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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Guest Post by R.J. Sullivan


 
The solitary life of an author....no, wait, just kidding, the modern collaborative experience

We all know the stereotype of the solitary writers locking themselves away for days and months at a time, because "ve need time alone to create!"

And it's true, I have had to disconnect from the internet to block out a few hours at a time. Even still, it's a pretty rare day I don't get to spend at least an hour in the morning checking in with social media. Today's technology has made it possible to be "alone with friends", or "out in the faraway nearby", and for me, at least, it's opened me up to collaborative opportunities all over the world with valued players helping me all stages of the creative progress.

And so I wanted to take this space to thank and perhaps enlighten people on how authors have learned the Garfield the Cat principle--to use their friends wisely while producing creative collaborations not possible even a few years ago.

Most Important in my mind is a peer author I met back in 2001, years before either of us were published. She lives in Los Angeles, CA on the other side of the country and to this day we've still never met. Through the magic of email and initially from mutual interest in Star Wars and SF author Kathy Tyers, Debra Holland and I started exchanging manuscripts and mutually line editing each other's work. She taught me a lot about what I was doing wrong and I'd like to think I gave her a pointer or two along the way. She continues to be an invaluable editor on almost all of my works. Today she's a published author through Montlake Romance and Penguin, and has some pretty incredible success with self-publishing, too.


Years later, when I started building up readers, I learned many fans can provide fabulous insight into your work, and I wanted to give a huge shout-out to one: reader, fan and good friend Nikki Howard. She started beta reading for me on Haunting Obsession, but proved herself the Most Valuable Responder to my drafts of Virtual Blue. Her eclectic knowledge and enthusiasm for the project helped bring the vision all together. She has also taken her fandom that second mile on my behalf, such as drawing crowds to my author table last year during the launch of Haunting Obsession with her Maxine Marie cosplay, then following it up with an enthusiastic Haunting Blue cosplay photo session!


Speaking of Cosplay...

What do you get when you combine a Cyndi Lauper fan from Canada, a musician/composer from England (and one-time co-writer and member of Ms. Lauper's band), a 3D rendering artist from Florida and a video editor from Kentucky? You get my most ambitious collaborative project, the Haunting Obsession book trailer, with Lily Monstermeat as Maxine, images by Nell Williams, original and arranged music remixed by Jan Pulsford, and Seventh Star guru Stephen Zimmer assembling all the parts!


There's so many more to mention, readers and fans that come into your life, and friends who know things and are willing to help you with various tasks.

Like my Florida gaming buddy Nocole Rinaldi who writes poetry and was a former EMT. She contributed both of these resources to the final version of Virtual Blue.

And how my first-fan, Monica Felver-Kellogg, the first person to discover RJ Sullivan's online website when I was still an unpublished author trying to find a deal. She's my most enthusiastic beta reader, and she has STRONG OPINIONS!!!! about how Blue and Rebecca should act in my stories. And she's usually right. (And yes, she expresses her opinions in all caps and exclamation points) That's why Virtual Blue is dedicated to her.

The rest of these are somewhat official, but still need mentioning.

Peer author and cover artist for the original edition of Haunting Blue, Ash Roland, who also gave the novel an awesome critique just before I turned in the manuscript.

Seventh Star artist Bonnie Wasson, who has captured my vision so perfectly. Seventh Star editor Amanda DeBord.

I could go on to list a plethora of peer authors and great friends in the industry I would not have met if not for social media, but I won't. Suffice it to say, a writer's life is not the angst-filled solitary existence it used to be, even when you spend hours days at a time in an office "by yourself."
 
Thanks to Azure Dwarf for hosting this entry of the Virtual Blue tour!






1 comment:

  1. Aww! Rj, you are too kind! *blush* It's an honor to be a part of things.

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