How quickly life can change is a cliché and it’s a cliché for a reason – it’s true. If I take a step back, I self-published because I’d reached a point whereby I’d had enough of being rejected. It left me with two clear choices. I either called it a day and used my time to do something else or I continued to write under a different model. While I debated my next journey in life the idea for The Denounced came to me.
I have a small confession – I’ve always been an avid reader, but not of YA Fiction. In fact, I’d have to scratch my head to remember the last time I read a YA book before I wrote The Denounced. The genre just wasn’t on my radar until one night everything changed with three simple questions. They were:
1. Who are your mentors?
2. Who do you turn to when you're in trouble?
3. Who can you trust?
I had originally planned to write an adult thriller. The book was to be called the Devil’s Kiss. I had completed the research. I had a main character. A story outline. A workable ending and I was ready to start the first draft when I bumped into some unexpected emotions. It was an odd moment that ultimately changed the course of my writing career and maybe even my life.
SJ Sherwood, author of The Denounced series, discusses why he opted to self-publish, and the things he learned along the way...
Somebody once told me that everything you want sits just outside of your comfort zone. It was advice I was ignoring. My writing story was a familiar one: I’d have an idea, it would excite me and I would slowly bring it to life. Once I had my precious gem all shiny, I would send out to agents with repressed dreams that would keep me buoyant for weeks. But slowly, my self-esteem was attacked with each new rejection that pinged into my inbox. Those rejections hurt, but worse, I’d started to become anaesthetised to whole process.