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An Author's Journey with C.T. Fleck

We asked Thad Saves the Galaxy author C.T. Fleck to share his journey.

I was asked by Chandra Press to write about my journey of becoming a published author. This is extremely hard for me. I’m not really one who enjoys talking about myself let alone writing about myself. When people write about themselves, they tend to do one of two things; either they try to downplay everything they’ve worked for to avoid coming across as bragging, or they will exaggerate to the point of absurdity to impress people that they’ve never met. Not going to lie, I’m tempted to do both right now, but I won’t.

When I was writing Thad Saves the Galaxy, I didn’t know that I was going to try and get it published. My initial thoughts were just ‘Yay! Gonna write a story’. Technically, it was the second book that I’ve written but the first lives on a flash drive, under the file name Untitled. That’s where it will remain for the entirety of its digital existence. That’s not the type of story that I want to be linked to me as an author. No one besides me has read it and no one will. 

Thad Saves the Galaxy was different, though. After more months than I’m willing to admit, I finally finished it, and I felt pride in it. I enjoyed it and wanted to share the story with people. I had no idea how to get started with that, but luckily Google did. I ignored some of the advice. Never saw the purpose in an agent, and the internet wanted me to get one of those. 

I found a dozen publishers that were taking open submissions, so I emailed it to all of them. In return, I got three no responses, eight nicely worded rejection letters, and one publisher that was willing to work with me. 

After being contacted by Chandra Press, we began the process of going through several drafts. I can’t quite remember how many but we just needed to tweak the bugs that are inevitable in a first draft from a raw author. Plus, I have tendency to get a little weird with my work. I will put in strange situations, and they worked with me to find the line. I still have no idea what that is but we were able to make it a little less strange while still keeping true to my vision. It’s still odd and unique, and that’s why I love it. There was also the issue of me being rather mocking of a certain politician. Through work, we were able to tone it down a bit, but there is still bits and pieces of who it was and honestly, I love it more. 

I don’t want to ramble on, but if I’m being honest, the entire process was nowhere near as painful as I was expecting. From drafts to copy editing to final production, everything was rather smooth. It was still an insane amount of work and I’m not going to try and act like it was the easiest thing in the world. The entire thing was more about refining my work rather than changing it. Personally, I feel like this experience has increased both my confidence in my work, and the quality of my work overall. 

You can learn more about C.T. here and follow him on Twitter: @CTFleck1

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Erik Evans