By Sara Celi
I’m not Felix Baumgartner, but I know a little how he feels.
Just a little.
On January 28th, 2012, after a full year and countless hours of work, I sent my first novel out into the world—the digital world. THE UNDESIRABLE is now available on Amazon. All platforms. And that means I’m now in a whole new world.
When I first started writing the story that became THE UNDESIRABLE, I wasn’t sure I’d publish it as an e-book. I wasn’t sure I’d even finish it, let alone put it out there for readers to digest and critique. When I finished the first draft on May 15th, 2012, I just felt happy to have written a 57,000 word story.
And then the work—the real hard work—began. What came next was a long look a revisions, edits, character workshops and examination of message in the story.
Somewhere along the way, in the middle of an editing haze, I realized the digital option might be the best one for a young adult fiction novel about conflicted teenagers in a dystopian Ohio. The book’s target audience is increasingly mobile and savvy on digital platforms. It just made sense. So I decided to commit. I’d put in the work and find the right people, I told myself. I’d do my research, and network the way best I could. I’d find a good cover designer and work with beta readers, a technical editor and a copywriter to polish up my story.
Once it came time to format for Kindle, I told myself I’d get a professional to do it.
And I decided I’d do it all while working a full time job as a TV news anchor.
It was, in some ways, a daunting task. Many days I got up at 6AM and didn’t go to bed until well after midnight. Some days I looked at my manuscript and wondered if I’d ever get it right. Other days, I doubted I could do what so many writers already have. More than one time, I wondered if I had gone insane. Know what, though? This last year has been the most memorable of my life. I pushed myself in ways I never thought I would. I dared to be different, and work outside what’s easy. I juggled deadlines and demands at work with a passion project that became more than just a bucket list item. And then, a few weeks ago, I became a published author.
Just like Felix, I stood on the edge of something and I jumped—even though I have no idea where THE UNDESIRABLE will land.
Once I hit publish, the characters were no longer just my own. The story will forever be out there to be judged. Everyone knows the Internet is its own universe. Anything can happen, and usually does. Not everyone will like Charlotte and Fostino’s story. The Internet is a big playground, and there are not always friendly kids on it. Someone is bound beat them up, and I know that.
So far, though, the response has been good. THE UNDESIRABLE has sold copies, and more than just a few. Readers have told me they like it, and a good number of those folks never met me before in my life. Many of them say they’re telling others about it.
That, my friends, is hugely satisfying.
That encouragement also enough of a positive response for me set a timeline for the sequel, which will be called THE RESISTANCE.
So would I do again? Absolutely. I would, and I will. Life is about experiences—and this was a big one for me.