Hello there! First off, let me introduce myself politely. My name is Alvaro Bayona, and I am an Independent author. Now sit back, grab some food or dynamite, and let me spike up a tale of my experience as writer so far.
I believe the first time I ever started to write stories on my own was when I was 17. I would go to my room after school and get out a journal and write away. Day by day I would come up with ideas that sparked my enthusiasm to keep going. However, like all journeys, struggle always snakes its presence in the most destructive sights ever.
Once I graduated High School, I right away figured out what I wanted to be: an author. I had it in my mind that I was going to make fictional stories way beyond the human mind. Worlds and characters like never before, and with imagination that has never been tested. So I set myself on the quest to my career, and nothing was going to stop me, no matter what!
During that first summer break before college, I tried to figure out how to make a book, but that was rough. A lot of people I asked for help really didn’t understand how, so I kind of was left alone. I had to think of a way to get myself a publisher.
Once I got into College, my main focus was to find at least a group or two to help me out. I went through my English professors, and I was given the same response. They as well didn’t know!
As time went by, I knew that I needed to be author, but where would I turn to? Where did I have the sanctuary to run to?
Now this might sound rude, and I apologize for this, but while at College, I was wondering why I wasn’t getting ahead of being an author. Day by day I would sit in my classes thinking about making my book already. I just thought, “So when am I taught to write the book?”
To be honest, I knew what I wanted to do, and I wanted to get to the point of it. No messing around, because my mind was set. I was pretty much stuck in classes that I disliked because they weren’t anything I wanted to do. No, I don’t want to be a doctor; I want to be an author!
In fact, I was told to stop and only focus on school, but what’s there to focus on if they’re just going to put me down. No one even helped me make a book, until one day.
I have a friend, an amazing author, and I asked her how she got her book published. She told me she went through this magnificent website called: CreateSpace, and I knew that I had another step to go. So I went to that website one day and I got straight to the point. I found my sanctuary, but I was not done yet.
Finally at around March of 2015, I sat my ass down and started to type away my book. That was the first time that something was finally getting published. Everything in my mind was finally coming together, and what wave of excitement it was. However, school took a hold of me, a lot.
Most of the time I would go back to do homework, but I took a few minutes to write. Then, after a while, I decided to put my career as priority as I discovered something….something that really made me think. School was holding me back. School wasn’t helping at all. I always felt so alone there, but never when it came to writing.
Now I’m not a normal fiction writer, I’m a weird one. My influences were far from normal. My influences were pretty much from comic books. I’ve always loved reading comics and it left a big impact on me.
I was influenced a lot by Batman, Spawn, Sin City, , and a lot more. However, I later on passed over the American comics in favor of the Japanese side. When I was around 13 or 14, I got into a lot of what’s called “anime” which are Japanese comics that turn into animation. Such examples like Dragon Ball Z, Hellsing, or Sailor Moon. A lot of scenes in my book were really influenced by that stuff, especially the fighting and scenes.
However, if there was one thing that influenced me more than anything else…then it was music. Not just any music, but my favorite one of all…Rock ‘N’ Roll. I love Rock ‘N’ Roll, especially Heavy Metal, and I’ve always wanted to welcome it in my writing. Bands that really influenced me were the likes of Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Bathory and so on. So one day I thought: I have an idea. Why not combine all of it together? I’m going to combine all those influences into one single object.” That object is my book.
Oh, now that was driving force that kept me going. I know for sure that there’s a bunch of fans of each of those different things that like more than one, so why not give it to them with a surprise? Have the fighting and power scenes from anime, with the kind of courage and justice from Superheroes, and the design and attitude that Rock ‘N’ Roll had. I knew that it would be the perfect collaboration.
Therefore, each one was divided up equally. My characters fight with these cool godly powers while trying to save the world, and still looking good with that tight leather on.
In fact, here’s a trivia. My main character, Stacy, was influenced and based on an amazing musician. Stacy was influenced the Heavy Metal female guitarist, Kelly Johnson from the all Female Heavy Metal band Girlschool. It was before I started writing that I got really into that band. I still like them to this day, and they’re freaking awesome. Originally, Stacy was going to be a boy that resembled Lemmy from Motörhead. Of course I could go on, but I rather go back to my experience as an author and keep the story of book for another post.
Day by day I would spend my entire break inside the computer lab at school, trying to finish the book. Later on I realized that it kind of got in my studies and my grades went a bit down, but still good enough to pass. It didn’t bother me because this was something I’ve wanted to do since forever.
