While aspiring author S.M. Creanza had a story tell, it took her some time to decide through which medium she would communicate that story.
“I tried animation, comics, storyboarding,” said Creanza. “None of those mediums worked.”
It was through joining the Instagram bookstagram community that Creanza, who plans to publish her novel “Cricket and the Bird” this winter, discovered the world of self-publishing. While she does feel being traditionally published in the future would be a great honor, for now, she will be publishing independently, which allows her to maintain control of her work.
Technically, “Cricket and the Bird” isn’t her first published book.
“My first book was written for my English 110 class in college,” she said. “We were required to publish it. Still, it will not see the light of day. Don’t go looking for it. You won’t find it. Spoiler alert: It was really bad.”
That hasn’t stopped her years later from deciding to put more words to paper and release it to the world. Middle grades fantasy is her focus genre, mostly because she missed out on the young adult reading phase in high school.
“Mainly, because I legitimately did not read any books during that time,” said Creanza.
Because of that break in reading, she is primarily inspired by children’s book authors, including C.S. Lewis, Tony DiTerlizzi, and Patrick Ness. She also draws inspiration from television shows, visual artists and music.
Since starting her author journey, Creanza has found the most challenging aspect to be the costs associated with independent publishing.
“Traditional publishers often give you an advance which is money for publishing your book,” said Creanza. “Yet, with self-publishing, you are the one who has to shovel out money from your own pocket to get a decent book.”
The costs, however, have been offset by the number of people who have told Creanza she is an inspiration.
“I feel that if someone can come up to me and say they have learned from me, then I’ve done my job as an artist,” said Creanza.
So far, one of the most positive moments from her journey was finishing the first draft for copyediting.
“The weight of my manuscript was no longer on my shoulders,” she said.
In addition to her author journey, Creanza is a college student in New York City studying computer science. She is also a visual artist. As far as advice to any other aspiring authors out there, Creanza encourages them to just write.
“Put something down on paper,” she said. “No first draft is going to be perfect. So, you have nothing to lose.”
Cricket and The Bird
“The spirits chose you to destroy and save the world.”
After committing a nearly unforgivable act, Talfia Eliza Cricket finally wants some meaning in her life. Unable to see any other option, she joins her kingdom’s military and follows her father’s footsteps. In training, she must face a maniac princess, meta headmaster, devious classmate mentor, and a generous bird. Soon, she learns that nothing is for certain, and is thrown into a magical adventure of a lifetime.