When I first stumbled upon the self-publishing universe in 2013, I was hooked. I loved the idea of writing a book, throwing it on the internet, and waiting for my life to change forever. While my life has changed due to this component of ebook promotion, I still cringe at it sometimes…
I am immensely grateful to Smashwords, the platform which I’ve used to publish sixteen novels (of which ten are still available to download). For those of you who don’t know, Smashwords is a service that will convert your simple Word document into an ebook available on iBooks, Barnes & Noble, the Kindle Store, Kobo, etc. It’s pretty incredible, and it’s comprised of thousands of writers looking to share their creativity.
When I published my first book, I remember the euphoric feeling of completing something, and it was so powerful. This debut, Whatley, was a period piece set in 1960s New York: A successful businessman falls in love with a young actress who has a checkered past. Though I look back at this book with a critical eye, it is still a stake in the ground moment: My first book.
Now, five years later, I am still in shock that this has been a chunk of my life. For a quarter of my life I’ve had books published on the internet, and this is because of Smashwords. So much has happened in these past five years, and writing has been the one thing to keep me rooted.
After writing Whatley and downloading it as an ebook for the first time, I knew I’d found my addiction. Shortly after, I wrote a young adult novel, Some Fiction; another historical drama, Frail Endings; a science fiction thriller, Path of Breath; and two romance novels, my best-selling books to-date, Roses in December and Breezes in April.
These novels were available to download until 2016, when I decided to upgrade my current wave of ebooks. While I will always be fond of my first generation of books, there is no doubt that they are idealistic, young, and written by a teenager. I tend to look at my books in different settings: There’s college freshman Katie George, summertime Katie George, etc. Because of this, I wanted my currently published novels to reflect what I am proud of as a writer.
My newest generation of novels began with my senior year in high school. I wrote a science fiction novella, Sirimiri, that cemented this new stage of my writing persona. I wanted to think harder, write stronger, and dig in deeper. Following Sirimiri, I quickly wrote a new batch of books: the young adult romance, Letting Go; the anti-romance romance, Six Maybe Seven; the chick flick Liane Moriarty impersonation, The Forever Optimist; and the dramatic, somewhat boring The Question. These novels reflect a pre-college Katie George. Though still idealistic, these novels were written by an eighteen-year-old kid who just wanted a boyfriend.
Flash forward to freshman year of college, when I found myself separated from my family and friends back home. I wanted to challenge myself, and challenge myself I did: I wrote a science fiction thriller, Dark Descent, that marked my first attempt at literary writing. Suddenly, I felt that what I was writing mattered. It wasn’t a silly story written to distract me from adolescent problems (though it does contain elements of this): It was a story written with the explicit intention to critique the problems I saw in society.
The next project I worked on is my (currently) unpublished novel, In the Course of Time, which is my favorite novel so far. It’s magical realism, features some of the best characters I’ve written, and plays with emotions. So far, this novel is my magnum opus. 🙂
I took a break from writing while studying abroad until I came home for Christmas 2017. Over the course of six weeks, I wrote Waverly, a thriller with science fiction and horror elements. I finished editing this novel over the summer of 2018,and it too is one I am afraid to publish online, because I love it too much.
After Waverly I went back to romance, chugging out Mystic Mississippi while living in Buenos Aires. It is one of my most Southern books to-date, but it helped me get through eight months abroad!
And you guys have heard a lot about my writings from this summer: I wrote three romance novels, finished Waverly, and wrote a psychological thriller, By the Skin of My Teeth.
So, this is just a quick little appreciation post to Smashwords, for inspiring me to share my books with the world, for reminding me that people do genuinely care to see what’s rolling around the sea that is the human brain. I will always be grateful for this experience, and even if I’m forty seven and never write another book, I will always look at Smashwords and my ebook career as a highlight of my life.
And there’s nothing saying you can’t do it either. If you are interested in publishing online, Smashwords is definitely the site to check out. 🙂
Until next time,