Landscape and Story

A few minutes ago I clicked on a Twitter link on marketing (vs. selling) e-books.  I read through the strategies, and sighed.  I don’t want to do any of this…but should I be?  And then I realized: no.  I quite like what I do, where I am as an author, where I’m going.  I don’t actually want to be a ‘best-selling’ author if that entails hours of publicity, marketing, talks…..that’s not why I write.

All my life I have explained my world to myself in words.  As I get further into my coursework in landscape archaeology, I realize that much of Empire’s Daughter, and much of Empire’s Hostage, the in-progress sequel, is actually, at one level, a fictionalized interpretation of the landscape archaeology of Britain in the post-Roman world.  I ‘kind-of’ knew that, but two days ago I opened a textbook to a map almost identical to the one I drew in the planning of Empire’s Hostage – the northern European world seen upside down – with north to the bottom of the map. An epiphany. Two of my deep passions melding, and a realization, that in my own way, like J.R.R. Tolkien, I am creating, in my writing, a world to mirror and interpret the real landscape that holds my heart.

So I will keep writing with a fuller understanding of why I do.  I’ll keep connecting, through my reviews and blog posts and Twitter, with other indie writers; some of those connections are pure serendipity, like the review I’ll be doing of Ian Cumpstey’s Warrior Lore, English verse translations of Scandinavian warrior ballads – ballads that just happen to play a role in Empire’s Hostage. I hope my reviews help other indie writers sell books. Some of them will take a look at or give a shout out to Empire’s Daughter. Others won’t. Either is fine with me, now I know, viscerally, why I’m writing what I write.  It really is for me, and for the landscape that tells its stories to me. Only, and all, that.

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