Authors are known for their creativity, right? Most people think of that as all part of the writing process; however, we also have to use our creativity beyond writing, and into the promotion process. Books simply do not sell themselves, no matter how good they are. People must discover them, and we (authors) have to create ways for people to do this. So, when I was asked if I’d like to join in a Facebook mega event with several other authors, I jumped at it.
I do feel maybe a bit out of place, as most of the other authors are writing in the genres of the supernatural, horror, mystery and the like, while my books are really only scary in the sense of the middle school and high school awkwardness that still makes most of us cringe to this day. Everyone has been inviting and hospitable, though, and maybe I can somehow bring balance to the Force. Meeting other authors is an experience in and of itself, so I really can’t lose.
An excerpt from Memoirs of an Ordinary Girl: Fresh-meat Year–
The Discovery of the Trekkie Newbie
With all the changes and girl drama happening in my life again, it had somehow slipped my awareness that a new family had moved in down the road from me. All the way down the road. Down the hill at the bottom of the gravel cul-de-sac we lived on. In my own defense, they really kept to themselves and we hardly saw them. There appeared to be only one child, and he was exceptionally quiet. Of course, he was also exceptionally creepy. I probably should have been keeping an eye on this kid from the beginning. Once I discovered him, I personally checked all the door and window locks before bed every night.
My first encounter happened while walking to the bus stop one morning. Since it was fall and an early morning, fog hung suspended in the air along and across the road. Two rarely visited and quite run down summer homes sat on my road, their dead eyes of windows staring at one another from either side. One of these houses, the faded and sickly yellow one, probably should have been condemned as I’m sure other than the rodents and snakes that lived in it, the shell of a house was unsafe for much else.
But on this morning a strange creaking sounded from behind the should-be-condemned house, and some angry squirrels chittered and ran in all directions. I heard a slam and saw the shadowy figure of a boy slinking up the hill from the rear of the house, wading through the thick fog. He reached the edge of the road just as I was passing that spot. He was about a foot shorter than me, and though I’m bad at guessing ages, I figured he was a sixth grader or so. He avoided eye contact with me, picked up his Star Trek decorated backbag and began to practically goose step down the road in front of me.
What the heck had this weird kid been doing in that house? And why was his hair cut like Spock’s?
Adrienne and her little sister Emily had already reached the spot where our ends of the road met that morning, and they were early enough to see the kid coming down the hill ahead of me. I had stopped to let him get a good distance ahead and away before I started down the hill. Both tossed a confused look past the kid at me. Apparently, they had not noticed him before this day either. I shrugged my shoulders to them as we all watched his abrupt stop, the placement of his left toes behind his right foot, and his deliberate, military style left turn.
“So, what’s with Data there?” Adrienne inquired.
“Don’t you mean Spock?” I corrected.
“No. I’m pretty sure his t-shirt has Data on it. Don’t forget, my dad watches that crap.” It’s true. Her dad watched Star Trek or the preview channel of television listings whenever he wasn’t fishing or hunting.
“I guess I must have missed that when I was freaking out at the weirdo popping out in front of me back there. He was messing around in the basement of the old yellow house,” I disclosed, pointing my thumb over my shoulder towards the decrepit hovel.
We speculated on several possibilities of what he might have been doing in that basement, letting our imaginations linger a bit too long on the storage of dead bodies. How many sixth graders have ever been serial killers anyway? Of course, we guessed it had to start somewhere. I would certainly keep an eye on Milton.
He did nothing at the bus stop or on the bus to help us feel any relief about our theories. He just stood at the front of the line at parade rest, staring straight ahead, a blank expression on his face. His feet made deliberate and exaggerated movements up the bus steps and when he sat down in the second seat he looked only at the tall seat back directly in front of him…the entire ride. Though we were sitting further back, we positioned ourselves to be able to at least catch glimpses of this new, odd child. Mrs. Nelson would love having this still and quiet kid on her bus route, and then they could team up to murder the rest of us, burying our bodies in the basement of the house right on my very own road.
I took out a notebook and we began writing out the story as we traveled towards our other doom, school. We hadn’t written any stories about Mrs. Nelson yet this year, but it was a pastime we had enjoyed during middle school. When we picked up Nadine, she had some great ideas to add. Apparently she had seen this creepy child wandering around all the way on her end of the neighborhood. She was relieved that he didn’t live closer to her and she swore she would never spend the night at my house again. High school kids got dropped off first so we all had to walk past him to disembark. He continued to stare at the bus seat in front of him, but now he was making noises like R2D2. (obviously this is copyrighted since it came directly out of my book)
We should be quite the mix of authors for this 5 day mega multi-author event. Come check us out afternoons/evenings from June 18-22. Also, enter our giveaway. So many prizes!