There were many reasons leading up to my decision to become an indie author -- to self-publish -- and though one reason was a bit of exasperation with the route through traditional publishing, none of my reasons were an abhorrence of traditional publishing. My credit card bill is peppered with Amazon purchases every month (Kindles, hardbacks, paperbacks -- both indie and traditional), and two of my critique partners are currently pursuing the traditional means of publication. I applaud their efforts and assist in whatever way I can. If either or both of them ever get a book on a shelf, I will be so excited you will think I wrote it. Both are extremely talented writers with stories to tell, and I want them to get the chance to tell those stories.
That's what my decision was ultimately about -- telling the stories.
Having attempted to do everything I could to avoid being a writer, I finally had a story that wouldn't stop telling itself in my head. Between the Lines came out of that bothersome inner narrative.
As I went about my I'm-not-a-writer life, my oldest was embarking on professional training as an actor. When he got into what is arguably one of the best theatre programs in the world, I had to face the fact that way back in 5th grade, when he begged us to let him audition to be Harry Potter, he really meant it. With this new realization came the notion that hey, he might actually end up doing this "acting thing."
It's not like I'd never noticed Young Hollywood before... it's just that all of a sudden that was the world my kid might end up a part of. And front and center, once I'd started paying really close attention to it: the Twilight cast. I read an interview with Robert Pattinson where he talked about getting the part of Edward Cullen, and how the Twilight fanbase went insane... in a bad way. He was all excited about getting this role, and all of a sudden girls all over the planet were reviling his looks and his acting ability and all sorts of other stuff they had no notion of. He said he had to make himself stop reading anything with his name in it on the Internet because it was so depressing and hurtful. And I thought Oh my god, that could be Zachary.
I wrote my story as Emma because, well, I'm a girl, and that seemed like the thing to do. Reid came into the whole thing later, when his voice in my head wouldn't shut the hell up. In the beginning, the story forming in my head didn't have a triangle or a tug-of-war. It was just two people, trying to relate on a human level while every single move they made was judged, analyzed and scrutinized. If I hadn't had a son with aspirations of acting, I might have never looked at actors this way.
Zach is in LA currently, as I type, in fact, filming that indie movie I told you guys about. Errbody cross your fingers! (Just in case he hits it big, Emma and I are all set to tell him: Do. Not. Google. Yourself.)