Defining success one reader at a time

Every author must define success for himself. For some, it’s the ability to write full-time and support themselves with their storytelling. For others, a coveted spot on the New York Times bestseller list. Or perhaps it’s sitting in a darkened movie theater and watching as the beautiful people in Hollywood say and do things that first happened in the writer’s mind. That’s my favorite fantasy.

And we have to feel some measure of success. We have to feel that someone out there is reading our story and gets it. Gets us. It’s a way to silence the voice that whispers in our ear, what dribble you write. How can you call yourself a writer?

I’m new to the publishing world. My first novel debuted just a little more than a year ago; the money I receive from my book sales does not support me. So for now, I have other definitions of success to quell my insecurities.

Simple things, like this email I received from Darry Hughes Kurylo, the actor who narrated Bone Girl:
“We got a nice book. A nice performance. Let’s hope some folks find this and download.
I miss it already!
To all girls everywhere: “Play it….play it as loud as you can!”

Or praise from Kat Brooks, the administrator of Indies Unlimited and the author of 22 books:
“I’ve been judging novel-writing contests for a very long time – and I have to say – your first chapter is killer. Congratulations.”

Or maybe it’s an email from our readers. In May, I received a message from Rowan, a young girl who wanted to know more about the setting of Bone Girl. We began corresponding, and I told her if she would mail me a copy of the book report she wrote about Bone Girl, I would send her a T-shirt, which I had made especially for her.

A few days ago, I received the book report. She received a B+ on. Rowan also told me that she would wear her Bone Girl T-shirt to school on the first day. I can’t think of a higher honor. Now if I could just get her to send me a picture! (Hint, hint, Rowan).
Please enjoy Rowan’s book report: (Spoiler alert: if you haven’t read the book, please stop reading here)

“Bone Girl
By Annette Drake
Oral Presentation/Report by Rowan

Title: Bone Girl

Author: Annette Drake

Setting: Bennett Springs, Missouri

Main Characters: The main antagonist is Rebecca Miller, And Josey Miller, her daughter.

Plot: In the beginning of this book, Josey’s mom was taken to jail for DUI. Later, she comes back on leave to see Josey’s concert, trying to get Carl, (Josey’s dad) to let her move back in so that she could be released from prison. Then, in the middle of the book, Josey and her dad were going low on money and food supply, so they sent Chief, a wild and untamed stallion from a well-paying horse boarder, to a 50-mile endurance race. During the end of the race, Carl and Chief never reach the end line. Multiple search parties wander the forest and trail in the dark to find them, without success. Josey starts playing her trombone to call for Chief. Then, the search party finds the horse by following the sound of his whinnying.

Conflict & Resolution: There were two major complications in Bone Girl. The first one was the fact that her mom left her, and Josey desperately wanted her mom to be her mom again. To solve this, Josey joined the school band to give her mom a reason to visit her. In the end, Josey realizes that her mom doesn’t care about her, so she stops wanting to be around her. And the other complication comes near the end of the book, when Josey’s father and Chief go missing during a 50-mile endurance hike. To fix this problem, Josey remembers that one time when she was practicing her trombone in the stables, Chief would whinny and act excited. So she plays the instrument while search parties follow the sound of the horse’s whinnying.

Opinion: I loved this book because I feel a deep admiration at Josey’s resilient nature. I also love horses. and the fact that even though her family was poor, her mother left her, and she felt like she didn’t belong anywhere, she still bounced back and solved problem after problem. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes horses, or heart-warming stories.”

Ah, success. You taste wonderful.

Hands and arms inside the cart: Next, I go kickstarting.

3 thoughts on “Defining success one reader at a time

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