The image above initiated this blog. When I first saw the page in print, I stood staring at it, blocking the corridor where the papers were neatly stacked in racks, awaiting their readers. Fortunately, no one needed to pass me in the hallway.
All I could think was, “Me?” It was too hard to believe. Surely, this was about someone else. I knew the facts, but I don’t think they really sank in until I stood in that hallway looking at the page. Slowly, it dawned on me that it was time, maybe even past time, to start a blog. One doesn’t learn or achieve without sharing. At least that’s how I was brought up, and after the many years, it hasn’t changed for me. Oh, I don’t fail to share now. I have the standard Facebook page, I tweet once in a blue moon and even use LinkedIn from time to time. I participate on a few Facebook groups. But blogging? Another writing form.
How, I wondered, would a blog differ from the other social media participations? And my focus now that I’ve thought about it will be the novel series and probably some related and interesting research, use of other complementary media types, and writing overall. The blog would, however, be my original writing, not shared articles written by others in the subject area of my prehistoric focus or other science.
My writing is comprehensive. I research, write, edit, proof, and then shift to the marketing aspects of authorship. None of this is something I was taught, except for grammar, and I worked as a proofreader in my teens. I taught English literature and grammar in school, but I never dreamed of being a writer. Never. Writing came to me as a necessity, not a dream. My DVD on youtube, “Raven from Ashes,” under my name tells the story of how I came to write.
My novel series, the focus of the piece in the image above, came from a day of research. Having moved to Alaska, I wanted to know who the first Alaskans were, because we’re taught that the first Alaskans are the first Americans. America, of course, meaning North and South America. A single day of research showed me that the premise is likely wrong. That stopped me dead in my tracks. If not fact, then why are we teaching fantasy as fact? I don’t do well with conundrums.
That led to more and more research. Finally, well into years of research, I knew I’d never know who the first Americans were. What, then, to do with the research? It has continued ever since it began, but slower now. I spent five years at hard research, the kind of research a workaholic would do. What to do with it was a tough one. I wasn’t credentialed to write non-fiction. It already had been done. Done well. So, I considered fiction. I had no training or experience writing fiction. Still, I looked at the genre of prehistoric fiction and realized there was a book here and one there, but no systematic approach to the peopling of the Americas existed in a novel series. I’d found my niche. I felt totally ill equipped. Nevertheless, I’d try.
The books came fast. The first novel, Ki’ti’s Story, 75,000 BC came out in 2012. Manak-na’s Story, 75,000 BC followed in 2013. Zamimolo’s Story, 50,000 BC and Tuksook’s Story, 35,000 BC were both published in 2014, and the final in the series, The SealEaters, 20,000 BC came out in 2015. (http://www.amazon.com/Bonnye-Matthews/e/B001KMIPJU/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1467143448&sr=1-2-ent) Clearly, I haven’t experienced writers’ block. The novels grew legs, they stand up on their own feet.
I have a small publisher for my novels. The office is within driving distance. I have a royalty contract, but in today’s world of publishing, some have sneered, assuring me I self-publish, as if that’s somehow a negative thing. I just smile. I don’t possess and don’t want to possess the knowledge and skills one needs to self-publish. For those who do, they reap a greater financial reward. The world of publishing is in a paradigm shift. It has been there for a while and still has not come to a rest. In such environments there is much to learn, and it’s fascinating. It’s a constant challenge with endless problem solving opportunities. I love it.