There are a lot of ways to sell books. You can wait for the reviews to roll in (hopefully, positive). You can pray to the Goddess of Oprah. You can run contests (bloggers, I’ve got author copies!). You can do interviews (check out my latest Q&A on The Five Randoms ). You can cross your fingers and hope Teen People notices your debut YA novel (psst…Teen People editors, if you’re reading this, I’m SO available). Or you can invite friends, colleagues and industry insiders to a restaurant in Philadelphia and promise free mojitos and margaritas!
Yes, I am once again talking about my BOOK LAUNCH PARTY, which is only two weeks away. Last night, I met with the manager of the restaurant where I will be hosting my festivities, and I got to tell him that we already have 100 guests who have RSVP’d that they’ll be attending! The list spans everyone from my mom and dad, to a councilman from Camden, to my high school Spanish teacher, to my former college roommates, to my old boss, to my agent’s assistant, to an online book blogger, to my friends from high school. It’s going to be a blast!
Now, if you’re new to the blog (thank you for joining us), let me catch you up — Amor and Summer Secrets debuted this week! Oh yes, walk into your friendly neighborhood bookstore and go perusing through the YA shelves—staring back at your should be a glorious cover with my name on it.
I even have proof. Check out this cell phone photo that one of my fellow Random Musers over at Absolute Write took for me. She was in a bookstore—in Nashville, no less! I’ve never been there—and she snapped this picture of my book on the shelf. She even turned it face-out (and secretly gave it better eye-level placement—awesome).
How nice is she to do that? It’s the first image I received of my book ON SALE!
So to keep the good times going, my husband and I went to the Borders on Broad Street in Philly and found my book on display. And I was not the slightest bit embarrassed to stand in front of complete strangers and have my picture taken with a bookshelf. I even the signed the stock. So if you want an autographed copy, swing by the Broad Street Borders and pick one up.
Young adult author in action
So while you may not be in Philly to get your free margarita with proof of purchase, stay tuned for some fun contest giveaways! Next week, we plan to launch a Back To School Prize Pack with free signed copies of “Amor and Summer Secrets,” ARCs of “Amigas and School Scandals,” as well as bookmarks, bookplates, and more! Happy reading!
POP-CULTURE RANT: General Hospital Laura’s back! Oh, my God, I had no idea this was coming! When the writers started the whole “Lulu is going to crazy like her mom” storyline, I thought it was a bit played out. I had no idea it was leading to Genie Francis. I haven’t read the tabloids, so I have no idea if she’s here for good or just a quick appearance (if you know, send me a comment). But I’m thrilled to have her back. However, what’s up with Scotty Baldwin being able to handle the prosecution of his own son’s murder trial. Come on, I know it’s a soap, but seriously? Your viewers aren’t retarded, GH. And exactly how many ghosts is a soap opera permitted to have? Because I thought Alan was pushing it, but now we have to deal with Logan too. Really?
It's Finally Happened! My Book’s Out, and My Husband’s Threatening Xanax
I got tons of calls, emails and texts yesterday. All from friends and family. All telling me that they just received my book from Amazon. Half of them pre-ordered it months ago and have been sending me regular IMs asking why they hadn’t received it yet (very funny). And all were genuinely enthusiastic to be holding a book with my name on the cover; I, however, felt a bit like vomiting.
It’s not that I’m not excited, because I am. Very excited. I’ve been waiting a LONG time for this. And when I think back to the day when I started writing my query letter, it’s amazing to realize how far I’ve come. My book is out in the world! But also… my book is out in the world…
I’m a bit nervous knowing that there are people out there—right now—reading it. Like that feeling you’d get right before you’d turn in a paper to a college professor. You felt really confident about it two seconds ago, but now someone’s gonna grade it.
I’ve already gotten feedback from one friend, my former college roommate. She was the lone dissenter who pre-ordered the book from B&N.com and apparently they started shipping “Amor and Summer Secrets” earlier than the rest of the world. So she got her copy more than a week ago.
Me & Margit
That said, this was her reaction:
1. “I paused after the first 50 pages and told my husband, ‘Hey, this is pretty good.’” LOL. You know she was nervous. It’s like going to your buddy’s “off Broadway play,” and crossing your fingers that you don’t have to tell him how great the programs looked.