At around the summer of 2015, that’s when hell broke out to me! One day while I was writing at home, my computer randomly shut down at the moment. The screen went black like the darkness that surrounded me and died. I screamed freaking loud that day with rage growing inside.
“No! NO!! Don’t you dare do this!! How dare you die before me?” I screamed high tot the sky with rage I never knew that dwelled in me. That was it. It was over. For a moment there, I kind of panicked since I didn’t save my story onto the hard drive I was using. I thought my journey was over. I thought I lost it all. Even at that state of disappointment and failure, I stood back up and knew it wasn’t over. I figured a plan.
Next day I went to my library and decided to finish working in there. As I walked in confident as ever, all the damn computers were taken. Each one of them was overruled by another being. Panic rushed through my mind as I tried to calm down. I couldn’t believe that I had nowhere to work, until a light bulb shined above my head.
I raced to school, and well, history does repeat itself. Pretty much every day, both places were filled with people taking over all the computers. Whether it is the library or school, I had no spot available. It was as if I felt a huge force of disappointment ram me though, leaving me in a pit of failure. The voices would speak to me gently: I failed. There was nothing I could do. Just give up, it’s better that way.
Finally after a month, there was a spot at the Library for me. I raced to it and plugged my device in, but that really ticked me off. I remember it like yesterday when the computer told me my file was lost. It was gone…forever. I struggled for day to find it, but there was nothing to receive.
One day came and I gave it one final try. Thank god for that day. I opened the computer at the library…and it was there. I found my story at last. I opened it right away and worked like no tomorrow. Never had I felt joy racing through me like that before. Now I was getting somewhere, but it was still taking forever.
One day at the library, the file was lost, again. I banged my head to the desk in frustration. Weird was that I was able to get it back, and then I discovered something. Maybe there could an alternative to my files, but where?
It hit me like a brick when I found it. Google Docs! I moved all my information there at the last moment before my hard drive decided to finally die. It broke at that very day, right after I move everything. Phew.Now I was back up stronger than ever. I knew nothing else could stop me, except for the school computer lab still being packed.
Fall came down like a meteor shower and I knew the only way to finish this was to take any computer that was open, no matter how long. I would at least spend three hours writing. It was going so well, but I still needed to beat my deadline. I wanted to unleash the book to the world by 2015, and I was eager to do so.
During that time, I decided I still needed a good cover, but I couldn’t decide who to get to draw it. I’m no artist, but I needed a good cover. I searched and I could barely find any artists, and when I did, they charged so much. Even my wallet felt that one. I knew I couldn’t spend money, so I did it on my own. I drew the entire book and logo.
Day by day, I tried to learn how to draw, but that was going to take too long, so I did a small DIY technique. To this day, the drawing could have been way better, but I’m glad I did it. I took the challenge, and I took it all the way.
Finally I was at my final days or writing, and it was time to find an editor. Of course just like before, my wallet jumped right back in my pocket. I was in no position to pay an editor to edit my book. Damn.
Yes, I edited my own book. I will admit that it wasn’t a smart move, but I wasn’t going to pay. Besides, I wanted to do it.
Around December of 2015, I was officially done. The artwork, the story, the editing; all of it was finally completed. Now it was time to show it to the world. At December 27, 2015, my book was finally born. The title is: And Now Ladies And Gentlemen...Stacy!
Then came the moment that really put me down and I still am going through. Bookstores. As desperate as I was at the time, I didn’t realize CreateSpeace doesn’t store books into bookstores. That really slapped me in the face. So I decided to do this whole book selling myself. I won’t lie; most of the bookstores have turned me down. It felt as though I wasn’t wanted.
In addition, Barnes And Nobles actually turned me down a few days ago. Kind of sucks, but that ain’t stopping me at all. Sure it’s tough, but I know I’ll get there.
Furthermore, I’m also the one in charge with all my promotion, and it really gets to you.
I made a facebook page about a month ago and I have a good number of likes. After all, I’m just starting and I wasn’t expecting a lot. Still, I’m confident that I can still make it. After all, I’m only 19 years old and I still have a long way to go.
My journey still is in its infancy, and I welcome any new challenges that I’ll face head on! For the rest of the Independent Authors out there, I welcome and hope good wished to them all!
My advice to new authors is to always be your best and write day by day your heart out. However, if there are errors, feel free to get family and friends to give feedback on it. It really helps. Never give up and keep striving for good! That’s my experience and advice for you all so far. Keep up with me, thank you for letting me talk, and good luck to all the Independent Authors out there. Trust me, you’ll do better than me.