Matthew Graphman, author of Guardian of the Silverwood
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For ALC member and author Matthew Graphman, the Book Launch Tool and the expert insights on marketing have propelled his career as a published author.
Read Matthew’s story below!
I was inspired to write Guardian of the Silverwood after I had watched my teenage daughter devour books by another fantasy author. Following a conversation with her about some of the elements of the book that kept her glued to it, I decided to craft my own story. After writing for about an hour or so, I handed the laptop over to her to read what I had started. Her eyes were focused on the screen for several minutes as she pored through the pages. She then notified me that my laptop was broken because the down arrow on the document had “stopped working.” After closer inspection I realized she had reached the end of what was written and she was ready for more. That feeling and sense of accomplishment compelled me to spend countless hours working with her as my creative consultant to craft the storyline that is now the Silverwood Chronicles.
The ALC’s Book Launch Tool has been invaluable because it helps me set goals and track my progress – especially since I generally do not get a long session for writing. My hour lunch break is usually where I do the majority of my writing. Because my work life is always “go go go”, it usually takes me 15 to 20 minutes to get my brain to switch modes. During that time, I have to find my cadence. I will typically go back and read the last page or two to get my mind back in the rhythm of the story. It’s the first sentence that is always the most difficult.
The ALC webinars and podcasts on marketing have been a great help to me in building my platform and coming up with new strategies on how to reach my readers. I frequently go back to check out that section to see what new ideas and inspiration other authors and experts have to share.
Number one, plan to write. Unless (and even if) you are a professional writer, finding a consistent time and place to write makes the experience more productive. Keep track of your progress and make goals, but don’t beat yourself up if you miss the mark. Goals give us endpoints or milestones. But – and this is key – make them achievable. The quickest way to put the proverbial pen down and forget about it is to miss the mark on multiple occasions. Frustration sets in and soon the desire to write will be gone.
Get out and do events and book signings. My most motivated time to write is write after I’ve been to a convention or book signing event. Talking to others about my book or talking to others about their desire to write, turbo-charges my desire to get back to the keyboard. Lastly, and this is probably the hardest, find champions to encourage you. Nothing motivates me more than to have someone come along side me and say, “Hey, I haven’t seen you release a chapter in a while. I’m really looking forward to the next section of your book.” Having a network of encouragement can be the difference between finishing a project or dropping it entirely with no hope of resurrection.
After years of hiding, a guardian and his young elf ward are forced to go on the run for their lives. Seeking help, they recruit an unusual cast to help them. Along the way, the friends of the guardian discover that the young elf is not just an orphaned child that the compassionate warrior took in years ago, but is in fact, the lost heir of the fallen realm of Silverwood. After years of decline and the rise of chaos, her discovery could mean an end to the ever increasing darkness and war that covers the land, and a return to peace. That is, if she survives and can be shown to be the true heir to the throne. So the race begins through the five realms to piece together the one artifact - a mythical talisman thought destroyed when Silverwood fell - that can unquestionably put an end to the question of the heir's right to the throne. Many clues will have to be discovered, and battles fought along the way. Ultimately, they all lean on the leadership of the guardian of the Silverwood to guide them through the challenges they must face.
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