I got some unfortunate news on Friday night: my publisher for my novel is going out of business on September 30th. As of October 1st all the publishing rights for Emerson revert to me. Because the book has been reviewed well, received several awards, and is still up for a few more awards, I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to find a new home for her story that will include the existing novel and the sequel. If you’ve been through this type of situation or know someone who has, I’d love your advice on approaching this process and taking next steps, I’d love to hear it. Thanks, all!
“How did you know what to write about that would sell?” someone asked me this week.
“I didn’t write a book that would sell,” I said. “I wrote the book I wanted to read.”
“But didn’t you look at trends?” he asked me.
“I started writing my book eight years ago,” I said. “Trends from eight years ago wouldn’t have helped me today.”
He was frustrated. He wanted a silver bullet, and there just isn’t one when it comes to any kind of creative work. All you can do is follow your curiosity, do your research, listen, and then get it all down as well and as honestly as you can.
You absolutely cannot make everyone happy. Some people will want the book to go faster, and others will want it to go slower. Some people will want more detail, and others will want less. Some people will say the book is too long while others will stay it’s too short. It’s all incredibly subjective.
Just know this—over the course of writing, rewriting, editing, and publishing your work, you will read / view / listen to it dozens of times. Maybe hundreds of time. You have to nurture it, love it, and then give it all away for someone else to interpret. That is the rub of creative work—you pour everything you have into it, and then it belongs to the world. It is all a labor of love.
A great big day today: my book, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, had nearly 2500 downloads on Kindle this weekend, hit #1 in its Kindle categories, broke into the top 100 Kindle books across all categories on Amazon, and the incredible Dan Fortune landed me a huge interview for the end of this month. I am literally floating. Thank you to everyone for being a part of this wild literary ride. I love you. Keep dreaming.
On Friday and Saturday I had a few writing breakthrough in my second book in the Emerson Page young adult book series. And they didn’t happen while I was writing. I was actually reorganizing my closets. I was folding my sweaters when a very strange person showed up in my imagination, an old woman whom I have never seen before. I closed my eyes and listened to what she had to tell me about Emerson’s story, and I got it all down in longhand as honestly and as quickly as I could before it evaporated. And the story just kept flowing into the evening while I sat in a coffee shop on the Lower East Side waiting for friends to go to dinner.
I never saw this coming —this character, this plot twist, this revelation, this truth that was both painful and freeing. It explains so much that needs to be explained in due time. You won’t meet her until book three, which will be the final piece of Emerson’s story. I originally thought this series would be nine books, and had mapped it that way. Now I see that this portion of her story wraps up in a trilogy because of this new character.
In book two, Emerson will be exploring Iceland, Ireland, and Spain—three countries connected in odd and mysterious ways that will shed some light on Emerson’s path to her goal. I’m just glad to be able to tag along for the wild ride she’s about to take.
Yesterday was a marvelous Pub Day. Thank you for all the love, and I send it right back to you!
The book reached its highest sales rank ever on Amazon in the 6 weeks since it was put in pre-order status. Emerson got some wonderful reviews on Goodreads and Amazon, with more on the way. Some great plugs on social media, and a big exciting festival acceptance that I will be able to publicly share in December once the communications embargo is lifted. And I started the draft of Emerson’s second book as part of #NaNoWriMo2017.
All in, a banner day that filled my heart with gratitude, exactly 3 years after I started writing that first draft. It was made all the better by knowing that the best is yet to come. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Emerson is now on sale in paperback and e-book at amzn.to/2lgZykV.
I have a giveaway running over on Goodreads for my novel, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, and two signed copies are up for grabs. Here’s how to enter:
1.) Go to this link: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/259791-emerson-page-and-where-the-light-enters
2.) Either sign in to Goodreads or quickly create an account
3.) Click “Enter Giveaway” button
My Pub Day is fast approaching. People have been asking how I’m feeling. Honesty, I’m curious and hopeful. I’m curious to know how her story helps others. My great hope is that she inspires people to live the lives they imagine. She’s brave, powerful, and kind. I hope she makes a difference in the lives of others who get to know her. She’s certainly made a difference in mine.
I’ve lived with Emerson in my heart and mind for 8 years now. She’s a part of my every day living. I’ve protected her, nurtured her, and prepared her as best I can. Next Wednesday, she’ll belong to the world, and she’s ready for that.
On the day the book launches, I’ll begin NaNoWriMo 2017 and write the first draft of Emerson’s second book by the end of November. No rest for the weary, and that’s fine by me. Emerson and I have a lot of ground to cover so we better get moving. We have to make the most of the time we have.
Last night I had the great pleasure to chat with Jed Doherty. We spoke about my young adult book, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, that will be released on November 1st. With his podcast Reading With Your Kids, Jed is on a mission to promote children’s and young adult literature as well as the act of parents and their kids reading together and discussing books. I’m so honored to be a guest on his podcast, and our interview will be published soon. In the mean time, listen to many of the other fantastic interviews that he’s has done with authors including Lizette Lantigua, Brent A. Ford, and Jenny Ford.
I’m so excited to announce that Chapter 1 of the prequel to my novel, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, is arriving in inboxes at this very moment. I created it to send as a free gift to everyone who signs up for my mailing list. I’ll deliver a new chapter on the first of every month between now and October as we lead up to the launch of the book on November 1st. The only way to get the prequel is to sign up for the mailing list.
Each chapter will be told in the first-person and from the perspective of a different main character. All of the chapters take place on the same day so readers will be able to see this critical event in the book from many different angles.
Chapter 1 is a diary entry from the perspective of Nora Page, Emerson’s mother, as she makes the decision that will change Emerson’s life forever. Simply sign up for my mailing list and I’ll send it right over to you!
“I like stories where women save themselves.” ~Neil Gaiman
Screw patience. Do what makes you happy now. If someone asked me how I got to the point I am in my life now, as a person and as a writer, my answer would be “I’ve always been my own savior.” I’ve never expected anyone to fix anything or do anything for me. I don’t want or wait well. All I really know how to do is roll up my sleeves and get to work. Sometimes that work is with other people like my experience in theater, and sometimes that work is on my own like sitting down to write my book. Some call it feisty, others call it fiery, and I call it building a life I love.
Our time is so precious and so short. It flies by despite our efforts to slow it down. Every day matters. Don’t bottle yourself up or tell yourself , “Someday, I’ll do what I love.” Do it now. Some day is today, every day. I promised myself a long time ago that I wasn’t going to die with the music, or the books, still in me. I was going to live and write out loud. However improbable my book seemed, I was going to find a way to get it done. And I did. You will, too. Keep writing.