Why you probably shouldn’t but may want to listen to me.

I wasn’t going to start a blog. I made my mind up about that a long time ago. I have nothing to blog about. “But, Hannah,” the people say. “Your life is interesting. You travel the world and live in the French Alps. You professionally squelch small children’s dreams. What about your life isn’t interesting?”

To answer your question: Nothing. Nothing about my life isn’t interesting. But that doesn’t mean I want to write about it.

I write about a lot of things. (It’s kind of my thing.) But the things I write about tend to be more along the lines of ninja nuns, magical sushi-go-rounds, and twelve-year-old vampire slayers rather than anything that would ever interest you.

Am I right? Or am I right?[1]

But then I got a publishing deal, and before any middle grade readers came clamoring for a peek at my story, I started to receive other sorts of mail: Email. Facebook mail. Snail mail. Chainmail—any sort of mail all saying the same sort of thing:

You’re publishing. Cool! I want to do that, too. How do I get started?

Thus began a small novella of my personal insights. Where to start. Who to bother. What to do.

As I proceeded to copy/paste the same sorts of things into multiple emails and messages, I was stricken with a salacious idea:

            If multiple people want the same thing—advice on how to get into publishing with no prior experience in the business—why don’t you just blanket them all instead of writing individual emails?

Ergo, the blog.

When I first undertook this misadventure, I thought that your novel was just magically published after you wrote it. WRONG, wrong, and WRONG. There’s a lot of stuff that happens in-between—stuff that can take years to sift through for the newbie author. I spent countless hours, wrote hordes of emails, and almost got myself subdued under several restraining orders to get where I am today.

Don’t do what I did. I don’t want you to do what I did. I want you to read this blog, streamline your hubbub of a head, and go forth with a reasonable idea of what the publishing process looks like.

Think about it this way: Publishing a book is like fighting an ogre. A big, ugly, smelly, sock-gobbling ogre. If you’re going head-to-head with the thing, wouldn’t it be prudent to get a good idea of what you’re up against? Its strengths and weaknesses? Whether to hack at it with a pitchfork or unleash the glorious fury of a weedwhacker?

My personal motto is as follows: “I don’t know what I don’t know.” If you have no idea how publishing works, how can you navigate yourself to success?

This isn’t a blog about writing the perfect query. This isn’t the blog that is going to get you an agent, sell a bajillion copies of your book, or ensure that all of your wildest dreams come true. (If you find that blog, I’d be much obliged if you shared.) There are blogs about those things, and I will happily lead you to them.

This is a blog for the rest of us—smart, determined people with a dream in their heart but no idea about where to begin. It’s a map, of sorts. It’s the sort of thing that won’t give you the answers, but will help you ask the right questions.

You need to remember that before this, I was in the Navy. The military was my world. I did math. I wrote strategy. I drove boats and hunted pirates. With that much being said, I’m not agented, not signed with a Big Six, and by no means successful in my published endeavors. Truth be told, I have no credentials at all.

            That’s probably why you should stop reading.

But if you keep reading, I can offer you the lessons that I have learned on my own publishing journey. My debut novel, PATEL PATTERSON AND THE APOCALYPSE KEY, is slated to arrive from Blaze Publishing on October 9th, 2018. It’s been two years since I undertook this endeavor—three before the silly thing is finally in my hands, all bound-up and purty. For all intents and purposes, I’m still at the beginning.

I’m writing this blog because I want to help you. I want you to do things better than I did. Faster. Smarter. With fewer tears and significantly less alcohol. So if you’re a fellow newbie looking for a place to start, hop on board.

It’s one wild ride.



[1] Hopefully, I’m not right and you’ll go buy my book. I love food and electricity, so I’d be most appreciative.

Author: h.kates

H. Kates is a war gamer turned author. Her middle grade fantasy, PATEL PATTERSON AND THE APOCALYPSE KEY, debuts... Eventually.

3 thoughts on “Why you probably shouldn’t but may want to listen to me.”

  1. Oh, my, Hannah!!! Your Grandmother cannot wait to get her hands around your book…come quickly, October 2018!!! So very excited and happy for you. Your perseverance has paid off. 😘👵🏻


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s