When I started writing again way back in 2010, I never imagined I’d get this far. Sure, I dreamed of being published, and while I haven’t hit the best seller list (yet), I’m very proud of every story I’ve put out there. Honestly, I fell into a bit of content. You know the one where you’ve met your goal now it’s time to move on to the next thing? So once I got my novella, Til Death Do Us Part, out there, I already had a collection of stories. I was also heavily involved in a couple of writing groups and regular writing prompts.

Til Death official book coverWhen I joined with Eat Sleep Write (no longer in existence), I discovered the joy of making other people’s dreams come true. I also discovered the huge unmet needs of authors in general. That’s what really spurned the desire to create something to help them meet their own goals and to do it without sacrificing quality for dream.

When OWS Ink became an official company, my adventure as a publisher began. It’s stressful. It’s exhilarating. It’s powerful. It’s… much more than I ever thought it would be. As much as I didn’t want to be a publisher, I am totally into it now and so glad I did it. It’s like I completed the next step in my journey as a creative, and now I’m ready to move on to the next thing.

Which, incidentally happens to be the completion of a short story collection I’ve had in the works for the better part of 2 years now. These stories span across years, most of them inspired by prompts from (now defunct) writing groups, The Red Dress Club/Write on Edge and Indie Ink, and the writing prompt I inherited, Master Class (which is still going on! 5 years strong!).

Soul Reapers Book Cover BOne of the reasons it took so long is because I needed to decide on what stories. It is absolutely impossible to choose between your creative children!! Once I had a theme (in this case soul collecting), it made things a bit easier. The next step was choosing the stories I’d already written, and finishing stories I’d started that would fit the theme perfectly.

I finished the last story a couple of days ago. Huzzah! Now I have my alphas reading through them, and when they are finished, I’ll go through their suggestions, fix them, and let them read through them until they are satisfied. Then, I’ll send it out to betas for feedback. Once that’s all finished, the final formatting on the book will begin, and just before Halloween, it will be available to scare my readers.

One of the final steps of having a completed manuscript is the dedication and acknowledgment sections. As I’ve been prepping the book format, I’ve set aside those sections, but there’s nothing there. This morning, they both came to me.

I am reveling in the joy of a completed manuscript, a final first draft, a soon to be piece of perfection to decorate my Amazon page.

And that, my friends, is worth everything.

Until next time, write on!

Post Author: Stephanie

Stephanie Ayers writes speculative fiction, where horror and fantasy collide. She is a self proclaimed word whisperer and unicorn living in Ohio disguised as a human. She mothers her children and avoids all things housework and zombies. When she isn't doing any of these things, she can be found browsing thrift stores and flea markets with her husband, attending football games with her son, or binging on TV shows.

Visit her Amazon page to view all her available books.

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