Swoon Author Alex Evansley: Publishing Confessional, Take Two
I’ll be honest in saying that when I initially submitted the OG draft of Love Scene, Take Two to the Swoon site back in April 2016, I didn’t put a lot of stock into thinking that it’d get picked for publication. Sure, I’d check in to see if there were new votes or comments, but I tried really hard not to get my hopes up on anything (I have a bad habit of letting my imagination run a little too wild sometimes). Then I got an email from Swoon HQ on a Friday afternoon in July, and let’s just say that it was probably better that I was at home by myself at the time, because no one needed to witness the pterodactyl-esque reaction that followed.
That said, for someone who spent so much time dreaming about becoming a published author, I knew next to nothing about the publishing industry when I was offered a contract. Becoming a Swoon author was not only one of the best things to ever happen to me, it also taught me a lot about the business side of books—indispensable knowledge for which I’ll forever be grateful. Everyone up at Swoon HQ was so welcoming and helpful and awesome, and I really can’t thank them enough for everything, especially since I had no prior experience to compare it to.
Now I’m gonna get a little sappy on y’all.
The publishing process for LSTT, from that July afternoon all the way to my pub date, took about two years, and I learned more about myself and my own writing in those two years than I have in my entire life combined. And I think that’s been my absolute favorite part about all of this, because I used to have ZERO confidence in my work (like, I went to some pretty ridiculous lengths to ensure my secret internet writing identity because I was terrified of people I knew in real life finding and reading my stuff). Now, I love being able to hand a physical copy of my book to anyone who wants one (I kind of shove them at people, actually…). I love that my writing style has changed, that my perspective on stories and what holds them together has widened, that my understanding of characters and what makes them tick has shifted… All for the better. And even though there’s endlessly more to learn, I like to think that through this whole process, I’ve found some of that missing self-assurance in what I do. It feels great.
So if someone were to ask me about my overall Swoon experience and how it changed my life, of course I’d say that becoming a published author is the coolest thing to ever happen to me, but I’d also say that it gave so much more back to me than I could have possibly imagined. And I’ll never be able to put into words how appreciative I am of it. (Ironically.)