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  • Writer's pictureLeoOtherland

Inflicted: Concept To Reality

In my third post to this blog, I told you I had done a big thing. A TERRIFYING thing. And it was a thing that was “not for sure,” though, I had high hopes for it.

That scary something was submitting a proposal for a short story collection to Balance of Seven. They had asked for the pitch back in the later half of 2021 and there was no way I was going to let the opportunity pass.

Today, nine months and some days later, my debut book has come into the world. Inflicted: Explorative Tales of What Breaks and Binds Us is now a reality.

It was one hell of a process, full of madness and fun and frustration and satisfaction. Honestly, it was a process that very much matched this year that has seemed set on murdering me from day one.

Yet despite all the crazy, I wouldn’t trade any of this journey for the world.

How does a book become a reality? Well it starts as a concept, a little grain of an idea, sometimes in an author’s mind, sometimes (as in this case) in the minds of several people.

Inflicted began with the wistful, half-guilty thought that I had enough short stories laying around my files to fill a book. It moved forward when I shared that thought with Ynes Malakova, CEO of Balance of Seven, and she told me to pitch the concept. It shifted from a “maybe” to a “will be” somewhere between the end of January/beginning of February when I got a “yes” response to my pitch. And over the following months Inflicted morphed from a concept to a reality.

I started writing somewhere around the end of February and concluded writing mid March. In roughly two months I wrote a book. It exhausted me, but I was proud, and perhaps I had a right to be. That is a hell of a turnaround on a request for written words.

But then, Inflicted has been a matter of quick turnaround from the beginning.

When I pitched the book it was slated for 2024 if the proposal was accepted. By the time I got my “yes” it became August of 2022. If I wanted this book, I needed to do it FAST. So I did.

May and June were the months of cover art and interior illustrations, not to mention the introduction letter and book blurb. July saw Inflicted’s cover reveal, the opening of preorders, and the beginning of edits. And delays. Because some things do run behind and this has been a hell of a year for more people than just me. Instead of launching on August 5, Inflicted was first pushed back to August 26, and finally September 16.

Come the end of July/early weeks of August edits were behind and we hit crunch time. I hardly remember anything except a flurry of sleepless nights, Google docs, and text messages as we polished stories to a high sheen. Everything was hectic, but also coming together. And by the beginning of September I was able to sit back and watch as formatting and finishing touches were put on. Inflicted was literally coming to life before my eyes and I might have been tired, but I was also exhilarated.

My book, my debut child, was taking on a life of its own before my eyes and there was nothing else I personally could do. I had to sit, and I had to wait, and I had to let go.

That was nerve wracking, but it was ultimately worthwhile.

I’m sitting here now, it is launch day, and Inflicted is real. E-books have (or soon will be) arriving at people’s e-readers, paperbacks will be shipping anytime now, and it won’t be long before I finally have my book in my hands.

I think when I do I will just flip through it, smell the pages, admire how everything we put so much work into came together, and begin plotting how to do the next book. Funny how after all the frenzy I simply want to begin again. This process was a trial by fire, but I came out the other side and I learned so many things along the way.

The lesson that stands out the most is probably one of the simplest and least expected: No book is made in a vacuum. It might start with an idea in an author’s mind, but before it sees readers it will pass through many hands and each individual who works on it will leave their mark and make the book what it ultimately becomes.

With a good team, a book will shine. I have had an amazing team from start to finish on this project. People who encouraged me, who cheered me on, who talked me down from panic and walked me through the intricacies of the publication process. People who just stood beside me and told me this book was going to be great. I needed everyone at every stage of this journey, and I have thanked them all in my acknowledgements section at the end of Inflicted.

For this moment, I can say I am happy.

And I cannot wait for the next adventure. Whatever it might be.

I have some ideas, but they are all in such early stages of development it’s hard to say which will happen first. So for now, I’m just going to bask in the glow of a job well done and invite you to dare to be Inflicted.

Order the e-book here.

Order the paperback here.

And be sure to hop over to Goodreads and leave a review.

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