Wednesday, February 19, 2014

For the Love of It

It is no secret to anyone who knows me that I am a lover of Mozart's music; better-put, I'm a lover of Mozart, period. I've had an obsession with him since I was a toddler and my parents played LPs featuring his piano concertos and symphonies on our stereo. When I went to college and majored in vocal performance, my favorite operas were by Mozart, and later, when I went on to graduate school, I did my master's thesis on Mozart's original Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro, Anna "Nancy" Storace.

It was while I did my research for that thesis that I unearthed some amazing information about their relationship (which some of the most respected Mozart historians of the past suspected was more than a warm professional association), that piqued my interest so much, that after I completed my thesis, I continued on for 8 more years of in-depth research into Nancy Storace, her life, her family, her career, and her relationship not only with Mozart, but the 20 year relationship she had with the English tenor, John Braham. After I met Steph (who is a retired orchestral conductor and Mozart historian), we combined our research on Mozart and Nancy Storace and out of all that research was born a novel series entitled So Faithful a Heart, which contains two books entitled The Love Story of Nancy Storace & Wolfgang Mozart and When Love Won't Die.

One of the greatest challenges we have faced as independent writers/authors and publishers is the marketing of our work. With the explosion of online print-on-demand self-publishing and electronic books has come the accompanying explosion of self-published books in every genre imaginable. We see this as nothing but positive, except that it means more books than the consumer can wade through. Therefore, the average
consumer still looks for "brand names", or in other words, books that are listed on the bestseller list and/or
are published through the traditional method through a big-name publisher. Marketing a book under these conditions is a daunting and often frustrating task. Your biggest market is usually friends and family. Beyond that, you've got to find other ways and give a lot of freebies and sometimes pay big money to companies that will market your book for you. Either way, if you expect a huge return for your efforts, you're doomed to be disappointed.

I finally had to come to the hard realization that I had a choice here; a) Rewrite my book and make it "marketable" for the big-name publishers by limiting the word count and following the "rules" of making it more plot-driven and less character-driven, and leave out parts that I consider essential but that don't necessarily "further the plot", or b) Write it the way I want it, using all of the rich descriptors including adverbs and adjectives, develop the story around the characters rather than the plot, and use as many words as I deem necessary to tell the story. I chose "b", and I don't regret that, but it's still hard to swallow that there are infinitely inferior books in my book's genre that have big name publishers that are selling at ten times the rate that mine is.

All of this is to say that being a writer is hard. It's hard work and often thankless work. But in the end, I will never regret what I have written purely out of love for my subject and out of the love of telling a good story.


  1. I have purchased a copy for my kindle...thank you, dear one!

    1. Thank you so much, Joy! I really hope you enjoy it. :)