About Dayanara as a Novelista
Sometimes I just write and write and write until the words finally pour out of my pen and onto the page and I don’t let go until I’m completely soothed…
Why do I call myself a novelista? It just popped into my head one day. I think I was thinking along the lines of fashion divas being called “fashionistas” and thought I should call myself a novelista. About that time, I looked in my Spanish/English dictionary and realized that novelista actually means “novelist” in Spanish. Then I really wanted to stick with it! (Sometimes I think that I’m a Latina stuck in a white girl’s body.¹ But only sometimes. And to myself, because I don’t want to offend anyone…or embarrass myself.) Besides, a lot of people say they’re novelists…but how many say they’re novelistas?
I started writing when I was in elementary school. I can’t tell you specifically when, but I remember we were encouraged to write stories from first grade. In fourth grade, we kept writing folders and I remember saying to my teacher one day that I was so backed up that I just had to go to the library and type up some of my work. Mr. Fodor said go, so I went and typed until I was satisfied…and when I came back, writing time was over and the lesson had already started! I don’t know if he’d forgotten about me or if he left me there on purpose, but since he never said anything, I’d like to think it was the latter. That’s how you encourage a writer. Yes, getting an education is important, but allowing a budding novelist free reign with her work is so…so…gosh…I don’t have an adjective for it!
In sixth grade, I was writing really short novels/long short stories that you might as well call “star fiction”–basically, it was a lot of short works featuring the Backstreet Boys and a certain magician who will remain unnamed. I didn’t really have the feel for chapters back then. But by high school, I finished my first manuscript. My chapters still had a long way to go (as did the writing itself…I posted some of it on fanfiction.net and eleven years later, it seems atrocious), but it was a start.
Since high school, I’ve written, oh…oodles of fan fiction, started hoards of novels (most/all of which I intend to write someday) and finished only. one. novel. (So much for getting a nationally released novel done by the end of high school!)
My sole novel, Meet Ophelia is limited release because…well…it’s nothing more than glorified fan fiction.
In a long story I’ve told way too many times, I was invited to be in Spider-Man 3, but fired before I even had a contract, because I had no experience. (Like I said, long story.) But they created a character, named her and gave a bit of a background. And…well…I’m a writer. I can’t leave a good story concept alone. So after seven years of doing everything but write Meet Ophelia (primarily fan fiction, with some other novel attempts thrown in), I finally finished the rough draft on December 20, 2009. (Easy to remember…it was my mom’s birthday and I completed the second epilogue at her party!)
After two more drafts (both in 2010), I wrote two letters to Marvel in hopes that I could get just enough of a copyright variance to get the book published at a national level (I only used a few canon characters), but I never heard back. (Kind of a shame, though, because I was hoping they’d pick it up and publish it themselves…even if they didn’t agree to make a movie out of it.) A few weeks ago, once of my 1C1Rs² said, “Did you send it certified or registered?” No. I stopped caring about trying to get Marvel to see things my way about a month after I sent out the second letter. The excuse I gave Bob was that I didn’t think it was my best work, but honestly, I think my letters got lost at the bottom of a slush pile and I don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of ever persuading anyone at Marvel to dig them out. (I secretly hope that once I become famous via some other novel down the road, I can convince them to take a look at the manuscript. Maybe then I can publish Meet Ophelia for all the world to read.)
I started writing Breathless last summer and finished chapter fourteen of the first draft earlier this evening. I’d probably be further along by now if I hadn’t kept losing interest. I have Stephen King to thank for getting me back on track, though…I received Full Dark, No Stars for Yule and as soon as I finished it, I thought, “I have to go back to Breathless!” (Except for a few detours in which I messed with ideas for future books and wrote a bit on a Dexter fanfic piece that I’ve been nursing since before the end of season four, it’s been a straight shot.)
This one is a Román a clef and I always hesitate to be specific on who it involves, as I’m worried that when it finally comes out, I’m going to be in heap big trouble. So I’m only going to say this once. And remember: I’m only as malicious/psychotic/insert-negative-adjective-here as you think I am.
I had this crazy ass idea that I should take David Carradine’s death, make it be a real and proven murder…and then keep killing off his family. (Yeah, there’s a lot more to it, but that’s the short version.) So that’s what I’m writing…only a lot more convoluted than that, and told from a perspective outside the family. I love it, I really do…I just hope he would have approved. (Or approves in the present tense, if you believe that he has some comprehension of mortal affairs from his position on the Other Side.)
Okay…to bed. Tomorrow’s another day to write…and my bed is one of my favorite brainstorming places. 😉
¹ To be truthful, I firmly believe that I had at least one previous lifetime in Spain, and have since I was in high school. So I’m sure that’s part of it.
² My shorthand for “first cousin, once removed”.