lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

A Proud Book Mama September 30, 2019

I’ve written a book I’m really proud of.

I know, I write a lot of books, and I love them. And people love them. And that’s all well and good, but I still have a massive case of imposter syndrome at the end of the day.

But I think this new book is really good. Like, not sidle up to people and be all like, “I wrote this thing and I think it’s good, and I think you’ll think it’s good, too.” I’m talkin’ like walk into a bar, order a martini, and say in carrying voice, “Yes, I am an author. Have you heard of my book?” and then pull out a fancy business card case while I schmooze with strangers and tell them all about how cool I am. You know, that concept scenario that generally sounds like a nightmare from hell.

But I’m really stinkin’ happy with this book!

I’ve seen the first draft of the cover, and it’s amazing. I love the language. I love the protagonist. I’m a big kid author, dammit. (more…)

 

The End of the Story August 26, 2019

It is the end of a long and rocky era. The final book in The Tethering series has been published!

The amount of work it took to get The Tethering series from the first scribbles in a notebook to four published books was…painfully monumental.

Though, I will have to say, seeing the charts as The Tethering goes out to thousands of readers definitely makes the tears worthwhile.

The Tethering by Megan O'Russell

When I started writing The Tethering, I was literally writing in a notebook. I was super pleased if I could scrawl out a few pages a day. I would write the scene I wanted to write instead of forcing myself to go in chronological order. I had no idea that head hopping was a thing, let alone a problem. I didn’t know that being an indie author was an option. And I didn’t know if anyone besides my husband and my mother would ever want to read anything I had written.

Now over 60,000 people have downloaded my books.

That is completely insane to me.

I love writing. I love hanging out with my characters and my keyboard. I love being a part of the author community, which is so genuinely supportive it’s a little insane sometimes.

I won’t lie and say it’s all sunshine and roses. The husband and I have had to make a lot of hard choices to fit the massive amount of work my career as an author brings into our lives. I work, like, fourteen hours a day most of the time, and things that I really like to do (like blogging here) have fallen by the wayside.

Building a dream takes a lot of work, and I’m in it for the long haul. From the scribbled notebooks to answering emails from readers, things have changed a lot. But at the heart of it all, and whatever the format may be, I love storytelling. And that is exactly how I have the privilege of spending my time.

 

Worth the Work July 26, 2019

This year has been a lot.

It started with separating from both of my publishers, which was a really tough thing to deal with. But being on my own gave me the push I needed to dive into Indie Author life.

And I dove in deep. These are the proofs of all the books I’ve published/republished so far in 2019.

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I haven’t been getting a ton of sleep. I actually haven’t been doing much of anything but working. All the working.

But this past Tuesday, book three in The Tethering series, The Dragon Unbound, was released. Readers have been waiting for this book for four years. The amount of time I spent in college, people have been waiting for this book. (more…)

 

Santa Did It May 31, 2019

The condo I’m currently living in as a part of my cast housing is for sale. A few days ago, we had some potential buyers come through. They looked at the banisters, checked the layout, and then on the way out, they decided to ask the husband and I about our jobs at the theatre.

Since the husband and I are both actors, we get people asking about what shows we’re doing and what our lives are like very frequently. We always offer a little tidbit about our current show and how great it is that we get to travel together so often. Usually, we get responses along the lines of you must really love your job or wow, that’s so exciting! This time what we got was a little weird.

The woman told us that she liked theater, murder mysteries in particular, because she had at one point gone to a murder mystery and knew who the killer was. She was very proud of herself because no one else had come close to guessing the killer was, in fact, Santa Claus.

Now, I’m not sure what sort of murder mystery casts Santa Claus as the killer. I hope it was seasonal. If not, I have some serious questions about the sanity of the author. She said everyone in her party was mad at her for accusing Santa Claus of murder. (more…)

 

Turning a Corner May 2, 2019

I know it’s been a while, and I really am sorry.

Basically, maintaining my author work while choreographing and being in one show and then jumping right into rehearsals for another ate all my available brain cells.

Night of Never was released two weeks ago, and Son of Sun comes out next week, so it’s been a wild ride. It’s been a storm of editing, writing, and making big life decisions.

There’s a story that I’d love to tell you all, but I can’t because airing your grievances on a blog is unprofessional and immature, and I’m good enough at adulting to know that it would bite me in the butt.

So here’s a much longer story.

When I was in college, I was never what my professors wanted me to be. I was smart enough that they needed my GPA, driven enough that I always had theatre work, but they always placed me at the bottom of the list of those they deemed worthy of success.

I’ve spent my adult life as a female in musical theatre. I’ve been lucky enough to work a hell of a lot more than most and have had the pleasure of working for companies that I genuinely enjoy. Even still, as an actor, let alone a female actor, it is regularly implied (and sometimes outright stated) that you are disposable. If you’re lucky enough to have work, then you should take what you’re given because there are hundreds of other people who want to be sitting at your dressing room station. (more…)

 

Voices from the Void March 20, 2019

Writing can be a very lonely pursuit. Even though I’m in constant contact with other authors, editors, cover artists. Answering emails, messaging on Twitter, responding to Facebook posts. It still sort of feels like your tossing your baby into the void.

It takes me between 1-3 months to write a book. That’s just the actual typing the word count portion of the process. The planning beforehand and editing after take a whole lot longer. Take all that time and multiply it by the number of books in a series. All those hours of plotting, writing, polishing, then you just toss this book baby out into the cold cruel world of the internet and hope its wings are strong enough to fly.

But even if the book is doing well, there’s still this constant fear of the void.

Now that I’ve gone Indie, I can see the download numbers for Girl of Glass. I can track the daily data down to what country the downloads are coming from. Thousands of people have downloaded Girl of Glass since its release less than a month ago. Like…multiple thousands.

But I don’t know if any of them have actually read the book. I don’t know if they’ve fallen in love with Nola’s giant heart. I don’t know if they think Jeremy or Kieran is a better match for her. I just don’t know!

And it’s maddening. (more…)

 

A Personal Proposal March 9, 2019

At the theatre company I work for most often, we do a thing called a Curtain Speech. Basically, before the show starts, a couple of actors go out on stage, read a list of birthdays and anniversaries, talk about upcoming shows, and warn people against the evils of taking pictures during the show.

I’ve done a lot of curtain speeches, mostly because they don’t scare me and I don’t really mind doing the work. But there is one curtain speech that will forever live in infamy.

I was sitting backstage at my dressing room station when, of all people, the lighting guy came backstage to tell me there was a very special curtain speech announcement. He handed me a paper and told me to read it after the anniversaries.

I looked at the paper, thinking it was going to be like a retirement celebration or something, but the card said (something along the lines of):

“And Charlotte, Richard wants to know if you’ll marry him.”

What?! (more…)