You work on your novel like a person possessed. It haunts you.
You lie awake at night speaking to the characters. They talk to you as if they are made of flesh and blood and not the stuff of dreams and fantasies. One may haunt you that, nagging he is not satisfied with how you’ve portrayed him, that he deserves a more sympathetic treatment. He mumbles that another character, a minor one, had taken over the novel. He berets you for being an unfair author. Heavens, he even claims you, the writer, is guilty of gender discrimination.
Finally, he stomps his phantom foot and declares he wishes you’d never created him. He wants to leave the novel completely–and now!
At that point, the writer pulls rank and announces the he or she, not the character, is the boss and this character must stay within the confines of the plot–like it or not.
Such disputes between writer and his created children are endless, but finally after a thousand headaches and almost as many sleepless nights, the novel is finished. Your child is born, edited and reborn stronger. It is published in ebook format.
Then, your troubles.begin. Some scoundrel hacks a website and steals the book you have sweat blood to produce. Guess what? He is giving it away. Giving. It. Away! Your labor is free to anyone who goes to this thief’s website. Often, these hackers gain the free-loaders confidential information in the process making a lot via identity theft.
You console yourself when you learn that the same thing has happened to most every author, even the great sellers, those with the letters after their names. NYT or USA Best Selling Author. A few years ago, Nora Roberts went before a senate committee to ask for protection against these hackers. Congress passed no new laws to protect authors.
So, what is the answer? I wish I knew. Maybe writers should hire platoons of lobbyists. Then, maybe Congress would listen. Maybe. Maybe not. My advice? Don’t hold your breath.