Since I’m taking a week away from the Internet, I asked the lovely Erin Zarro if she would do a guest post for me, and boy, did she deliver. Here she is to talk about following your dreams…
As a child, I was mercilessly teased and taunted by others. It left me with scars that have never quite healed. To this day, I always feel like someone’s watching me and having a good laugh. Even though that’s totally not the case. It made me feel like less of a person, a freak, for so long. It really hurt me, deep inside, and I went through many years of therapy and depression and soul-searching. But I’m getting better now, through medication and writing.
I recently made the decision to self-publish my work as opposed to finding an agent. My debut novel Fey Touched, which released on August 1st, is a mix of both sci-fi and fantasy (and a bit of horror, too) and I wasn’t sure if there was even a market for that sort of thing. And if an agent would take it on. They only take what they know they can sell. So I loved this book, loved the concept, and made the decision. I would let my inner light shine. Scars and imperfections and all. I would make my mark on the world through my words.
What prompted this, you are probably wondering. A clinically depressed writer would probably believe her stuff sucked and would never sell. Yep, been there, done that, got the tee shirt. Why would I put myself out there, out to possible ridicule and nasty commentary? Why would I take that kind of chance with this beautiful book I love so much? Was I insane?
No, but I owe it all to Adam Lambert.
Adam Lambert is one of the most amazing singers out there. I don’t care what anyone says about his sexual orientation — no one can deny that he’s talented. He’s fierce. He’s comfortable in his own skin. He’s empowered. He lets his inner light shine.
He released his second album, Trespassing, in May. He’s said that Trespassing is more personal. He wanted to let people into his life, the dark side and the light side. All the songs on Trespassing are amazing, but there’s one that hit home for me: “Trespassing,” the title track. It has this gem: “I don’t need sympathy, I don’t cry or whine. Life’s my light and liberty, and I shine when I wanna shine.” Let me emphasize that: I SHINE when I wanna SHINE.
The good, the bad, the ugly — he lets us in, lets us see who he really is beyond the fascade. Beyond American Idol. Beyond being gay. He’s a person like you and I, with thoughts and feelings and things he wants to show the world. He’s made his mark in history. No one will ever forget him. No one can. Because he’s let his inner light shine so brightly, so beautifully, that you can’t look away. You’re transfixed by it. You’re amazed and filled with awe. Adam Lambert, like him or not, is an amazingly beautiful human being who is so empowered that you can feel it, you can see it, you can touch it.
And that’s what I’ve tried to do. Let MY inner light shine. Let my words empower me. Let my light, which has been dimmed for so many years, shine brightly. And in doing so, I’ll be taking the power away from my tormentors. I’m changing my life. I’m not letting them win. And even if I do get ridiculed or criticized for my work, who cares? It’s just an opinion, right? It no longer has the power to destroy me as it once did.
I’m rebuilding myself, piece by piece. I’m remaking myself through writing and living. I’m letting my light shine. The world needs to see me, see who I really am. So look out world, here I come. I’m taking my life back. I’ll never let my light dim ever again. It is beautiful, and it is right. I shine when I wanna shine.
Fey Touched is the story of two sisters, one of them Fey, the other a Hunter of Fey. The Fey are genetically engineered immortal humans who feed on human souls, and when their queen disappears, they will stop at nothing to get her back. But the queen may not want to be found. Her Hunter sister, drug-addicted and desperate, is searching for her as well. And the future of both Fey and Hunters depends on who finds her first…
Erin Zarro is married to a wonderful, supportive man and has a cat, Hailey, who might be part vampire. In her free time, she devours books by the hundreds. is a poet and a photographer as well as a novelist. She writes for Turtleduck Press, and you can see her work here.