Tag Archives: self publishing


By Adele Hewett Veal

I’ve had many people ask what my expectations were for my first novel, Shadow in the Mirror. Well, I have to honestly say, I didn’t know what to expect when I wrote it. My comfort zone was always poetry. I never thought about writing an actual novel.

However, one of my pieces of poetry was entitled, An Oyster’s Pearl. I wrote it after seeing a documentary about how a pearl was made. See, I didn’t know that a pearl was made from a grain of sand or a parasite that gets into the mouth of the oyster and becomes an irritant, so the oyster begins to film over the irritant with a substance called Nacre. Nacre is what gives the pearl its beautiful iridescent look and it also helps to smooth out the rough edges of the irritant. Years go by, and when someone finally comes along and opens the oyster, in place of the irritant they find a beautiful pearl. When I saw that, I remember jumping up and saying, “Hey, that’s me,” and I’m sure there are others who can say the same. I mean, honestly, how many irritants have we had to smooth out of our lives to become the people we are today?  I don’t know about you, but I like me, irritants and all. Those irritants have helped to mold me and strengthen my character. It’s not so much of what I’ve gone through as it’s what I’ve overcome. So, the poem, An Oyster’s Pearl was born. 

During that time, I had formed a business of formatting and framing pieces of my poetry for sale at malls, festivals, and other events. I also had accounts with various book stores and hospital gift shops.  But, after I finished, An Oyster’s Pearl, I formatted and framed the first one and gave it to a good friend of mine as a gift for her mother’s birthday. It was the perfect gift. But it took a while for me to be ready to share it with the world. It was like pulling a Band-Aid off of a wound that wasn’t all the way healed, if that makes any sense. That was back in 1996 I think. In 2003, I took a deep breath and recorded, An Oyster’s Pearl, on my CD, “From a Whisper to a Touch, An Inspirational Moment with Adele Hewett.” Eight years after writing it.

Now, getting back to the question about the novel. In 2013 I pulled the poem out again and read it. It was timeless, like I had just written it yesterday. I began to wonder what else I could do to promote it better. Not just for me, but for the many people who needed to read or hear it.  One place I thought the poem would serve its purpose was in the Battered Women’s Shelter. Think about those women who have gone through so much. Yet, those brave souls got away from the irritants that held them back by breaking their spirits, and making them emotionally withdrawn. And here they were, standing tall and beautiful, ready to regain their power and take on the world as original Oyster Pearls. I still believe a copy of the poem should be in every shelter.

I even thought about a Gala event where I could give away, The Oyster’s Pearl awards to deserving individuals who have conquered the impossible and turned their challenges into triumphs.

As I brain stormed these other ideas suddenly, I heard something say, ‘Write the story.’ Write the story? Although I hadan idea for a story in my head, I never thought it would be me writing it. I jotted down an outline to see if the story had legs and then I took it to my sister, who was the author in the family. She agreed it was a good story line, but refused to write it because the idea was mine and she was concerned that she wouldn’t do my characters any justice. She said, “Those are your characters. You won’t recognize them if I write the novel because they’ll become my characters. That wouldn’t be fair to you.” So, I went home and, I remember asking God, “Now what? I can’t write a novel. I write poetry. That’s – my – comfort – zone.” Guess what I heard after saying that to God? I heard these words whispered into my spirit, “It’s impossible to experience growth, sitting in your comfort zone.”

            It was then that I became hungry and thirsty for anything that had to do with DID (Dissociated Identity Disorder), which used to be called Multiple Personality Disorder years ago. Why write about DID? I had no idea at the time, but I understand now …

                                                                             NEXT: The Plan behind the Story

My Journey to a self-publishing platform

I’ve been writing for years. I started writing poetry at an early age and then, as fate would have it, I began writing for a magazine called, “Solomon’s”. I became the female voice of an inspirational magazine designed for men and I was very proud of my work, but I soon moved on with my own.

My first collection of poetry is called, “From a Whisper to a Touch, An Inspirational Moment with Adele Hewett” and instead of waiting for someone to come along to ‘discover’ me, I promoted myself, traveling to where ever they would have me grace a stage. I felt I had something to say that could bring light to dark situations for even those who weren’t sitting in my audience. I just didn’t know how I would do it.

