What are the reasons to go thru the hassle of publishing a novel? I think the first few are obvious: Money, Money, Fame, and Money. Would I have still written this novel if I didn't think it would sell? Absolutely. But the nice thing about money is it lets me focus more on what I really, really want to do with my life. Sure, I want to be a programmer, but deep inside I think I've always wanted to be a writer. And an Astronaut. So basically I'm writing about people in space who are computer savvy.
I think however that there's a much deeper reason for publishing a novel. For the last seven months I've lived night and day with my characters, eating with them, sleeping with them, experiences their highs and lows, their joys and sorrows, and every intimate detail of their lives. These characters are like my friends, my family even. I feel like if I don't get their story published, I'm letting them down.
I can imagine what my main character Dawn Anami might say to me if I met her and the issue of whether I should try to publish Dawn's Rise came up. She would walk up to me, while towering over me, putting her long arm on my shoulder in a firm but gentle grasp. She would say something like, "Andrew. You've worked really hard on writing this novel. I appreciate all the work you've done on this. It takes a lot of dedication to write a great work of fiction."
You see at first she's real nice and sweet, as she bores into your soul with her penetrating eyes...
"But I really think you owe it to us to get this thing published. I mean, look at what we've gone thru in this book. I half starved to death, John had to live in a floating sewer for a couple weeks, you destroyed most of the planet, giving us nothing to work with...We're really counting on you to come through here. The people of Earth deserve to hear our story."
This is when I first shudder, because when a giant 6'7" but gorgeous woman starts laying into you, it's pretty intimidating. Then I start screaming because I realize that a fictional character is talking to me and I must have crossed that tenuous line between reality and insanity.
So right now I'm promising Dawn that I will get this thing published, and she'll have her hard-written story on some bookshelves somewhere. So please don't show up in real life and send me to the looney bin.