Balancing Act of the Author and Parent
I wanted to be an author since high school. That’s where the story begins and the ensuing years ended up being me doing everything except pushing the author career. I outlined ideas, wrote a few books, and designed characters whenever I had a chance. I’m a fantasy author (waits for groans and cheers to die down), so my stories were my own escapism from the retail and office jobs that I kept finding myself in. Now before I lose everyone to the doom and gloom, I’ll get to the good stuff.
As I said, I was still writing, but I wasn’t sharing. One day I noticed someone I knew from high school was publishing on Amazon Kindle. I reconnected and learned more about it. Then I met another Kindle author who showed me the ropes around the time my work life was looking like a reenactment of Office Space. Only I had a printer to battle instead of a fax machine. I was becoming miserable and decided it was time to shoot for the dream.
I published my first fantasy adventure novel, Legends of Windemere: Beginning of a Hero, in February of 2013. I’ve been writing, editing, and promoting ever since and that’s where the title of this post is coming from. At this point, I’ve put out the first five books of my series and I’ve written up to Book 8. I’ve dabbled in poetry, horror, and a strange fairy tale/post-apocalyptic journal combination since Kindle publishing allows for easy experimentation. Still, my love is for the fantasy world of Windemere, which I’ve been toying with since college. It’s been great that I can finally give it more time . . . sort of.
You see, I went full-time author, which meant my wife went for the job outside of the house. Before anyone boos me, I should point out that the little woman isn’t the one in this marriage with the domestic skills. This is something she freely admits and we’ve come to accept. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I can cook, clean, and go shopping for more than pizza and beer. I also found myself the main attraction for my 5-year-old son who recently started kindergarten.
Prior to this, I’d wake up and get into my writing for most of the day. Now I had to get up, prepare the little guy for school, clean up his morning mess, get my own morning stuff done, and I write until he comes home. Then it’s homework, dinner, ‘for the love of god stop jumping on that’, ‘where are your pants?’, ‘what do you mean you won’t watch Frozen anymore?’, bath time, ‘get your naked butt back here!’, pre-bedtime videos, and ‘welcome home and take your son, wife’. Needless to say, I’ve had to do a lot of mental balancing ever since I started this path and it’s only getting more challenging.
That isn’t to say it’s bad. I do have the luxury of writing all day when I can get it and I get to see my son grow up. That has actually given me some insight into character evolutions for my books even though they’re adventurers and he’s a kid that won’t stop trying to jumping off high things. It also gets me away from the computer and moving around instead of sitting on my butt all day long. Authors take a lot from their experiences and mine is currently being a father along with writing my books. The trick is to make your various aspects work with each other instead of against them. A big part of this is accepting that one side may overshadow the other from time to time. For example, a sick kid trumps writing a chapter, but you might be able to get a little editing or outlining in.
One thing this has taught me and I’ve been starting to tell other authors is that this job is so much about balancing your life. It’s rare that a person can be the solitary author and not have to worry about anything else. Many of us have someone or something else that depends on us not disappearing into our fantasy worlds. Yet, we need to step away to get our work done. Go too far one way and the other side will suffer, causing you stress and problems that will ripple into your other realm. So I suggest the following for authors who have to hold down the house and/or child:
- Don’t get frustrated.
- Even 5 or 10 minutes of outlining or jotting down story notes is progress.
- No matter what you think, it isn’t right to duct tape your son to the sofa.
- Many social media sites have a scheduling function. WordPress does and Hootsuite helps you with things like Twitter and Facebook. Seriously, whatever you can set up in advance as far as marketing goes is a lifesaver.
Legends of Windemere Series
Beginning of a Hero
The first of this high fantasy adventure series introduces readers to Luke Callindor. Being from a family of heroes, this young warrior has set off to prove that he is worthy of the praise he gets simply by being a Callindor. In true reckless fashion, he lies to a royal messenger to get an assignment to protect the heir of Serab who is attending the Hamilton Military Academy. Luke is so excited about his big break that he fails to find out which student is the hidden heir. Now he must locate his charge while keeping an eye out for a demonic assassin and its rotting master, the Lich. Needless to say, this hero is going to need some help . . . and a healer.
Prodigy of Rainbow Tower
After stumbling to victory at Hamilton Military Academy, Luke Callindor and his friends are off on a new adventure. This time they must travel down the L’dandrin River to the city of Gods’ Voice. Their enemies are ready with traps, demons, and an assorted of other monsters. Luke has his own trick up his sleeve with his newest ally, Nyx the caster. That is if this temperamental prodigy of magic does not set everyone on fire in an act of sudden rage. It is an action-packed journey that ends with the death of a hero and a soul-crushing betrayal.
Allure of the Gypsies
The survivors of the L’dandrin River adventure are looking for a place to recovery their broken spirits. After finishing their business in Gods’ Voice, Luke Callindor and his remaining friends are off to the town of Haven. The peaceful village is perfect for healing and coming to terms with their losses. At least for everyone who is not Luke Callindor since this is his home town. There is no rest for the blossoming hero as he faces worried parents, a furious ex-fiancée, a zombie horde, a fearsome vampire, and another death that will alter his life forever. This does not even include the chaos that a playful gypsy named Sari will bring into the young warrior’s life.
Family of the Tri-Rune
One thing that you can count on in Windemere is that your past mistakes will come back to haunt you. Nyx still has nightmares about her time in Hero’s Gate where she was forced to unleash a devastating spell. Now she has been called back to fix the damage that she caused. Even with Luke Callindor and Sari by her side, the powerful caster will find that this is a challenge like nothing she has faced before. The citizens hate her and they are more than willing to feed Nyx to the monsters that were born from her corrupted magic. Can she win them over and put her nightmares to rest or will she been devoured by the ravenous Krypters?
The Compass Key
Luke is done being hunted and is taking the fight to the Lich’s castle deep within the Caster Swamp. These two rivals will clash again, but that is only the beginning as the long lost Compass Key has awoken beneath the streets of Gaia. Once they are done with the Lich, the gathered champions must enter the race for this artifact and use it to revive their injured ally. Many battles stand in our heroes’ path, but they are prepared to fight to the bitter end. With a new enemy stepping out of the shadows, that might be more true than they could ever imagine.
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