Friday Focus: Believing in Myself

Maybe one day I'll have a fancy graphic for this day, but once again it's the last Friday of the month!

Where in the world did August go?? I at least got to a beach this summer, but I still want to go to my own. Still have a couple of weeks, if it doesn't snow to rain the rest of Summer.

But anyway, I'm almost finished Children of Blood and Bone, and dear God, is it good. I think it's okay to say without spoiling at this point that if Zélie and Inan don't get together by the end (not sure if there's a sequel coming), I'll be hurt, but I know not all romances have happy endings.

This book is one of the many that have given me hope as a black female author that someone will want to read my stories. That's why I push Fractured Princess so hard: even though many would say to start writing something else, and I have fortunately, I know deep down someone needs to read a character like Jonnie or Brodie; both are teenaged black girls going against the grain. Jonnie is tired of letting others fight and die for her. Brodie doesn't want to follow in her family's footsteps. Someone needs to see a fantasy setting that hasn't already been done a million times (I know I did). Someone needs to see vulnerable young men like Cyan.

For a while, every rejection I received chipped away at my self-confidence. Many times it was just because FP wasn't quite there yet, which I get. But after a certain amount of rejections and years, I really started feeling like I've been wasting my time. And I know a lot of published authors say that have those moments where they feel like a fraud, but at the same time, they're published, so...It's like skinny people who say they need to lose weight.

I submitted FP to Pitch Wars earlier this week, and I'm excited that, first of all, they've created a more diverse panel of mentors. No offense to other contests,  but when you scroll the list of agents, judges, etc., and what you see is 1 person of color to 12 white people, as a black woman writer, it's easy to feel like your chances are just as small, if not smaller. People want to believe it isn't a factor , but when you're actually wearing the shoes, you learn that it is. They won't say it and probably don't see it, but it happens.

I'm also excited because I feel like the first time in years, whether through Pitch Wars or not, I'm confident that this one is ready. Or at the least, I'm ready. I wrote "the end" about 8 or 9 years ago now. After so many revisions and at least three overhauls, if I don't believe in this story, no one else will, so no matter what, I'm going to put it out there and see where it goes.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I hope it does well!
The world is a diverse place. And at the same time, we are all the same at the core. Your story will resonate with people. Just keep believing in it.

Tonja Drecker said...

Good luck with Pitch Wars!!!