• Sahar Abdulaziz

Welcome to My Circus Part II

So these past few days have been… painful...

On Friday night, at 6pm, I had just been informed by a mass email that my [now former] publisher, Booktrope will be closing their doors permanently at the end of May. This devastating news hit me hard, left me trying to figure out the future of my books, and what exactly is left of my career. Scrambling, mind racing over a plethora of possibilities, and crushed by the promise of now lost opportunities.

So many people have been severely hurt by the sudden and unexpected closing doors of the publisher's house. First a wave of shock set in, then disbelief, then confusion, a bit of binge snacking, and for me? Well, I lived in my pajamas for two days. Staring at my computer screen, trying to make sense out all that was now ahead of me, and not knowing where or how to begin.

Many people are essentially out of work, forced to reestablish platforms, build upon the contacts and friendships they made, and forging ahead while trying to find a way to come out of a difficult situation as unscathed as possible, -all while not hurting anyone else in the process. Not easy. Emotions are raw. Tears are many and answers are few.

So what exactly will this mean moving forward for me? I honestly have no solid answers, -yet. However, what I do know for sure is that as of May 31st, my books, The Broken Half, As One Door Closes, and Secrets That FInd Us, will no longer be available on Amazon until republished. However, I am working diligently to make that happen as soon as possible, despite the fact that I am techno-challenged times Pi.

However yesterday...on day two, I let the news wash over me, leaving my computer screen long enough to shuffle out on my deck to think. The same deck from hell that last year took my husband and I all summer to paint, but that's a whole 'nother story.

There I sat, slumped. A slight fog hovering over the entirety of the sky, threatening to open and pour its promised rain and honestly, the cascade would have been in excellent company, free to join my tears as they flowed down my face unabashed. The cloudy and foreboding skies were as dark as my own foul mood, but under the darkness and despair and layers of pajamas, remained me. In her glory. Hair mangled, body drained of energy and brain fighting for clarity of thought, but still as stubborn as my Dad swears I am. And so, I made myself a promise.

Back when I started writing I did so to expose social ills. I was fed up with how victims were told to either buck it up, grow up or forget about what torture they had experienced. I wrote to put a face, -a real face on oppression. Show and unravel the insidious nature of domestic violence and sexual assault through story, through fiction. To make oppressors, predators, racists, bigots and abusers accountable and uncomfortable. To use my stories as a way of validating victims and giving back voice to their struggles. Lastly, I write in the hope that somehow I can celebrate and honor survivorship…to make a difference.

Darn it all----- this can't be the end. I'm not going to give up now, I've come too far, -even if I have to use my blog here to write my stories-- or the back of a napkin or a paper bag. In the end, does it really matter the format as long as the stories get out? Get told? Get heard?

Somehow I am going to republish my books, but it's probably going to take me a wee bit of time. Layout, formatting and all the other skills necessary to put out a finished product don't come naturally to me. All my books will have to be redone...again...and NOW with more money- which I don't have much of, but will find.

And make no mistake, my next book is already in the mix as promised, but when one has a publisher, the money to cover the cost of an editor, proofreader, cover designer, interior design team, etc is worked into the final contract. Royalties are 'factored' in you could say to the total production of a book, which is a piece of art. The people who edit, proof, cover design, interior design are ALSO ARTISTS. They do not come cheap Because their ART and SKILLS are not cheap. They produce beauty. They help an author infuse life into their words...

Now, as a 'homeless' independent author the responsibility of securing finances to cover all these steps now will rest squarely on my shoulders only, and please don't get me wrong, that would be cool and all EXCEPT I wasn't prepared for this news. I had no clue. Blindsided. A babe in the woods...I didn't know the 'industry signs' or the 'writing on the collapsing wall' as well as others, but I'm learning.... oh boy am I learning!

I don't mean to digress, but honestly, it's times like these that I truly wish I had skills in other areas. I can't sing, -trust me. Nor can I dance, or produce beautiful art on a canvas or anywhere except on paper in the form of words, or cook up meals that make mouths water in anticipation. I'm not even good at folding clothes...organizing inventory or following directions, but I CAN WRITE.

So where does that leave me? Us? This authorship ship?

To my friends, family, and readers, I suggest you get ready for a seriously BUMPY ride, because I'm not going anywhere, or at least my writing isn't. Somehow, God Willing, this new norm is all going to work itself out. Somehow doors will edge open, new possibilities will arise from the ashes and opportunities will reveal themselves where before there were none. I believe this. I have to because frankly, I've got too many issues I plan on writing about, ---too many social ills left to disclose, and too many abusers and oppressors, bigots and racists left to piss off.

Why stop now, right? Let the fun begin!

I therefore cordially invited you all to my Circus Part II. The tickets are free but always bring with you an open heart, a sense of humor, and a generosity of spirit.

In peace- Sahar Abdulaziz Author

PS- If any BIG, BIG, MEGA BIG Publishing houses or Literary agents are in the market for a middle-aged, mother of six adults and six grandchildren author, who is now VERY much available and ready to slam down some amazing works, call me. We can do lunch. ;)

PSS- Thank you to all who wrote me, called me, emailed me, texted me, made me laugh, shared advice, tears and humor.... offered help and support... You are ALL THE BEST. I'm going to try HARD not to let you down.

Stay Tuned. Sahar's Circus Part II has now officially left the gate.

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