Control: My Novella Has Been Published — What Now
I, Dalton Lewis, published a novella called Miserable Existence, a story about Satan and God set in a middle school. Working for eight months on a novella is a big deal and a large investment in time. I wanted to create an unforgettable protagonist, and I found Everett Cunningham. He’s a true believer in God but also bisexual. He’s clever, confident, and fights back when people make fun of him — which is a lot because middle school is a terrible, miserable existence.
I tried to inject literature into this one. Adding irony and symbolism and other literary elements was my attempt to make this one more and better than my previous installments. I tried to have characters represent different religious figures, and I think I succeeded in an intelligent and sophisticated way.
Tragicomedy is an interesting genre that I wanted to try. The concept of finding the bright light within a terrible situation impressed me. Shakespeare’s comedies are filled with horror, and his tragedies have some of his funniest scenes. I wanted to tap into that convergence, that combination of funny and terrible. Everett uses humor to live through unlivable problems. This allows me to show what’s wrong with life.
Writing is about exorcising personal demons, right? I never really recovered from middle school, being bullied, hated, and hating myself so desperately. Writing something about the emotions of that age seemed like the right way to deal with that type of misery.
I’ll be honest. I don’t expect my book to be a bestseller. I don’t know how to give my novella the attention that it deserves. It’s a mystery — why do some people sell and others don’t sell anything at all? I don’t understand, but not many people buy my books. I’m not popular.
I want to be. I want to write something that rocks people, something that creates a lasting impression. I know — I should be proud of myself for actually finishing something and publishing it. That’s fair, but comparing my failure to the success of the all-time greats this is frustrating.
Is this my reality, doomed to oblivion, writing novellas that don’t sell, that don’t get read? I don’t know. This requires action. Someone should do something — someone should encourage people to buy my books. I don’t know what to do other than point out how important it is to me to get the word out and convince people to try my book.
Thanks, and take care, friends.