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  • Justin Arnold

I'm An Author Now? Or: How I Reacted To My Debut

It has been a WILD year and it's not even halfway over yet. I directed my 10th production, 1st production over zoom. I rereleased one of my stageplays out into the world. I rewrote one novel then rewrote another and then...


Was invited to publish one of those novels with Midnight Tide Publishing.

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So, I am an author now. When I was twelve and secretly writing in the library when I was supposed to be taking an accelerated reader test, I promised my future adult self that when that happened I'd look in the mirror and say "You're an author now!"


Never known to disappoint my healthy inner child, I did just that. I went up to the mirror, I threw my shoulders back, I looked myself in the eye (after cringing at the forming zit that was ruining my flawless moment) and I said, in the crackling voice of a pubescent choir boy, "Yer an author now?"


Yep. I'd waited 17 years to say that, and my voice cracked.


Honestly, I still don't fully believe the word. Like, what exactly is the difference between the feeling of being a writer and being an author? I'd be lying if I didn't say I thought it would be more....noticeable.


Ok, fine. I thought I would wake up the next day with perfect eyesight and amazing biceps. Like the publisher is a radioactive spider, and I'm Peter Parker with a pen.

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But alas, my arms are still spaghetti, and I'm still putting off that trip to the optometrist to find out how much blinder I'm getting. I'm still a hot mess.


But....I'm an author?

Holy pizza rolls, I'm an author.

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I am an author of YA Fiction, particularly of stories that usually belong to the straight population, in which those straight leads are locked in the broom closet and taken over by people like me who have read from the fringes of society.


Did I mention it's all #ownvoices? It took a lot of self-reflection to write what I know, and that will also get discussed on here sometime. And that's not a subtle aside to the wonderful straight authors out there writing my community. I'm happy to be here next to you, writing the good write.


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My debut novel, The Prince And The Puppet Thief is a satire of fairy tale and disney-eqsue tropes, featuring a cast of LGBT leads, even the villain. It's a fun, fantastical, rom-com that I may or may not have written as a private joke when I was adapting fairy tales (straight, no chaser) for local stages. Really to me, it's the Disney movie I didn't get to watch when I was a wee 90's kid. More details and teasers to come!


It's now going to be a wild summer as my debut is prepped for publication in August. That hit me when I started revising it once more. I guess that is the biggest thing that's hit me in the time since I received that title-changing email. Authors have to revise more (and that will be a long, dramatic tale that I chronicle here. Most likely it'll involve a lot of chocolate and wine.).


You can keep up to date on all release details by joining my email list here, by following me on Instagram @justinarnoldauthor and on facebook, which are also all great places to contact me.


Now, as I'm known to say when I'm excited, "LET'S GOOOOO."

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