Today, I reached a milestone of sorts: The kindle version of The Pirate of Panther Bay cracked the top 100 in the kindle store for childrens books on self esteem and self respect. That’s not bad for a novel that was published five years ago.
Of course, this is a fleeting achievement and needs to be placed in context. The overall ranking is 97,910. I’ve also had other days when The Pirate of Panther Bay has cracked the top 100,000, a respectable achievement for an independently published book that also suffered from a non-existent disribution system. (I’ve blogged on this extensively before, for example see here.)
But, this time the ranking seemed a little different, at least for me personally, largely because of the category.
As I’ve been “finding” my voice as a novelist, I’ve discovered a couple of recurring stylistic themes:
- My stories are largely character driven. Plot and setting take decidedly less important roles and I rely on my characters and their personalities to drive the action.
- My characters are everyday heroes. They aren’t comic book characters or two dimensional; they are put in very difficult realworld circumstances and required to dig deep to summon up the courage to do the right thing. (Okay, so Isbella is a pirate captain in 1781, not exactly realistic, but her dilemmas and personal challenges are decidedly 21st century and recognizable to anyone today.)
Thus, my books are about coming face-to-face with self-doubt, moral dilemmas, ethics and the most basic meaning of courage. They are about self-discovery. Self esteem and self respect are critical dimensions to everything I write.
So, I’ll embrace my ranking as a needed creative boost, even if lasts just a few hours.
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