As many of you have seen, I've finally put The Gaze up for free for a limited time. What's the big deal, you may ask?
Think about it, an author spends countless hours, nights, weeks, years, diligently working to produce a novel. It's unrealistic for a new author to think the money will pour. A book needs readers and readers will not simply sacrifice their time for just anyone claiming to know how to write. So, the author gives away all that work in the hopes people take a chance, like it, and scream it from the rooftops to all their circles while anxiously waiting for more. The author has just invested all that work in time to build an audience. It took me a while to understand that.
I did not write my novels with money in mind as the first objective. If I get to the point where I can make a living by writing, I'll have realized my biggest dream. Writing is incredibly personal and you challenge yourself past the breaking point when you commit to creating something out of nothing.
But, The Gaze is not something created out of nothing.
My Sheri and I were watching Disney's "Chicken Little" with out two daughters: 6 year old Amber and 9 year old Kendra. As the credits rolled, I checked Facebook pages and learned my latest promo post hit a pretty large number of feeds. It just means that many people liked it, viewed it, or even shared it. Good news for an author striving for a little exposure.
I have problems with that. In fact, the first few promo posts don't even have my name on it. It's all about the story, you see.
Anyway, I read the words I added to the image and that's when it hit me. Those words, those very words, first appeared on a coffee-stained paper place mat about seventeen years ago.
In fact, those words were inspired by the pretty girl sitting on the couch with her mini-me sleeping on her lap as I write this post. Yes, I wrote those words after walking away from Sheri back when we were young and I was stupid.
I will refrain from sharing much more than that in a blatant attempt to entice you to read the novel. You'll have to hear it from the characters. That's Tony's story to tell Samantha after all.
...I will be no more than a transient thought in her mind, a small measure of time, insignificant. No more than a barely familiar set of notes to a song seldom remembered...
Recalling the moment I wrote those words is actually pretty easy. I remember the conflict, the pain, the emotional maelstrom, and regret that forged the passage.
It just makes me wonder just how many lines we hear in movies or read in books are actually real. How many of those were born of emotion at a precise, pivotal moment in someone's life.
Did someone really say the words: "Remember, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things..." to Stephen King?
How about "After all, tomorrow is another day." Who spoke those words to Margaret Mitchel?
Maybe we'll never know.
But I do know this, in the millions of words I have written since that day I bought a composition notebook at Kyle's in Shelton at $1.99, never have I written one phrase that actually made me this proud. It's my own little where-did-THIS-come-from? moment.
You're welcome to disagree, of course. I cannot claim this little passage to be a literary gem like the ones produced by authors I deeply respect and admire.
What fascinates me about these lines is that they are real. They were part of my life before becoming a part of a page, a part of a novel.
I thought I'd just share that with you.
Now, I know what those lines meant to me. I have an idea of what those lines meant to Sheri. That particular novel will forever have a two person audience, I'm sorry to say. But what will those lines mean to Samantha Reddick, the main character from the novel? And furthermore, what else rings with the echo of true within the pages of The Gaze?
Javier A. Robayo