Story Behind the Story

All month long I’ve been talking about my first book, End of Mae, but I think the story behind End of Mae is even more interesting than the tales of Heylel and his crew.  My book was started because of an argument at a writer’s conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Years later it was finished to serve as my test subject for marketing experiments.

Along the way I developed into a hybrid writer, alternating between detailed reporting and fantasy.  I like to think of myself as a factional writer – riding the fence between fiction and fact.  The two weave together so beautifully from project to project.

In my story Mae works for The Community News, a real newspaper in the area.  The entire story was inspired by a real article I did for the same paper on the Jersey Devil.  Then I wrote a book about the book to tell how I marketed it.  Essentially a newspaper article spawned a novella which birthed a book which is growing up into a series.

The book that came from the book was born premature.   I hurriedly published it in ebook as we left Australia last year and many of you are familiar with the grey and blue cover – that cover and title was from street art created by Peter Drew .  The alley artist of Adelaide, I was a fan of his long before I knew who he was.  The writing of the original book was rushed.  I knew we were leaving the country and thought if I waited to get settled before writing it I would forget.

The writing may have been hurried but the research wasn’t.  I obsessed over it for months, running tests on my fictional guinea pig and recording the results.  The resulting book is called No Money Marketing: All You Need Is Like.  It’s just recently been reworked and professionally edited and as of today is available in on Kindle and Smashwords.

By tomorrow I expect the paperback version to be up on Amazon, and within weeks it will be available in the Bad Girls Art Gallery and some independent bookstores.  I’ll be signing both books on June 15th at Artwalk and teaching my first class on No Money Marketing on June 30th.  I find myself a little in awe today as the messages popped up in my inbox;  My files were accepted.  My new book was for sale.

One year ago on this date I had a dream to be a published author.  I was working feverishly in our one room flat in Adelaide, Australia.  I borrowed my husband’s desktop and his antiquated ‘craptop’ to do my work causing my files to be spread everywhere and much writing to vanish in cyberspace.  I worked like a crazy person, hunched over the keyboard not noticing the sweat running down my back due to lack of air conditioning.

A year has brought huge changes to my life.  I’m now a published author twice.  I’ve sold my first book steadily and have gotten to ‘feel famous’ doing signings, readings and radio interviews.  Now that the second one is finished I’m moving into teaching classes locally and virtually.  I even get fan mail and every comment and email still amazes me.

Despite all the exciting changes, enough things stay the same to keep me grounded.  Steady sales don’t mean riches – they mean the same 15 to 20 books always seem to get purchased every month.  I have a day job to pay bills.  I do have my own laptop now to keep my work from being spread everywhere.  It’s a good one too so I no longer have to worry about writing getting dumped and lost if I don’t save every paragraph.  And I still work like a crazy person, hunched over the keyboard not noticing the sweat running down my back due to lack of air conditioning.

Whatever the next year brings, tonight I’m celebrating that both books are finally ready, polished up and making their way on their own.  I have four children made of flesh and blood, two made of page and spine and one impending grandchild.

This life is turning out to be one interesting ride and I can’t wait to see what’s around the next bend.

About Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith is an American poet, author, and publisher with over 20 years of experience in newspaper journalism. She is a Bram Stoker Awards® Finalist and HWA Mentor of the Year for 2020. She co-publishes Space and Time, a publication dedicated to fantasy, horror and science fiction since 1966. Join the community at
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1 Response to Story Behind the Story

  1. Pingback: Day #26 – Story Behind the Story | End of Mae

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