In May 2013, I broke up with the guy I’d thought I was going to marry. After nearly seven years of waiting, I realized (finally) that he wasn’t interested, so I told him we should cut our losses and move on.
I start with this major life event in my “writing origin story” because it was the catalyst that changed everything about me. After six months of crying myself home from work, dating everything with man-parts, and running miles until I couldn’t see straight, I finally sought therapy. During that first session, I told my therapist I felt there were two people inside me: the normal, happy person who was glad The Ex was gone, and the crazy person who couldn’t let him go. Said brilliant therapist asked me if those two people had names–which, of course, they did.
“The normal person is Whitney. The crazy one is Suni.”
She asked me about Suni, and the “Oh, I’m an open book, I’ll tell ya anything” person clammed up immediately. See, Suni was my other deep, dark secret. She was the person who wrote silly books about magic and elementals and space pirates and whatnot. She had been effectively shut up when I joined the workforce at twenty. There was no room for that nonsense in the Real World of Consulting for the US Government.
Gradually, over the course of that first hour, the therapist got me to agree to let Suni and Whitney have a conversation. She said, “Just let them talk without interruption and see where it takes you.”
By the time Suni and I walked home from the appointment, we’d made the decision to publish a book by our 27th birthday on June 12th, 2014.
Three years after that fateful January appointment, I’m about to release the final book in my second series (The Union, out February 14th), as well as the second book in my third series (Magic and Mayhem, out April 4th). I’m also about to dive into edits for my fourth series, which I’m querying this spring. All told: Eleven novels, seven short stories, and two novellas have appeared since that long walk home.
That was the beginning of what I called my “quarter life crisis,” the period where I reconsidered all of the things I’d always believed to be true. Most importantly: staying miserable because it was “stable” is the biggest myth of all.
Lest you think life is sunshine and butterflies, it’s not. I support myself through freelancing and, fairly soon, flipping houses for profit. While I travel around the country to do events, spending fifteen hours in the car, eating ramen noodles, and staying at cheap motels to just break even isn’t the glamorous life that you think it is. But at the end of a long day of doing everything from designing covers to developing marketing plans to writing, writing, writing, I’m so grateful that I made the choice to let my two halves converse.
Because if I hadn’t, I might still be stuck in a dead-end job in DC with all these books still inside me.
A big thank you to S. Usher Evans for sharing her quest to authordom with us! You can pre-order her latest book, THE UNION, now! It’s out February 14th!
(And I heard there’s a pre-order incentive too) 😉
The Union by S. Usher EvansMadion War Trilogy #3
Published on February 14, 2017 by Sun's Golden Ray Publishing
Fifty years of war have led to this.
Prince Galian spends his days ministering to the sick in Kylae, but his nights strategizing how to change hearts and minds of his people. With the death camp closed, the country is becoming more volatile, and even King Grieg may not be able to maintain control over the warring factions.
Across the Great Madion Sea, Theo Kallistrate seeks an audience with the Raven rebels, rumored to be brewing insurrection against President Bayard. But they don't trust her, and progress has been achingly slow. When the war takes a major turn, Theo and Galian find themselves front and center in a political firestorm that could end with their union…or their funeral.
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