Saturday, December 8, 2012

Identity Issues Launches!

by guest blogger and mystery author Claudia Whitsitt

Some authors compare the release of their book to the birth of a baby, and while I see the similarities, this book for me, is much more like a NASA launch.

Whenever I envision a launch, I see fire shooting out from a rocket pad, hear the missile’s engines roaring and watch the building steam as mission control shouts, “And we’re off!” The years of labor, countless calculations, hours revisiting and refining the design, polishing, double-checking, sleepless nights, worry, angst…it’s finally over.

Of course, there’s that last second clutch of the heart. Will the rocket fly? Make it to the heavens without crashing and burning? But, look! The rocket’s boosted now, and it’s soaring. Deep breath. Collective sigh. We have liftoff!

In my particular case, there have been plenty of hiccups along the way. Completing round after round of edits. Hiring a professional editor. Finding a publisher. The rewrite of the last half of the novel. Delays due to MANY unforeseen circumstances. Yes, there were days when I thought this book would never see another reader’s eyes but those of my families and friends.

So, today is cause for huge celebration.

Writing IDENTITY ISSUES marked the start of my reinvention. In 2006, after teaching for thirty years, I decided to write a book. The idea came to me as the result of true events. My husband’s stolen passport led to all kinds of real-life intrigue (more about that in next week’s blog), and the thought of creating my own ending to questions left unanswered nibbled at me until I finally sat down at the computer and wrote the story. Plus, my cohorts at school egged me on. They couldn’t wait to see “The Don Whitsitt Story” in print!

As I neared completion of the book, I attended the Southern California Writers Conference. What the heck did I know about writing a book? What on earth would I do once I finished the manuscript? I had no idea. Thankfully, I met my fairy godmother, Jean Jenkins, at that conference, and she dished out the finest compliment I could have imagined. She told me, “I’d turn the page!” That, for me, meant that someone else might enjoy my story as well. So, I continued writing.

As many of you know, the road to publication is long and arduous. Enough so that this never defeated Special Educator felt ready to give up at times. Writing is my passion after all, not the querying, platform building, marketing and promotion. (I’m still honing those distasteful skills!)

Here, six years later after I first sat down at my computer and began tapping out one letter after another, I present to you the first in The Samantha Series…IDENTITY ISSUES!

For more information about Claudia or her novels, check out her website.


  1. I like this comparison because it also highlights that writing a book is a team effort. The authors who view their book as their babies sometimes become extremely protective and view others attempts to better it (IE editors) as killing their babies.

    Congrats on the publication. You've earned it.

  2. With all of the time involved in writing a novel—much longer than nine months—a rocket launch feels much closer to the real thing. Great analogy!

    Huge congratulations on making this milestone in your journey! I see more space exploration ahead for you in the future.

    1. Thanks, Peg! Good luck to you as well. I hear great things about your books :)

  3. Thanks for guesting today, Claudia, and congratulations on the publication of IDENTITY ISSUES!

  4. Thanks, Marlyn! It's an honor to guest on this blog with such a talented group of writers and editors. I appreciate the opportunity.


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