Legacy leaning publishing folks will love this one but that’s okay.
I pride myself on transparency, which doesn’t mean I like to expose all my frailties, but the errors I make carving my way through this indie publishing jungle are errors worth sharing, especially if I think sharing may help other writers out here.
I missed my target market. Yep, I did. My novel zooms in on stigma surrounding the early years of the AIDS pandemic. I was eager to launch in time for World AIDS Day and I did but by doing so, aligned this story to readers interested in the AIDS crisis. I think these readers will like this story–it certainly champions this global public health concern –but Deadly Little Secrets is mainstream women’s fiction; a relationship oriented story fraught with conflict. I realized this after the launch and was reminded by my Scribd followers when I logged on after being absent for two years and saw their ‘likes’ of a chapter from this novel I submitted back in 2011. Titled Baby Girl, it was submitted as a ‘stand alone’ lusty scene for Valentine’s Day.
Deadly Little Secrets is set in the mid-1980s when excess became our culture’s collective goal: If a little was good, a lot more was much better. While the fate of an AIDS education course in a fictitious Orange County, California coastal high school opens this story and drives the narrative, there’s more to this tale as the Scribd ‘Baby Girl‘ submission illustrates. Dr Julia Brooks, the good doctor and her married lover, help turn the pages of this story told by the good doctor’s best friend since the fifth grade, school nurse Loretta Casterini.
The story told in Deadly Little Secrets telegraphs the time it was set in, the mid-1980’s, a decade we now know began our culture’s collective ‘excess’ marked by money, sex, addictions and religious/moral superiority. Over a ten-day period in the spring of 1985, the story that unfolds in Deadly Little Secrets reminds us how far some people were willing to go to get what they wanted.
Do I wish I had a team pouring over every aspect of my story? Sure, I do. But I don’t and likely won’t because I can’t afford them. It’s just me and this story I’m quite proud of telling. I’ll get it out here.
One way or another, I will.
Deadly Little Secrets: Chapter One & Scribd submission, Baby Girl (now CH 26).