One day I met up with a young man playing the keyboard. His name was Jeff. His music was captivating and I noticed that, if I closed my eyes, I could hear words inside his music. I immediately knew that my next step was to find a studio and arrange my poetry with music and sound effects and have him compose the music. After some discussions, he agreed. Finally the day came. I found a studio and Jeff and I worked together to create the amazing CD, “From a Whisper to a Touch; an Inspirational Moment with Adele Hewett”, arranged exactly as I had dreamed, with sound effects and music.  Jeff and I never had one rehearsal. We’d go into the studio, I’d inform him which piece we would be working on, gave him the flavor of the piece and explain why I wrote it and he’d begin to play, immediately flowing with exactly what I had in mind. He was amazing. At the same time, I was having my poetry formatted and framed and placed in some of the book stores and hospital gift shops where, I was told, people would come in and go to my section, sit on the floor, and read each piece. So, when they heard there was a CD my pre-sales hit the roof.

On the CD I have a poem called, “An Oyster’s Pearl” that I wanted to promote better. I could imagine the affect it could have on women at battered women’s shelters, prisons, and even health facilities because the piece compares the trials that a person goes through, to a grain of sand or parasite that becomes an irritant in the mouth of the oyster. The oyster films over it with something called Nacre and years later, when the oyster is opened, we don’t see the irritant anymore. We see a beautiful pearl. I can go on and on about how the poem has ministered to me through the years, making me realize that all the irritating situations I’ve overcome have made me who I am today; An original Oyster’s Pearl. The same applies for you and your life.   This is what lead me to write my first novel, “Shadow in the Mirror”.  How awesome would it be to weave a story about a woman who goes through a horrific abuse as a child, leading her to develop a mental disorder called D.I.D (Dissociative Identity Disorder), which used to be called, Multiple Personality Disorder. The story is an awe-inspiring, psychological thriller, laced with a beautiful love story that will keep you on the edge of your seat, but it also shows how the main character, Leslee Cramer struggles with her alter personality, to stay present and fight for the family that she’s on the brink of losing. By the end of the book, she is the epitome of an Oyster’s Pearl in her own right.  Now, with all that said, after finishing the book, and knowing I had a diamond in the rough, I began looking for a literary agent who would take an interest in my work and help me take it to the next level. I did my homework. I studied what specific literary agents were looking for, found the ones for my genre, and I sent query letters to them. I was prepared to get turned down, so, when it happened, I’d take a closer look at my query letter, make necessary changes and send it out again. Here I was, manuscript ready, writing countless query letters and waiting for a literary agent to request it, but getting rejected time and time again, a very discouraging situation indeed. It almost made me think my product wasn’t good enough. But, after all these years and everything I’ve overcome, it was worth the trouble of a rewritten query letter. My God, if I don’t believe in myself, who would. However, I must admit, I was a little perturbed when a well-known singer, who I love dearly, by the way, announced that her little girl, who is 11 year’s old, was having her ‘first’ meeting with a publisher about her book idea. What? Now, I’m not hating on her. I think it’s awesome that she’s leading her daughter down the literary path if that’s where she wants to go, but it’s not only unfair, it’s discouraging to those of us, who are probably revamping our query letters for the ten thousandth time just to get our foot in the door. That’s when I realized it was time to take matters into my own hands. I could no longer wait around for someone to tell me I was good enough for them to take a chance on me. I knew my story was a good one and I took a chance on myself. I researched self-publishing, liked what I read, and decided to go with it. I’m not sorry. My book is now available on Amazon and many other online bookstores. It’s also available in paperback and on e-book sites, and I have over 50 reviews that are mostly 5 star. Two years later I completed my second novel, “Reflection from Within”, which is also available on Amazon and the other online bookstores. I’m very proud of the accomplishments I’ve made. I’m writing my third novel now and excited to be going to the next level. Where’s that? I have just finished writing the four part mini-series for television and looking into Netflix, Disney, or Amazon Prime to pick it up. I read an article about how Tyler Perry writes his own movies and mini-series. He doesn’t sit in ‘writer’s room of 10-12 people, proof that it can be done. If it can be done, I can do it too. I may not have a huge film studio, but I have gumption and determination.