Jon Drake. Now, I knew I had to make this character be the lead character of my entire franchise. I made some changes to the characters. Jon Drake went from being a sulky, angry guy to an angry, drunk, hilarious man. The character took a slight change, and now he was better received. Jessica also had a radical change. She now has her own storyline, in which she is looking for proof that someone killed her mother. Before, she just supported Jon. She no longer is just the love interest. She is a strong character with a history of drug and alcohol addiction, and she suffers through her own demons. I did a lot of research on this issue, and one of my old jobs helped me in this aspect. Her tongue is sharp and she will insult anyone she does not agree with. Basically, I made her stand out, and she even stands up to my antagonists.
The characters are more well rounded and they have been better received by beta readers and proof readers. I now present my stories from an organized multiple point of view format. For this upcoming book, now officially called Jon Drake, the main POVs will be Jon, Jessica and the antagonist Vladimir Ramirez. With Jon Drake, I have begun my own shared universe in which characters from other stories can show up in this book and vice versa. It is clean and crisp and I am glad that I came out of retirement to do this. With Jon Drake, I have corrected the mistakes of my past and am much more aware of how each character reacts and how it can affect the story. With this new release, it will be the start of something amazing and hopefully the beginning of an entire world of new characters and adventures. It took a little time away, but I rediscovered my love of writing books. Now the hope is that others love my books too.