This formula works fine if your only motivation for producing your art is to make money. If that's you, then you are already a sell out who's only interest is providing your service as a product to the highest bidder. For these people, art is nothing more than a commodity. But, for those of us who see art as a tool to inspire and uplift people, as a vehicle to encourage people to bring out the best in themselves, especially as it relates to people's ability to come together to create a better society for everyone, this formula is extremely problematic. We stress because we know that our focus on creating a story based around justice and not just violence for violence's sake may not resonate with publishers. We stress because we know our work, lacking that instant commercial sex appeal, will be dismissed by most who initially review it. We know that this dismissal will happen even though our work is far superior than many of the commercial stories that go on to maximum financial achievements. It's not that we are envious of those blockbuster stories with limited to no social value. If it was our objective to create stories that place financial reward over social substance, we are certainly capable of producing such a work. Instead, we strive to write about truth. To expose injustice and to create stories where people stand up and fight back, organizing successfully, and winning, against the power structure. This is the story that is never told on cable television, Netflix, Blockbuster, or any of the commercial entertainment venues. This is the story that isn't being told anywhere, except through the work we produce. This is why we stress and worry because we know that if our story isn't published, this narrative is never told. So, in spite of signing a contract, we know this industry is driven by profits which makes us suspicious and concerned that we will be manipulated and deceived at some point through this process. Will our book be published on time and in the respectful manner we desire and need to get our work in front of people? Will we get the book events we were promised? Will people, who are programmed to have a 20 second attention span, give our work the time needed to understand it properly? Will people who do read it understand it and help us spread the word because if this doesn't happen, it will make our future efforts to produce more socially conscious work much more difficult. All of these questions, and many, many, others, are concerns for any author, but if you add on the desire to produce stories depicting Africa in a positive light, demonstrating the ability of African people to organize and fight back, showcasing Europeans following and respecting African leadership, and having women play assertive and thoughtful roles, we are now talking about a much more difficult story to generate support for. This is true because my story contradicts practically all of the established literary models which makes it a maverick story that falls outside of the strict genre that the entertainment industry believes you are only interested in and capable of accepting.
As it stands today, all appearances are that our I have a decent publisher to will follow through with their commitment. Time will tell. My first one certainly didn't. Either way, I'm going to push to get my story out there as much as I can. It's an important story that I know will resonate with people once they are aware of it. It's a story that will inspire and give people hope and encouragement to take action. And, it will generate support for real life people who engage in the type of work my characters are carrying out. That's why public support for independent artists is so important, especially those with a socially conscious message. So, hopefully you folks will look for and support "The Courage Equation" when it comes out and any such literary work. This is one way we can start to change the way people think in order to build that foundation for a better society.