Why I Wrote CATCHING A SORCERER; paperback, anyone?

3dWay back in January 2009, I started writing CATCHING A SORCERER. But, wait, that's a lie. The writing process isn't just about putting words on paper (or screen). There's thinking to be done. LOTS of thinking. Every writer's process is different. Mine tends to look like this: think, think, think, write, think, think, think, write, think, think, write, think, write, think, etc, etc. There's a lot of back and forth. You get the idea. So, really, I started writing CATCHING A SORCERER sometime in 2008, but at the time, I'd been working on an urban fantasy for a couple of years. Writing it, scrapping it, rewriting it, scrapping it again. And I was determined to finish it-- despite the whispers of what would become CATCHING A SORCERER. I was a good little writer-- I took those whispers, jotted them down as notes for someday, and put them away. The urban fantasy was going to get finished come hell or high water.

Then one cold day in January 2009, I was making some ruby red grapefruit marmalade. For Christmas I'd made some delicious carrot-orange marmalade and wanted to try making some with my favourite grapefruit. As a word of warning-- don't do this! It stinks like, well, you don't want to know how bad it smells, and it tastes even worse. It also doesn't set properly. But whatever you do, trust me. Ruby red grapefruit marmalade-- don't do it.

Anyway, as I was making this horrible concoction, a voice whispered to me. She told me-- well, I can't tell you what she told me because I although I've cut that bit from CATCHING A SORCERER, you will see it in book #3. But with those magic words, I had to stop everything and start writing. There was a story there-- I wasn't sure what it was yet-- but it was there, and it was good. I put aside the urban fantasy, and started writing the first draft. (In the original opening scene, Gran and Melantha were making that horrible grapefruit marmalade. In the rewrite process, I changed it to mixing a spell.)

So that was four years ago. Why am I just publishing CATCHING A SORCERER now? In a word: life. In a few more words: I wrote the draft in a few months. I actually wrote this book entirely by hand, filling several notebooks. It was a great exercise. I feel closer to the words when I write by hand than when I write straight into a computer. But I also write slower. And revising was hell. Plus I tend to write mostly linearly, but also out of order. Typing it all up took almost as long as writing it the first time, because I was revising as I went. Then came rounds with critique partners. At one point I sent query letters out. I took it to workshops. And for the most part, I was told the writing was good, but there was no market for witches in a post-Harry Potter publishing industry. I don't know if that's true or not. I felt there was an audience for CATCHING A SORCERER, because other than market concerns, I was told it was good.

But I put it aside. Why? Why didn't I self-publish it two years ago? Because I had doubts. No confidence. The rest of the world looked down on self-publishing. (Still does.) Then one day (after writing a few more books) I realized I didn't care what the rest of the world thought. I still believed it was a good book and there's a market for it. So I pulled it out, edited it again. Had a cover made for it, and voila! Self-published it May 2013.

There you have it. There's a shorter version of this story in the back of the paper copy of CATCHING A SORCERER. I've also included a recipe for carrot-orange marmalade and my favourite hot chocolate. Paper copies are now available at Amazon  and via Paypal  (other venues should be available soon.)

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