Letters

A Letter to FriesenPress

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Dear FriesenPress,

Happy Canada Day!

You are my favorite self-publishing company ever, and thanks to being able to work with your great team, I have a 294-page reason to celebrate year round!

I look forward to publishing more books with you.

Yours truly,

Hyacinth Grey

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Letters

A Letter to Self-Publishing

Dear Self-Publishing,

Please, don’t tear this up before you read it. I know you get a lot of hate mail, but this is a love letter.

I think you are probably one of the most misunderstood aspects of the book world. I’ve seen some of the letters you get, and they’re not pretty. No, I won’t recap them; you already know the content. What I wanna do here is tell my Readers why I’m an Indie Author and intend to keep it that way — the Indie way.

Before I start, I want to say right here and now that if traditional publishing is your cup of caffeine, that’s great. Go for it. This letter is not hate mail for traditional publishing.

I requite control. Am I a control freak? I don’t like to think that about myself, but when it comes to my writing, I do like to maintain as much control as I can, so I suppose I am a bit of one. I think that’s the biggest reason why I’m an Indie Author. It can be frustrating to be your own PR department, marketing department, writing department, inspiration department, and did I mention blogging department? All the work is on you. The pressure to meet self-imposed deadlines is real. I’ve made promises to write stories by a certain date, not to an Editor, but to you, my Readers. Barring illness or other unusual circumstances, I must deliver on those promises. Subscribers to my YouTube channel will be the first to see animations of my book covers. If I posted them on Twitter first by mistake, my subscribers would have the right to be mad at me, and I might receive some angry messages. Doing what I do is a full time job, and it’s not without its headaches and frustrations, but it’s replete with high points, wonderful people, and nobody tells me what to do. I am my own boss. My Readers are my conscience. We all win. I’m not stressed and can write up a storm, I do what I say I will because I want my Readers to like me and read my stuff, and there aren’t as many “middle people” to mark up the prices!

I don’t receive rejection letters. Nobody’s going to send me a message saying, “Sorry, but your book just doesn’t meet our blah blah blah.” That’s not for me. I personally find rejection one of the worst things in life, and I work very hard to avoid feeling it. Feel free to psychoanalyze me. I’d love to know what that means, but I may or may not agree with you. A negative review is something I’ll have to deal with, but at least it can’t physically prevent me from publishing a book.

I love being an Indie Author, and I plan to keep on being one.

Yours truly,

Hyacinth Grey

Letters, Previous Post Saturday

Why I Love to Write Letters

Every Wednesday for a while now, I’ve been writing letters. Here’s why: it’s fun.

I took the everyday inspiration course from Blogging University, and one of the suggested tasks was to write a letter as a blog post. I did so and then got hooked. Most are humorous, some are serious, and some are both, but all were things I couldn’t have written in any other post format.
Here’s a link to my letters category page.

Letters

A Letter to Pantsing and Plotting

Dear Pantsing and Plotting,

I’m really happy I’ve got y’all as my best friends. If I didn’t, nothing would get written, and my life would be incredibly boring.

Pantsing, do you remember that day in August 2017 when we sat down with only the idea of writing a detective novel? I do. The page didn’t get to stay blank for very long, did it? 🤣

Plotting, do you remember how much fun we had after the Editor found a plothole and we fixed it? I do. 😛

Do y’all remember when we worked together? We were writing one of the books for later in the detective series and I had a plan for what happened, but I wanted the adrenalin rush of not knowing what was gonna go down, remember that? I do, and my heart’s going a mile a minute thinking about it. It was like being at a nightclub and dancing with the love of your life. Remember? I do. 🤯

Even though y’all are concepts and not real people, so I get to do all the remembering, I can and I do.

Pantsing, you’re so great at helping me with those first drafts that just need to take off and go! 🛫

Plotting, I love you when I need to step back and revise. The Internal Editor’s gonna get a letter in a couple of weeks, but you’re more fun than punctuation and grammar; you’ve got the big picture in mind, and you help me keep track of who did what, and when. 🤩

Y’all are great, and I wouldn’t be a writer without you. Y’all don’t even fight with each other much, so let’s just keep writing, okay? 😣

Yours truly, 🥳

Hyacinth Grey

😘

Letters

A Letter to Nonfiction

Dear Nonfiction,

Boy, you must be mad after reading last week’s letter to short fiction. First I said it was fun writing something other than essay-style posts, and then I went on and on about my romantic, moon-lit relationship with fiction.

