Lucy Turns Pages: Books, Wellness, and Living Your Best Life

Lucy Turns Pages: Guest Post: Leon Stevens on being an indie author

Guest Post: Leon Stevens on being an indie author

The first thing that I wrote that wasn't part of a school assignment was probably a song lyric, but I always scrapped it because I was never happy with the result. Or my voice. Then came my poetic journey. I ventured back into lyric writing to make sense of a difficult situation. The poems followed as some of the unused ideas became short poetic pieces. During my poetic journey, I started to sketch images that came to me. Some of these images evoked ideas that became my short, short stories—one or two paragraphs that tell part of a story that leaves the rest to your imagination. Some of my stories became longer, but still without conclusion, similar to waking from a dream and lying in bed thinking, what the…?

I had many poems that moved me, and I decided to share these creations so that others, who may need some inspiration (or just a good chuckle) could benefit from the words I wrote.

As I was doing research on how to publish (oh, I wish I knew then what I know now) I realized that to go the traditional publishing route could take years of querying—and rejection—with no guarantees. I wanted to get my poems in the hands of readers right away, and the easiest route (I’ll pause so that any other indie authors reading this can finish laughing) was to do it myself.

Oh, I made mistakes—and still do—but it is rewarding to see your hard work pay off. Seeing your book in print and holding that first paperback in your hands is a wonderful feeling.

Poetry isn’t for everyone and is one of the hardest genres to get a foothold, but most of my poetry is short and not too complicated. As one reader put it:

“Lines by Leon is an eclectic mix of poetry and thoughtful, personal reflection. The ideas are straightforward with an understandable simplicity."

I wanted people to reflect on the poems and seek connections without having to try to interpret deep philosophical meanings or search for hidden underlying messages. I also wanted to keep a sense of humor in my writing. Some of my poems and stories will hopefully make you chuckle or smile. My blogs and newsletters give me a chance to poke fun at things, be cynical at current events, and showcase my odd sense of humor, while honing and expanding my writing skills.

Enter science fiction: My forever favorite. My father introduced me to this genre. We would watch science fiction T.V. shows, and he would read me stories. It was only natural that I would turn to this topic as my writing developed. I was able to cross my styles when I wrote a series of post-apocalyptic poems that are featured in my book, The Knot at the End of the Rope and other Short Stories.

Most of my creations up to that point were poems or short stories. I joke that I write short stories because of my attention span, but my stories seem to come to a natural conclusion sooner rather than later. But when National Novel Writing Month came around, I accepted the challenge of writing 50 000 words in a month, which pushed me out of my comfort zone. I decided to continue one of my short stories that “ended” but left room for more.

I didn’t make it. Not even close. But as November passed—along with a few more months—I had my novella. Yeah, still didn’t make it, but I had a pretty good 30K word story I was proud of. I also “ended” that one too, but I fell there was still more story to tell and I eventually turned it into a trilogy with a combined total of 60 000 words.

Now I have a novel.

A successful author wrote that to be successful, you have to write what your audience wants. I do want to entertain readers, but I’m not trying to make everybody happy. I’m trying to make myself happy, hopefully, by providing material that can be enjoyed by others.

Feel free to check out my books on Amazon or sign-up for my weekly newsletter (you get a free book for that).


Leon Stevens is a multi-genre author, composer, guitarist, and artist, with a Bachelor of Music and Education. He published his first book of poetry in 2020, followed by a book of original classical guitar compositions and a short story collection of science fiction/post-apocalyptic tales. His newest publications are the sci-fi trilogy, The View from Here, and a new collection of poetry titled, A Wonder of Words. His new sci-fi novella, Euphrates Vanished will be released this summer.

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