Wednesday, July 15, 2015


Another goal achieved in the writing life of Ross Ponderson.

The first target was set for me back in 1995 by a photo in my local newspaper's society page.  Several debutantes were posing for a group shot at some gala fundraising event.  Their makeup was perfectly done; not a hair strayed out of place; their smiles were flawless and bright; their expensive formal gowns showcased their shapely figures in a dignified manner befitting the strictures of dignity, public image, and high society.

Everything about them was PERFECT as duly chronicled by the camera's unforgiving eye.

Or was it?

The questions began buzzing my brain like midsummer mosquitoes: Were they truly as happy as they appeared on camera?  Did they look this perfect first thing in the morning?  Did their wealth and privilege ensure harmony within their families?  Did high society life--with its emphasis on protocol and public image--fulfill them?  Would they be capable of surviving in the paycheck-to-paycheck world?

More questions, these much more pointed: What if nothing were true about that picture?  What if dignity and social mores vanished into thin air once the cameras were gone, the gowns hung back in their closets, and the makeup removed?  What if the majestic front doors of their mansions shielded family secrets that would shame Hell itself?  What if their sprawling estates were actually multi-million-dollar houses of pain?

What if the lives behind that picture were nothing more than facades, smoke-and-mirrors, glitter and fake smiles, and plastic elegance?

The ideas began firing in rapid succession.  Intrigued by what was happening, I hurriedly scribbled down the possibilities as they occurred to me.  Over the months, I knitted the bits and pieces together with the yarn of an overactive imagination.  The story elements flew into place with frightening ease.  But was my ragtag outline sufficient to form the basis for a commercially-viable novel?  Would I run out of material after 20K words?  Powered by sheer hope (and visions of the Best-Seller List), I plowed on.  It wasn't long before the first master outline of "Child of Privilege" was completed.

Another milestone reached.

Then, the uneasy decision was made to charge forward and pound out a first draft on my trusty Toshiba laptop.  In December of 1997, my Child (pardon the pun) was born.

Another goal achieved: I was a novelist! 

After a rousing chorus of "No, thanks" from every publisher and agent I queried--and a disheartening encounter with a less-than-scrupulous agent--the manuscript was angrily flung onto a closet shelf where it languished (or fermented?) for 19 years.  I was done with writing.

Or so I thought.

I stumbled onto KDP in June of 2014.  My chance to get her out there, I thought, maybe my last chance.   

After 3 months of rewrites and final polishing, Child took her place on Amazon's shelf.  Another milestone passed: I was now a published author with a book on a public shelf.  Anybody could walk in there and buy my book!  OMG!!  My Child was on her own; it was now the province of the world's book-buyers to pass judgement on her.

For those inquiring minds who want to know, my second novel (as yet unnamed) is slogging its way through its first draft.  At this point, even I'M uncertain as to how it'll end! My vision of this second story seems to evolve in different directions with each passing day.  Watch this blog for progress reports (it feels so weird to say that!).

So, with tentative, shaky steps, I've reached another goal today: I am a blogger.  I plead guilty to being a complete newbie who is (literally) learning as he goes along; but it's finally up and running.

An in-depth look at my first novel can be found by clicking on the "About Child of Privilege" tab.

A year ago, I had neither a Facebook page nor a Twitter page nor any other kind of a page for that matter.  Now the links to my pages on these social media venues can be found on my "Contact Me" page. 

My "Contact Me" Page???? 

Who woulda thunk it?

I invite you to join me on my journey.  Let's see where this crazy thing goes!

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