This is a day I dreamed about but wasn't quite sure it would ever happen. My ebook of horror short stories, "13 Horror Stories" is climbing the charts on Amazon UK. A few days ago it was #25 in the horror short stories category, and today I've watched as it has steadily climbed to (the last time I checked) #19 for horror short stories and #82 for short stories of every category. Woo hoo, let's break out the champagne!
I am gratified because it means that my hard work is paying off. I have been a writer all my life, but even though I love fiction and got a Master's in English Literature because I wanted to keep reading it, I spent most of my life doing other kinds of writing. Just about every other kind, including catalog copy, speeches, trade magazine articles, blogs, newsletters -- you name it, if it involves putting words on a screen (or on paper, which is how I started out years ago), I've done it. I wrote a few short stories along the way, and I even got a handwritten rejection letter from The New Yorker magazine once (handwritten rejection letters are supposed to be not as bad for the ego as typewritten ones, because they mean an editor took a little extra time to tell you your work was unsuitable). I never pursued my fiction writing dream with any great effort, though. It was too scary to actually reach for, so I pushed it away.
Until I turned 50 and realized that if I had any intention of realizing my dream I'd better get to work. So, I started writing fiction every day, mostly awful stuff at first, but slowly the stories got better. I joined writing groups, kept polishing my craft, and started sending my stories out to online magazines. To my surprise, some of them got published. I kept writing, and then the ebook revolution came along. Now it was possible for anyone to publish a book, to reach an audience, and to get exposure for their writing.
I jumped in with both feet. I put out first one book of short stories, then another. And another. Now I have 11 books listed on Amazon. Some are horror books, some are humor, and some are the kind that pull at the heartstrings. I don't stick to one type of writing. My horror books don't have zombies, but they do have twists that sneak up on you. My humor is verbal; not in your face. My books are not mainstream, but they're finding an audience, and that's so gratifying.
Dreams can come true.
13 Horror Stories UK edition