Friday, February 24, 2017

My Writing Journey

Author Kaitlyn Davis

If I had to describe my writing journey in one word, it would probably be this: whirlwind.  Because it truly has been a crazy, wild, and sometimes chaotic adventure.

Confessions of a Virgin Sex Columnist!
As a new college grad armed with a major in creative writing, I never dreamed I’d attend my five-year reunion as a bestselling author working from home full-time. My first job out of school was working as a writer for the Huffington Post, but I quickly realized that spending my days crafting nonfiction left me too burned out to pursue my passion. Which led me to my second job, an absolutely amazing position in the marketing division of one of the major New York publishing houses. I was working with books all day, discussing books all day, and using my creativity on campaigns. And by night, I was writing.

Within the first year of my post-college life, I’d finished the first manuscript I’d truly been proud of (because, let’s face it, there are a ton of things I wrote in high school and college that will, rightly so, never see the light of day!). But I had no idea what to do with it. Because, well, it was about vampires. And it was young adult. And it was a few years after the Twilight craze. With my job working inside the industry, I knew that no agent and no publisher wanted anything to do with young adult paranormal romance. The trend had died. Dystopian was the new “it” thing. My book, the one I’d slaved over, that I loved, that I was so proud of, would never see the light of day.

And then something amazing happened. It was 2011 and I read an article about a girl named Amanda Hocking who’d self-published a, you guessed it, young adult paranormal romance. And even more incredible, her books were selling like crazy. 

So even though it wasn’t what I’d always imagined (and was, in fact, a path many industry insiders scoffed at), I knew right then and there that it was the path I was going to pursue.

My manuscript soon became my first published novel, Ignite (Midnight Fire Book 1), and within two months I’d sold a thousand copies. So I published a second book in the series, and a third, and a fourth. Two years after Ignite went on sale, I was making three times as much money self-publishing than I was working at my day job, so I quit and decided to do what I loved full-time.

And, I’ve never looked back.

Gathering Frost
But I’ll be honest, there have been ups and downs. As anyone who began self-publishing in 2011 will tell you, the industry has changed a lot in five years. Discoverability is much more difficult. Marketing is much more involved. Competition is fierce. And there’s a little less to go around. But you know what? I get to sit in my pajamas all day, drink coffee, pet my dog, and write whatever the heck I want to. So things are still looking pretty darn great to me!

What will the future bring? Who knows! I have an entire journal full of ideas I one day hope to pursue, so I’ll do what I’ve always done—I’ll let the characters in my head and the stories in my heart guide me.

Follow Kaitlyn on her Facebook, Twitter and check out her Website.

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