Well, all of that is true, but you know what? You shouldn’t have opened short fiction’s mailbox. You know what else? We can still be friends.

Having a romance with you would take too much work. Do you have any idea how much time and effort on my part it takes to research essay topics? Yes, I know, it takes research to write fiction too, but it’s just not the same grinding, groaning, gritty, grumbling, grievous, grunting blend of alliterating adjectives as writing you. It is fun, I’ll grant you that much, but it should be enjoyed sparingly, sort of like…


What was I saying? Oh, yeah, I was trying to explain why I sometimes need to take a break from you and write something that didn’t actually happen, or that isn’t even possible. Here’s a better example. It’s like going to college. I wouldn’t do nothing but study 24/7 without any sleep or time to myself or a roll in the hay with short fiction, would I? You’re really nice, funny, smart, charming, and oh so generous, but you’re just not relaxing. Short fiction is all of those, but it’s just not . . . it’s not nonfiction.

In other words, be happy with your status as my best friend, but don’t expect me to fall in love with you.

Yours truly,

Hyacinth Grey

Letters

A Letter to Short Fiction

Dear Short Fiction,

Every Friday, I post some of you on my blog to give my readers free content. It’s also nice to take a break from writing essay-style nonfiction posts.

I fell in love with you at first write, but I don’t quite remember the first time we met. All I recall is somebody tweeting, asking if people liked to write short stories or novels best. Of course, I voted for novels. Come on, don’t yell at me, I was thinking about those long ago days, you know the ones before I got a real book self-published with FriesenPress? I mean, it was so long ago, it’s embarrassing, so I won’t go into the gory details here, but I was thinking of those times when I only wrote for myself.

I guess the words “short stories” got stuck in my head, but I don’t really know how this happened. Maybe I had one or two glasses of wine too many, and the next thing I knew, I was writing The Choice. Considering that I don’t remember our first night of passion very well, I’m happy that we fell in love, because I do remember most of what we did after whatever it was that got things started. I love you so much, I couldn’t ever in a million years let you go, and I still feel that way today, yes, even after our honeymoon had to be canceled because of COVID-19. I’m having a blast writing The Dark Tide, and after that, I even have an idea for another one.

Do you want to hear a crazy wild secret?


I was thinking it might be fun to publish a longer work, such as maybe kind of sort of like a novel as a long series of blog posts.


I don’t know if I will do that, but I’m certainly toying with the idea. If you have an opinion on the subject, please leave a comment.


I’m not sure if this all means we’re married, or if we’re just living together, but either way, you make my blog complete. Oh, what am I saying? My readers do that!

Yours truly,

Hyacinth Grey

Letters

A Letter to Revision

Dear Revision,

I’m kind of confused. I’ve always thought that the other half of writing was reading, but you sort of complicate matters.

Reading came first, so maybe it’s the older sibling, and writing and revision are a set of younger twins. While we’re at it, where does publishing fit into the family? Is it the youngest of all? What about blogging? C’mon, help me out here, will ya?

If I read a book more than once, I often revise my opinion of it or notice things I didn’t see before, so maybe you’re really the twin of reading. Then when writing comes along, what? Are there two of you, or do you just boss writing around and tell reading every time you find a typo in a book? If publishing wants to help writing, do you get reborn in yet another set of twins or do you just get bossier and rule with an even more iron fist? I’m pretty sure reading has to be born first, otherwise we’d all be writing before we could read, which just wouldn’t work, since we need to be readers before we feel like writing.

Now I’m going to make you mad. I think you were born last. I don’t know about everyone else, but when I started reading, I didn’t notice typos or think that things didn’t make sense. I hadn’t learned how to revise yet. So take that, revision!

Now that I’ve put revision in its place, I do want to say a few serious words. Even if it is the baby of the family, its importance in writing cannot be overstated. After the first draft, revision is necessary before your work is finished. From books to blog posts, short stories to novels, everything needs to be revised; the first write is rarely ready for the real world.

Yours truly,

Hyacinth Grey