How You Do It

There was a guy I used to know, a fellow nursing student, who wore a T-shirt that said:

Nookie; Just Did It.

I think he graduated.

I’ve been working with an established Australian publisher to formulate a deal for writing some books. Severed Press expressed interest in hearing proposals, so I wrote a bunch of ideas based on current, unpublished original WIP’s I have.

They rejected all of them except one that they wanted to change quite a bit. Further discussion gave more clarity around what for them would be a sweet spot in my creative contributions to their publishing empire.

So today, I signed a two book deal for two novellas to start with, two different stories of up to 50,000 words.

It’s a great place to start a new relationship with a publisher, especially one that has a good reputation among indie-horror fans. They have some great niche market targets, beyond the common post-apocalyptic (which they also do) and into specific sub-genre real-world horror. Novellas are quick to write and are a good way to test the audience waters. If they fly, then I’m in a good position to write longer books and have a new fan-base to develop.

If you want to see what they are doing, check out

The first book is entitled “Hell’s Teeth” and the second is “EAT.” While neither contains zombies, you can be sure it’s going to be slick, gory and action-packed adventure (fun for the whole family!)

I was asked by a fellow writers group member on Facebook “How did you do it?”

That’s a really challenging question to answer. Do I go back to how my parents first met, fell in love, married, had kids and all the other factors that made me who I am? An accurate answer would have to start there.

A concise one however is that you just have to work at it (along with your day job, your study, your family, and your social life). You just have to make time and write and write and write. Then you have to seek out publishers that publish exactly what you are writing. Self-publish if you prefer. Work on building your audience (and that’s a whole other conversation) and always be seeking opportunities to push yourself.

Not that that is a guarantee of success, commercial, critical or otherwise. Hard work is like buying a lottery ticket. It won’t guarantee you win, but it sure improves your chances (slightly).

The other advice I would give my fellow group member, keep writing. Keep submitting stories. Write in a range of genres, find what works for you. Write short stories, novels, novellas, screenplays, audio plays, poetry, plays, and non-fiction (if that is your thing). Blog and read widely. Read and write critically – why does your favourite (successful) author do so well? What is it about the way they use the same words that captures you? What do you wince over in the same book?

Ultimately, you can be Nike and Just Do It, or you can be the Nookie guy, and say “I just did it.”

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