2. Mariana Ruiz is definitely not me. In fact, she thought Mariana was much more of a “goodie goodie” than I was. Well, what’d you expect? We did go to college together…
3. She really liked the twist at the end and didn’t see it coming. Yay!
4. She wanted to know who Alex was in real life and whether he was supposed to be my husband. Um, no. If anything, my husband is more like Mariana’s brother, Vince (the frat boy). Just kidding, Jord…
3. She had always thought that a writer’s “voice” said something about their personality. But she thinks my personality is very different from Mariana and the way that Mariana thinks. It made her rethink her previous opinions on other novelists.
All-in-all she said she was very impressed—of course she had to, she’s my friend. But it was still nice to hear. And she gets to go down in history as being the first person to buy and receive my book. Yay, Margit!
So if you’re out there, reading my book right now, drop me a line when you’re finished. Tell me what you think. Or better yet, write a comment on Amazon. Tell the world! Enjoy!
POP-CULTURE RANT: Democratic National Convention Personally, I think the scheduling was off for this conference. The Olympics stole the convention’s thunder. We just went two weeks without watching our regularly scheduled programming. I can’t tell you how full my DVR is; I think I’ve only seen one episode of Mad Men all season. I’m not ready to go straight into another weeklong news event. Though I did think Hillary and Michelle’s speeches were good. And I loved how Barack’s kids kept interrupting him on the JumboTron. He should bring them to his future State of the Unions just to keep things interesting.
Sorry, But I Don't Understand Writers Who Wait For "The Muse"
The Olympics are over and I can’t decide whether I wish my parents had put in me gymnastics or swimming. On one hand, I’d get to try for the coveted gymnastics all-around title and stand beside Mary Lou and Nastia. On the other hand, I’d get one of those ridiculously toned “swimmer bodies” and make millions of dollars in endorsements after my eighth gold medal. Ah, decisions…
But since I didn’t excel at any form of athletics (again, does cheerleading count?), I’ve found myself looking at the skills I was born with. As such, I stumbled upon this article in The Oregonean. It asks writers whether they sit around waiting for divine inspiration (i.e. the muse) or whether they tough it out and fight for their stories like athletes do for Olympic gold.
I have to say my writing style is definitely all muscle.
Personally, I never really understood those writers who claim they don’t control their stories, that they are merely the vessels for the infamous muse. They feel that stories are channeled through them and they were simply the medium who is honored enough to tell the tale. “Oh, come to me, almighty powerful God of Inspiration!”
That’s not to say that I don’t get inspired. I did wake up one morning after having dreamt that I was a young adult author—along with the idea for an entire series of novels. No joke, this dream is what inspired me to write my first book (still available, if there are any publishers reading).
But I also put in the work to write that novel—fighting, clawing, and kicking it out of me. Usually when I’m working on a first draft, I write 3,000 words a day. That’s all muscle. There isn’t some magical fairy hidden in my desk writing those words for me. In fact, sometimes I sit at the keyboard feeling like I’ve gone a few rounds with Mike Tyson.
That said, if I had to compare my writing style to that of an athlete—and having just watched the summer Olympics—I’d say my writing style is most like water polo.
I spend the majority of my time treading water and swimming in circles, but every once in a while there’s a break in the madness and I get the perfect shot off. That’s when it’s all worth it—when you read back a chapter, a scene, a paragraph and you think, “Wow, that’s pretty good.”
Of course at the end you’re ridiculously exhausted and even if you get the gold, most of the world still has no idea who you are—but hey, you know you scored the winning water polo goal. We can’t all be Kobe Bryant (Who graduated the same year as me from a neighboring high school. I saw him play in my high school gym.)
Writing is hard. The Olympics are hard. And getting to the finish line of either of those endeavors is pretty awesome.
POP-CULTURE RANT: Closing Ceremonies Okay, clearly the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Games were sick. They had more performers participating than there were athletes competing—that’s insane. And they were totally worth it. I was in awe of the high level of thinking it took to choreograph that. But was it just me or did the Closing Ceremonies seem to run a little long? And by long, I mean a few Chinese pop singers too many (don’t even get me started on Jackie Chan with a microphone). I think they should’ve quit why they were ahead—with that cool Memory Tower. Because it’s a little hard to tout your country’s “musical sensations” when you’ve got London’s 2012 committee bringing out Jimmy Paige, Leona Lewis and David Beckham. ‘Nuf said. Point London.
