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  • Writer's pictureBrandon Berntsom

Growing Pains

Well, I've been publishing for 5 years now on the independent platform, and in that time, I can honestly look back and see nothing but mistakes along the way. When digital publishing became the new craze and gave writers more options, I jumped in eagerly. A little too eagerly. Looking back, I wish I'd been more careful and patient. I honestly thought (Please don't laugh at how naive this is) that I would upload some stuff, market it a bit, and something would just take off. Boom! And that would be it. I could bask in the glory of being a successful writer and maybe even take a trip to the beach!

Needless to say, after 5 years and thousands of dollars, I did nothing but butcher my own work and waste lots and lots of money and make nothing but bone-headed mistakes. I honestly believed that at least one of my tales would hit the commercial mainstream, and I would be off and running. Oh, how much we need to be humbled! It's not easy to admit, but there you have it. At least I can admit it, I guess.

It has taught me some valuable lessons. At least, in that time, I have met some good people and realized I wasn't alone in approaching it that way. In that time, I also labored like crazy to re-polish everything, reformat, upload, redo blurbs, covers, and all that good stuff, all the while trying to write something new. I admit, though, I don't follow the successful formula you hear about. Everyone talks about writing in a series, sticking to one genre, and constantly catering to those fans. It makes perfect sense to me, and I get it. Trust me. But that's just not the way my muse works. I believe that versatility is the strength, and maybe in the long run, that's where it will pay off. I write horror, fantasy, dark fantasy, young adult, and magical realism, and Castle Juliet certainly won't cater to fans of All The Gods Against Me and Body of Immorality: Tales of Madness and the Macabre. But there you have it. I'm not in it just for the easy entertainment factor, either. I always enjoy stories that do a little more than that, and I hope my tales do that for readers.

With all that said, I felt a blog was appropriate. I have spent the last two months revising and polishing everything once again, tweaking covers, getting new covers, and reworking blurbs. The beat goes. It will be nice to work on something new. I have something handwritten that's ready to be typed up called, The Night of Dagon. It's a crime noir/Lovecraftian tale. Something pulpy sounded fun, and I don't think I've had so much fun writing anything before. Hopefully that will come out sooner rather than later. Here's to hoping I see you in the tales!

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