The long story is, I've wanted to write a book for years and most of my friends knew it. They also knew that I started on a novel, got stuck, abandoned the effort. Started again, abandoned again. Then did it again the third time. Why? Oh, the reasons were very simple. It couldn't be any good, no way. I'm not a writer, never studied it in school. How dare I write in English, it's not even my first language! Who do I think I am trying to finish a whole novel without practicing first on short stories like normal people do? And so I thought, all right, to hell with all these doubts. I'll give it another try.
5 months later, I'm in middle of Draft 4, and this time it's happening all the way (planning to finish and publish it at the end of 2012). The biggest lesson I had learned was - trusting the process. Writing a novel is like making good wine. Everything takes bloody time. Picking the grapes takes time, mashing them into juice takes time, and then the whole fermenting takes forever! You can't just walk up to a barrel and shout and yell and make it ferment faster. It takes as long as it takes, not slower, not faster.
The same goes with your first book - without previous experience it's hard to trust the process, hard not to freak out and think that tomorrow, yes, tomorrow, I will not know what to write about. But I will, it will come to me. I'm very impatient and the hardest part for me was (still is) knowing that it's ok to take one hour to come up with a perfect sentence. The important part is, every day I have to keep moving forward. And if I do, it will happen.
Now, about the story and why I got so mesmerized with the idea.
SIREN SUICIDES is my first novel. It's a young adult urban fantasy set in Seattle about a teenage girl who lost her mother, hates her father, and decides to escape reality via suicide. Her name is Ailen Bright, and she is a dreamer and a believer in all things magic. She gobbles up stories that her friend Hunter feeds her while they hang out in the bathroom, stoned out of their minds, because the bathroom is the only room in Ailen's house that locks and has a window. Ailen is mesmerized by water, it calms her down, so she decides to go by way of drowning, because, she says, "I have to be calm to pull the plug on my life".
Instead, she turns into a siren, finds out that her friend is a siren hunter, and dives into an adventure akin to Alice in Wonderland, except it's all things water, rain, songs, and magic that's both dark and fantastic, like stories that I used to conjure up in my head. I plan on finishing the novel by the end of 2012.
Here is a little excerpt (please bear in mind, this is not the final draft yet!):
Chapter 1. Bathroom.
I choose to die in the bathroom because it’s the
only room in the house that locks. Besides, water calms me down, and I have to
be calm to pull the plug on my life. Nothing would irritate Daddy more than
finding a fully clothed corpse of his sixteen year old daughter on the morning
of her birthday, floating in his beloved antique claw foot cast iron tub held
up by four enamelled sirens, ruled by the Siren of Canosa, or, in plain
bathroom fixture speak, the bronze goose-neck faucet. How fitting. Ailen
Bright, the deceased, to be guided into the after-life by a tap.
|Photo by Marco Leone|
It’s not only my birthday today. Today marks six years since Mommy jumped off the Aurora bridge, on that rainy morning on September 9th of 2008. I’m tired of the pain, and it’s all Daddy’s fault. I want to hurt him the only way I can.
Eighteen, nineteen, twenty.
You can read MORE HERE. I'm blogging about my progress (as well as Tweet, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Goodreads - you name it and I'm there). Would love to hear your feedback!
Ksenia Anske is a writer at heart and a social media marketer by trade, with a passion for speaking. Her first start-up was Lilipip, a company that created animated explanation videos. She currently helps clients establish their social media presence via her consultancy Plumagram and works on her 1st novel, a young adult urban fantasy set in Seattle.