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  • Marion Raby

A Writer's Life

Updated: Feb 25, 2022

I started writing Life is Fair in 2007. I had written stories before, but this was the first novel I finished. When I began the first chapter, I knew how I wanted the story to end on a happy note. My family was renting the upstairs apartment in my mother's house, and as the relationship with my mother evolved, so did Nora's relationship with Isobel. Not that Nora's life is based on mine, just to be clear, but in dealing with my mother, I saw that sometimes there are differences too great to overcome, and Nora wasn't going to be the sort of person to bend.

Two years later, the book was finished but collected dust in a drawer while I found other creative outlets.

In 2016, I finally decided to publish Life is Fair. I had it proofread by a relative with exquisite grammar skills, but the manuscript needed professional editing. I hired a graphic artist I knew to work on the cover when I should have worked with an experienced book cover designer. I chose a font I loved for the cover, but it was all wrong for a book. I knew very little about self-publishing and sent my baby out into the world dressed in a mix of pink polka-dots and plaid.

I worked on other projects and tried my hand at screenwriting. My kids were getting bigger, and when they entered school, I got a day job to help pay the bills. It wasn't until years later that I wanted to return to Nora's life to continue her story, develop new characters to keep her company, and delve deeper into old relationships. I now have four more books in the Life series and another almost finished series.

You may be asking, what has kept me from publishing them?

The answer, quite simply, is that I am a writer, and I didn't want to deal with the many tasks involved in publishing a story. I am also a self-published author by choice. I don't want a publishing house telling me I have to change the plot, give my books catchier titles, or remove some of the stranger aspects of my stories to make them mainstream. I have never been mainstream, and I can't imagine my books will ever be either. But as a self-published author, the many jobs of preparing a manuscript for publishing also fall on my shoulders.

I love telling stories, and I prefer to spend my time lost in another reality rather than deal with professional editing, cover design, ISBNs, and so forth. So, I pushed those chores aside and focused on telling Nora's story, and the manuscripts kept piling up.

Now in the series is almost finished, I can't postpone the real work anymore. I finally found an excellent copy editor, hired a talented painter to create the artwork for the cover, and I've learned enough about formatting a manuscript to get it ready for upload. I'm saving enough to pay all the people I need to hire to help me publish the rest of Nora's story.

Slowly, I am making progress, and hopefully, 2022 will be the year, Life is Fair gets a new outfit, and at least two more babies will be sent out into the great big world of literature, looking their very best.

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