(originally posted July 10, 2009)
Writers number in the millions. Authors (ie. writers who have been published) perhaps in the thousands. Though I'm very thankful to have made my way into the world of e-books, the earlier challenges of finding a readership remain. I still consider myself a writer, a member of that crowded universe hoping to be read.
As near as I can tell success in this demanding craft is dictated by the blending of two essential ingredients. Is the story I tell compelling enough to win an audience? And can I tell it in a way that holds their interest?
As measured by the high priests of publishing, I fall short in both respects. I accept that, because it is probably true. However, like a gazillion of my fellow writers, those professional judgments have not dampened my enthusiasm for telling the stories I want to tell, or my attachment to the persons I have imagined into being. As their stories come to life in my thoughts, on a yellow note pad, and finally on my computer screen, it seems that some proprietary instinct, perhaps even a maternal impulse, takes hold of me. It's a trait I am sure I share with my peers.
For those of us who write fiction, no matter what we write or how well, the stories and the persons we create take on lives of their own. We birth and nurture those individuals: the ones who inhabit our tales. We spend months, sometimes years, doing our best to bring them to life. By the story’s end, those products of our imagination have become very real to us. Like all our close friends, we care about what becomes of them.
Predictably, I have been stalked by the nagging certainty that my creations deserve more than a few bytes of space on my hard drive. I realize they are not destined to grace the New Arrivals table at Barnes & Noble, but I do owe them more than the stale air of my half lit Cave. I owe them a chance to see the light of day. To that end, I set out to let them experience life among the citizens of Cyberville, as serialized novels. Later, when the opportunity showed itself, I expanded their reach to include the rapidly expanding world of e-books. I'm looking forward to seeing where those new possibilities lead.
Meanwhile, for those of you who have followed the serial installments of each story, that will continue, with the last six installments online at any time. The serializing process had been a helpful editing tool that I'm reluctant to give up.
As always, TheTannerChronicles.com will continued to offer relational stories of hopeful, perhaps overly optimistic, sexagenarians and septuagenarians - each of them wondering if it can happen again.