Life Gets in the Way by Angie Gallion
When I read Debra’s post about best-laid plans sometimes going awry, I could relate. No matter how hard we try, life sometimes gets in the way.
My writing journey has been filled with life getting in the way. I was a big dreamer growing up and I came from a small pond, so I thought I was something. I had a lot of creative interests, art, theater, and writing. I had a solid, supportive family. I had enough drama to carry me several lifetimes. I was very shiny, back then.
When I was twenty-three I was offered a contract on a novel by a small publishing house. I didn’t understand anything about the real world at that point, I was big fish, you see, in that small pond, and I had big dreams. I was already planning my midwest escape and knew that it would be just a matter of stepping into that glittering world and I would turn to gold.
I should have jumped on board and signed that contract.
For the years I lived in California, I tried to find my fit in the landscape, hitting auditions, going to casting calls, dreaming with a million other girls who had been big fish in small ponds. I wanted to be a star, but I didn’t have the talent, the fortitude, the family connections, or the casting couch mindset. I worked three jobs to support myself and reevaluated my sense of “big fish.”
Still, I had this novel, that somebody had once said was good. I found my way back to it, when I knew for sure I was copper and not gold, and for the next twenty years, I reworked that book. It moved to California then back to the midwest. A couple of times. Finally, it moved to Georgia and about once a year I would work through it, thinking, I had something special here if only I could finish it.
But I didn’t know how it ended and after twenty-odd years, it no longer looked anything like the book I had presented to that small press in Illinois.
In 2016, I became aware of the indie publishing movement and started dreaming again that I could finish this book and see it in print. Then, for once, I would have completed something.
I worked through it one more time, and finally, the end came to me, and I knew it was right. I found an editor who wanted to work with me and within months that much-transformed novel became Intoxic.
Hallelujah. I finally completed something!
It took me twenty-five years and a whole bunch of life getting in the way, but finally, I had accomplished something.
Then an amazing thing happened. I had more to write, and a small group of readers who wanted me to write it. From 2016 through 2019 I completed four more books, three to complete the series begun with Intoxic (Purgus, Icara, Emergent), and a psychological thriller (Off the Dark Ledge) that was a surprise.
My current project, which I had hoped to complete in July, is on hold because early in 2019, life got in the way. I’m just hoping it doesn’t take another twenty-five years to figure out how this one ends.
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Angie Gallion was raised in Illinois and now lives with her husband and their daughters outside of Atlanta, Georgia. Angie writes about complex family relationships and often deals with growth through trauma, addiction, or mental illness. Check out her website: www.angiegallion.com .