I know on more than one occasion, I have referred to my book series, Life Imitates Art. It is time to provide some context.
What is Life Imitates Art?
Life Imitates Art is an autobiographical fairy tale series. I wrote them under my pseudonym, Yolanda Paptie. They are told in the frame of a fairy tale.
Some time ago, I left my husband. When I attempted to describe my experiences to a friend, he responded with “you should write a book.”
I took that to heart, but my current mindset did not have it in me. Shortly after I being laid off, I was in a wealth of grief. Even while going to therapy, I could not find the words to describe my experiences or talk about my life. I recalled the suggestion to write a book. When I began writing my life experiences, tears fell down my cheeks. I found myself in a ball, crying my eyes out and as I explained this to my therapist, he responded with “don’t do that.” I later published that incomplete work as “Two Black Eyes.”
After six months of therapy, we parted ways and the grief still sat with me. I opened up my laptop and rewrote the story with a different mindset. I decided that I was no longer Kalika Curry as I wrote these books, but another being. One Yolanda Paptie. For the more curious, the alias is a permutation of “Yoda Palpatine,” two character traits that I tend to settle in on most often (INTJ and INTP).
Under this alias, I found that I was able to separate myself from the work I was writing, but to enhance the distances; I decided to navigate the world as though it was not my life; but rather a fairy tale.
The decision to write the works in reverse, starting with the third tier; Cake was delivered as a form of intent. I felt as though, if I started from the last work – book three, I would not give up. I’d move forward and onward to its completion.
Dinner came shortly after Cake was created. It’s the second tier of the Life Imitates Art series and it describes the road to recovery that came after my divorce. The trials and tribulations of trying to create a new life; only to find that that wasn’t a new start, really. It was just a step in a direction that got me out of the abusive relationship.
While creating my first two books, I continued to search for work inside of my field, information technology. Tier II, Dinner, hones in on some of that experience and leaves off with one last interview that I was willing to share with the world at the time. That experience was later published in a separate work that is intended to be a subset of the life imitates art series. It’s called ‘Howard Herman.’
I explored some marketing techniques and have spoken with at least one editor. The work is still incomplete. In order to finish the series, I still have a few life challenges/goals ahead of me that I need to complete before I can compile the next book. But Howard Herman, is a major part of the work.
It digs deeper into how and why of so much of what I’ve done these past few years. It the stepping stone for where and how I found a few of m passions, that I hadn’t known existed until I took the time to write that letter.
I question how I’m going to include it in the next work. Is a 16 page letter, something a reader would enjoy as they read the story or is it better as something to seek?
More recent workings towards the next book is researching and by researching I mean reading books about time travel. I intend to include some descriptions on what I felt and sensed as I wrote Cake, then – later Dinner, and to explain what led to the creation of that follow up letter.
As I read other novelists creations and their time travel approaches; I reflect and pick up the occasional autobiography so that when I do rewrite Life Imitates Art – I can do it within a familiar context.
My failures are inclusive of the decision to publish the works under their own genre. Genres are key selling points. Their familiarities are what pull in readers and help them decide whether or not to approach a work. Librarians, literary scientists, information scientists, readers, and writers that I’ve interacted with across the globe have expressed this.
Then there’s the biggest problem of most all authors, which is that is one due to alack of familiarity. Authors who have been published more frequently and have had their works compared/etc. to others can be used inside a recommendation system.
Of course content also plays a role. Vulgar language and explicit sex scenes combined with the consistent description of drug usage can also serve as a deterrent.
Accessibility is another key loss. Active readers are very difficult to find these days and as I speak to people about what they are or may be reading, I learn that fewer and fewer people pick up books – more people tend to enjoy a good audio book. Which is something that we’re not ready to introduce with the Life Imitates Art series.
Last, but not least, I edited my own work. There’s no one to complain/reject the series on content, crudeness, or readability so this one piece of the puzzle remains at the bottom of the list of failings.
The What and The Why
Life Imitates Art is a book series that I created to help me through a depression. In writing these stories, I’ve given myself a sort of permission to let go of a significant amount of grief, negativity, and pain that made it difficult for me to look back on the past. In telling the story and having a published work so that I – as these days like to put it – ‘can just throw the book at somebody’ when I find it difficult to speak, I can find it easier to find and recall the good moments about my past. Finally.
A Rosebud Rejoicing was founded built with this idea in mind: to help people find confidence, not just in writing their story. Rather, in telling their story. In any medium. In any quality. Regardless of popularity.
The idea is; we can move forward once the story is told. We can let go of the weight that we’re holding onto because we’re holding onto something.
What was that I was holding onto? I don’t know. I’ve forgotten. You’ll have to check out the Life Imitates Art series, by Yolanda Paptie. Start with Tier III, Cake.