IndieJourney: Jessica Akers

The Speaker


In my short life, I have worn many hats. I have donned a crown and been Princess of the Playroom, ruling over my loyal stuffed subjects. I have been a spy, carefully watching the mysterious man who walks everyday, leaving envelopes in the box on my porch. I have even been a mad scientist, concocting potions of lemon juice and baking soda in my mother’s kitchen. Of all my hats and occupations, I have never held one so dear as the one labeled, ‘Writer’.

Since I was a child, storytelling was my passion. My parents can vouch for that. I would make up stories and plays, sometimes writing them down, and perform for my family. As a child, it never occurred to me that one could make a living as a writer. I thought that was a moronic notion, writing as a career… No, I would make much more sensible goals, like becoming an actress and winning an Academy Award.

It was not until a lot of soul searching did I realize that this was something I could do. I wrote my first Young Adult Fiction, The Speaker, in about three months. Once I started writing, I could not stop. I felt as though if I didn’t write it down, I would explode. After I wrote it, I didn’t even think of trying to get it published. After thinking about it for a long time, I decided to try. I knew it would be difficult and not the most glamorous, but I’m not one to quit.

I got rejection after rejection and the wind in my sails had gone from a monsoon, to stillness. Then, one day after a few hours of searching the Internet, I found a beacon of hope: self-publishing. I realized: “Hey! Buck up! You can get your baby out there!”

I got my manuscript together, sent it to Authorhouse, and waited for a call. Two days later, my phone rang. I cannot begin to describe the elation I felt. My book was going to be real! It was going to have a cover! A table of contents! An ‘About the Author’ segment!

True, there is a lot of hard work to be put in with self-publishing. Book signings, volunteering family to haul your merchandise on Saturdays, and constant schmoozing with readers is a big part of the game. However, the satisfaction and appreciation for ‘paying your dues’ as some call it, is sublime. The care and detail self-published authors put into our work and promotion is amazing. We have been there from the beginning: getting the idea, putting that idea to paper, seeing our creation come to life, watching it become real, and then telling everyone within shouting distance how proud we are of what we have done!

We are the voice of the masses. We are the regular folks, bearing our souls and daring to dream that others want to hear it. My only piece of advice to my indie-writer brothers and sisters is: Write! Write, write, and write some more! Do what your inner voice is telling you! You can do this! Do not give up!

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