By Tony Hubbard
With those two words spoken by Katelyn McMurray to her son Joshua I had reached the end of the first draft of my novel, A Demon Lies Within.
During all those long night (which turned into early morning) writing sessions part of what kept me focused on completing the task at hand was the sense of joy, happiness and accomplishment I was bound to feel as I reached the last word and placed the final period.
After two years of writing I got there and felt – nothing. Even after completing the monumental task of writing and finishing the first draft I didn’t feel the way that I thought I would. There wasn’t the ‘Tom Cruise jumping up and down on Oprah’s couch’ moment, I had envisioned.
Instead there was a great sense of, ‘okay, now what’ because what did I really have? Did I have a book or did I have a bunch of words (approximately 120,000), sentences and paragraphs that filled a 381-page Microsoft Word document?
Ultimately, I realized that finishing the first draft wasn’t the end of something. Rather, it would serve as the beginning step of a multi-step process that would take me to where I desired to be.
To be able to refer to myself as an author would require several items along the way that actually had little to do with the production of the novel.
While working through the subsequent multiple drafts a friend read the conclusion of Part Two. To hear her verbalize the words I had written and see her gasp deeply in shock and raise her hands to her face because of the unexpected plot twist made me feel for the first time that I was onto something; that I had written something of value, of substance and this book would be one that others would enjoy as well. I gained more satisfaction in seeing the resulting tears in her eyes once she stopped reading than I had when finishing the first draft. Her emotional reaction changed something inside of me and for the first time I felt I was on the road to becoming an author.
As the novel moved through the production process I started to spread the word about its November release date. Once that happened several people told me I was an inspiration to them because I had done something they had always wanted to do, write a novel. I had inspired them to take the story ideas they had in mind and start working on their novels.
I feel incredibly fortunate and humbled to have people tell me that I inspired them. It is a feeling I never imagined would come back to me in writing a book.
In wanting to get some pre-release promotion at The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) tradeshow I had a 24X36 poster made of the cover of my book, which prominently displays the eyes/forehead of a Demon.
In seeing the poster of my cover, an attendee almost knocked over an author who was there signing his book, saying, “No, not interested in your book….but THIS! YES!” To have this woman do anything she could to run towards my book, and not away from it, has to be a sign of great things to come.
The final piece of the ‘transformation’ came once the printed version arrived and a friend said the following while looking at the front and back cover and flipping through the pages, “This is amazing. It looks like a real book.”
Yes it does.
I now view myself as the published author of A Demon Lies Within because that’s how others now view me. There’s the reward and payoff for all those late night writing sessions turned early morning writing sessions I had been searching for. Through these four stories, I strongly feel I’ve created something so much more than just random words on the pages of a Word file, instead ‘a real book’ is the result.
I can have my ‘Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah’s couch’ moment now.
Tony Hubbard grew up like most boys in Massachusetts during the 1980’s, wanting to emulate basketball star Larry Bird and one day play for the Boston Celtics. Quickly realizing that a future as a professional athlete was something he would not achieve, he did the next best thing – became a sportswriter. As a long-time sportswriter, Tony covered high school, collegiate and professional sports, most notably covering the death of Boston Celtics’ star Reggie Lewis for The Patriot Ledger.
Growing up and reading the works of Edgar Allan Poe and Stephen King, he one day aspired to publish a novel in the horror genre as his ‘writing heroes’ were famous for. After many years away from writing, leaving his professional writing career behind to make a move into the production and advertising side of the publishing business, Tony makes a return with his debut novel. Eighteen years in the making, A Demon Lies Within, releases November 2012 from Two Harbors Press.
A follower of Greek Mythology, he sees himself in the same vein as the Greek God Dionysus, the Greek God of wine, parties/festivals, madness and merriment. Dionysus not only represents the intoxicating power of wine, but also its social and beneficial influences. According to Tony, we should strive to be like Dionysus.
Massachusetts born and bred, Tony has lived all across the state throughout his life. Today he is settled in Dracut with his wife and son.
@TonyHub Tony Hubbard