Scotia resident’s love of writing culminates in release of her first novel
Wanting to write a book is one thing, but one Scotia resident showed the determination needed to see her book in print.
Christine Slingerland had been working on her recently released book, Descent Into Madness, for at least 13 years ` at first jotting down ideas and notes as she raised her children, went to various jobs and had all sorts of experiences. Once she started reading back through what she had written on lined yellow notepads ` her favorite writing medium -` she realized she liked what she was reading.
`As far as I’m concerned, there is nothing to it. All you need to do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein,` said Slingerland. `I didn’t even consider myself [a writer]. It is just something that comes natural to me.`
Wherever she goes, there is a notepad by her side. In her early 20’s, she started submitting shorts to Redbook magazine, which is where she made her first $50 through her writing. Ever since she was young, though, she said she’s had an interest in writing.
`All you have to do is put a pen in my hand, and I can go crazy with it,` said Slingerland. `Writing, I guess for me, is not what we can say all the time, but what we are unable to say that I am able to put down on paper.`
She said that every single day there is something that influences her in some way, and `Descent Into Madness` is bits and pieces of her and her friends’ lives with a touch of drama for good measure. Everything in life is writable, she said, it is just if you have the guts and imagination to improvise upon it.
`Each time I put that pen to paper, it encourages me more, and this makes me think more deeply about what I am writing and it gets me throughout the day,` she said. `If it was a form of exercise, I would be skinny.`
`Descent Into Madness` is a mystery that follows the main character, also named Chris, and family into an abandoned village in the Adirondacks. The story takes a different twist when Chris has to go against an evil creature to stop darkness from being unleashed onto the world. The story begins at a dental office in Schenectady, which reflects the author’s own work experience.
Slingerland said writing a novel was one of the things she wanted to do most in life, but getting it published was a whole new struggle for her.
Once she felt her book was complete, she submitted a synopsis and the first three chapters to nearly 40 publishing companies. Although many companies said they enjoyed the book, she couldn’t find one to publish it. This led her to take it into her own hands and self-publish her book.
`I was able to complete it and get it published, and I am just so very, very excited about it,` she said. `It was a wonderful sense of satisfaction and accomplishment that I took it all the way and actually went to completion on it.`
Being self-published, she said, makes it a little more difficult to promote her book because, she believes, some people are placing her on a much lower pedestal than authors published through companies the traditional way.
`I am finding that self-publishing isn’t considered a good place to be,` she said.
This doesn’t deter her, though, and she said she is proud of what she has been able to accomplish.
Through LuLu.com, she released her book in hardcover, paperback and e-book versions. Until Slingerland’s friend told her about a Kindle they purchased, about a year and a half ago, Slingerland said she didn’t even know about the e-book reader sold by Amazon, so she visited Amazon.com and found out about LuLu.com, which can be used by self-publishers. For the past nine months she worked with the website to get her book released.
During the writing process, her biggest challenge was working with a computer since she isn’t as technologically inclined.
`I am not computer savvy. I type probably letter by letter,` she said. `If I was better on the computer, I feel like I would be whipping out my stories a heck of a lot quicker than I am.`
She said she has already started on her second book and is excited to start the journey again.
Slingerland had some advice for aspiring writers as they tackle their dream: `I think that the most important thing is that they take great pride in what they are doing and be diligent. You need to have a little bit of a savings put aside to be able to pursue a dream. Learn about self publishing, and don’t be discouraged when a lot of people out there don’t want to read or critique something a self-publisher has been successful accomplishing.`
Slingerland’s first book signing was held at the Glenville Hill Fire Department on Wednesday, Jan. 19, but her second book signing will take place at Roman Villa Restaurant in Rotterdam on Tuesday, Feb. 15.