Growing up, I dreamed of being an author.
Yes yes, I also wanted to be an astronaut, pilot, professional Quidditch player, and a paleontologist (I desperately wanted to go on digs with Dr. Grant). But the one that stuck? That author thing.
I wrote and wrote and wrote. I started contacting publishers when I was fourteen (I can still remember that first phone call, and my first ever rejection from a woman who was desperately confused about why this fourteen-year-old girl was calling a nature publishing company about her recent 400k-word fantasy novel). I went to college with the single ambition of being an author. I read and I studied and through it all, I wrote.
When I couldn't sleep the other night, I was wondering how many words I've poured into novels (published or drafted or otherwise...some are locked in a chest that I have given explicit instructions must be burned in the event of my death). I started thumbing through the novels in my mind, the books that rest at the heart of who I am. A million words. Two million. Three?
Suffice it to say, I have written lot of books. They're the music that moves me. They're an entire world within myself.
I made my dream of being an author come true in 2018 with Firebird. It was a lark, in a way. I had been drumming on my first novel since I was thirteen. A decade of work, and that beautiful, magnificent, gargantuan story continued to pick and pluck at my every waking hour.
But then I did the NaNoWriMo thing. I spun a story and finished a novel in a month. I liked it. I gave it to some friends, and they liked it. I started toying with a crazy little idea, one that I never thought would be my path.
You see, I'd submitted that massive 400k-word creation to about 200 publishers by 2018. And while the rejection letters were always a disappointment, worse still were the ones who never bothered to respond at all. Yes, I understand why they don't have time for even a form letter. The fact remains, this is a devastating experience. Again and again and again.
And to be fair? They were right. My novel needed work. It wasn't ready. I wasn't ready.
But then I wrote a quick, action-packed, adventure story about a woman who is taken to Mars. There was fire, and the devil kicked up a fuss. It was explosive.
I wanted to publish it.
And maybe it's because of the (again, 200) rejections for my other work, but I was filled with a boiling passion to follow that little girl's dream. And since being a professional Quidditch player wasn't panning out...
So, I self-published Firebird.
And let me tell you, when that first person emailed me and told me how much they loved it...when strangers started to recognize me at shows and approaching me at bookstores...when someone else saw the characters in my mind...
In short, my dream came true, and I knew that this was what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.
Fast forward to 2023. I'm still drumming on my gargantuan story that makes the bones of who I am. It's still not ready. I'm still not ready. But you know what is ready?
Dust. Book 3 of The Firebird Chronicles. My most recent brain child.
I'm proud of this book. It's action-packed, like Firebird and Olympus, but there is sweet music within these pages. I've changed. The world has changed. And I like to think that with every passing year, I'm a little better writer.
So, there's the magic. There's the dreams and the music and the beautiful wind that moves me.
*CUE REALITY SUCKERPUNCH
Dust is technically available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble online. Of course, Amazon has somehow assigned it to a different author, and Barnes & Noble is missing a cover photo. These things I'm working on. I'm putting out FIRES.
So. Many. Rusting. Fires.
That's what a little girl doesn't dream about. The guts of publishing are always a learning experience for me, and after hitting pause for four-ish years between books this time, I had to relearn even hard-earned lessons. So if you'd like to order through Amazon or Barnes & Noble, I recommend searching "K.A. Williams Firebird Chronicles". That pulls up Firebird, Olympus, and Dust for me.
But if you want to be really cool, you can officially preorder Dust on my website. See? Right here. Isn't it beautiful?
I'm still waiting for the physical copies to be printed, so it might be a couple of weeks before I can ship your books. But, as Amazon currently has Dust listed as out-of-stock, I imagine that you'll be waiting a while if you order through them, too.
If you signed up for an email when Dust would be available, I'll be sending those out once I have copies ready to ship. So if you come across this blog before that, don't worry. I haven't forgotten about you.
Here's to the dreams.