My writing journey…
In middle school, I wrote my first short story about two young teens who find a haunted house filled with all sorts of secret passages. I couldn’t believe how much I enjoyed it, like I was actually part of the action. In high school, I worked on a collaborative book series with two of my friends. From that sparked the story of ILLUSION, in which I pictured a scene involving a young woman named Daith who woke up on a space ship with no memories. I wrote the scene down and then had nothing. I’d find out as I wrote more in the future that I never have an ending. All I knew was if I wanted to find out what happened next, I’d have to write more. Most of the time I don’t even know what’s coming next until I’m physically writing it. I’ve definitely had a few “holy crap no way!” moments. 🙂
While working on ILLUSION, I would come in and tell a coworker of mine the scenes I’d written the night before. After several weeks she asked “when are you going to publish this?” It opened a whole new world to me. I’d never really thought of becoming a published writer until that point.
Did I quit my job right then and start on the treacherous path of becoming an author? HECK NO! I figured I should at least finish writing the book first. 🙂 Plus I wanted to complete my B.S. in Biology, which I’m happy to say I did!
During my degree-seeking experience, I wrote THE END on the last page of ILLUSION. I know now that the end of the book is NOT the end of being an author.
So I shopped it around. A lot.
I went to the Southern California Writers Conference in San Diego (which I highly recommend) in spring of 2011. I learned a ton. I met other writers. Editors. Agents. Beginners. Old pros. It was awesome. And I’m very happy to say that from that conference I got an agent! She was great… there was only one problem. Six months after our happy contract, she took a different job.
She was super supportive while our contract drizzled away and put out feelers until the very end. She even got me a publishing offer, which I unfortunately had to turn down.
So there I was, back at square one. I went back to the SCWC the next year. Got some high praise from a talented and old pro writer who recommended me to a publishing company. I sent them ILLUSION and they loved it! One problem… they felt it was a big story that had been scrunched to fit the word count. Which is exactly what it was. They suggested a trilogy. I countered with a two-book combo. They told me to workshop it and get back to them. So I did.
Another year went by, I rewrote, I edited, I got beta readers, all that fun stuff. I resubmitted. They really liked it! Unfortunately, they were not accepting submissions for at least a year. ((They needed to restructure their marketing plan.))
Now it was 2013 and I was still back at square one.
However, I had not been twiddling my thumbs during this time. I’d actually put out a graphic novel in 2012 called HOLLOW (with illustrator Conrad Teves). We self-published under Green-Eyed Unicorn Comics. I was happily surprised at the reception of the comic and it spurred a follow-up series, HOLLOW’S PRISM, which the first three issues are now available.
So I was still writing, I was published, but I wanted to be a novelist, which is my preferred style of writing. That led me back to ILLUSION. After all this, the only thing I knew for sure was that I was having professionals in the field and long-time writers telling me my story was great. I knew it could make it. But how?
While putting out the comics under the Green-Eyed Unicorn Comics label, I realized something. I really LIKED publishing! And I thought I could be good at it. And I really liked the idea of bringing other stories to readers, especially those who blend genres and bring a new perspective to stories.
In 2015 I started Buzz & Roar Publishing with my co-founder Stuart Tighe. And since he is also a big fan of ILLUSION, we decided to use our own company name to put out the book.
Take that crazy path with a gazillion obstacles!
Which brings us up to today! I’m co-founder of an amazing publishing company, I have a fan base through my comics, and I’m about to release my first novel, ILLUSION, from the Eomix Galaxy Books collection. I’m not even close to where I want to be, but I’m happy to see where I am so far.
“Everyone has a story. Some of us have other stories inside that we need to get out. I’m one of those. I’m a writer.”
This is my story. So far… Thanks for being a part of my journey by reading this during my blog tour. My goal is to bring readers great books. I hope you enjoy ILLUSION!
Christa Yelich-Koth is the author of graphic novel HOLLOW, comic book series HOLLOW’S PRISM and upcoming science fantasy novel ILLUSION from Buzz & Roar Publishing. She has staffed and led a workshop at the Southern California Writer’s Conference, been a panelist at MiniCon, and was co-founder of Green-Eyed Unicorn Comics. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Her website is http://www.christayelichkoth.com.
ILLUSION can be purchased for pre-order (with an exclusive pdf schematic of the Horizon spaceship), at http://www.buzzandroarpublishing.com/our-books.