Okay, I'm Taking a Cue from Earl and Getting Some Good Karma
I'm a big fan of public education. I went to public school (and can still sing my alma mater, "To Ridley High, we pledge our faith…"). And I spent the years prior to becoming an author doing PR for a nonprofit that works to improve Philly's inner-city schools. So as an author, I love doing things that showcase public school kids' talents, especially their artistic abilities. And as such, yesterday I got to be a judge for a student art competition. Great, right? Well, the not fun part was that the theme of the work was domestic violence.
The program, run through the Lutheran Settlement House and Mural Arts Program, offered students seminars on the abuses of domestic violence and then asked them to create a work of art that symbolized this theme. Let me tell you, the artwork was amazing. But the themes were incredibly sad, and far too personal. Most of the judges walked away thinking “these kids know TOO MUCH on this topic.”
For example, the contest was broken down into three age categories, and it was very tough to look at an eight-year-old’s drawing of spousal abuse equipped with verbatim dialogue in little cartoon “air bubbles” that seemed far too cruel and realistic to have been imagined. As were the teenagers’ paintings that depicted boyfriends controlling relationships with everything from fists to text messages.
Of all the pieces, there was only one that I thought showed optimism—a colorful painting of a woman having a fantasy of the perfect relationship. I voted for this one. Mostly because it was one of the few that didn’t show an angry male fist, or puppet strings holding up a woman, or a father shaking his son. After taking in all of that, I appreciated the message of hope (though I did still vote for some of those others).
The winning students will have their work displayed in a real art gallery in Olde City, Philadelphia. I can’t wait to go to the opening and meet the artists.
In other news—that has little to do with improving my karma, but might help my book sales—I will be appearing as a panelist at the Baltimore Book Festival. If anyone is in the area on September 27th, stop by the “Young Adult Panel” being sponsored by Book Divas. The event is free and open to the public.
I’m very excited about this speaking engagement. Partly because I’ve attended many conferences in my day, but I’ve never actually been on a panel. (Remember, I used to be a hotel reporter. I know far too much about Marriott’s franchisee brand standards.) And partly because my parents and my sister live in a Baltimore, so I’m guaranteed a cheering section! So come out, buy some books and meet my mom! Now there’s a conference slogan for you :-)
POP-CULTURE RANT: Gymnastics It’s pretty sad when people who know nothing about gymnastics can watch the events and think the judges are smoking some form of narcotic. Is it just me, or does it seem like the announcers for NBC know more about the sport than the ones doing the scoring? And breaking a gold-medal tie with some convoluted computer program that leaves the end result up to one judge (damn you, Australia!) makes about as much sense as a shoot out at a soccer match. But at least soccer players get a few overtime halves before they have to go to that last resort. Nastia Liukin got bupkis. She ties the “16-year-old” Chinese gymnast (despite landing a better dismount), yet one gets a gold and another a silver all thanks to modern technology. But hey, at the end of the day, it will still be Nastia’s face on the Wheaties box and that’s what matters, right?
Since When Is Okay To Call All Chick Lit “Trashy” and “Cliché”?
If you’re reading my blog, you know that I write YA. And technically the term “chick lit” is usually reserved for adult women’s fiction, but I think it’s safe to say that many YA novels are written with a similar voice. Now, if you’re new to the publishing world, lemme sum up: “chick lit” gets a lot of flack. (Don’t believe me? Here’s one of the many articles on the subject.)
And I never really understood all the hub-bub. God forbid, women put out books that are clever and entertaining. I know all I ever want to read about is death and depression (note the hint of sarcasm).
Personally, I don’t consider Amor and Summer Secrets to have a strong chick lit voice—but the style is definitely closer to that than it is to say, The Grapes of Wrath. So if reviewers want to lump my novels into that category, then I consider myself in good company. After all, some of my favorite authors—Marian Keyes, Helen Fielding, and Jennifer Weiner (who’s my neighbor, by the way)—have made the genre famous and have elevated it to a level that I think should be synonymous with “smart and witty” and not “trashy and cliché.” But alas, that is was what I recently read in one reviewer’s blog.
Now, I’m new to the publishing biz, so I don’t plan to start things off by burning any bridges. This means (sorry to disappoint you), that I won’t be giving the reviewer’s name. (My book isn’t even out yet, people! I can’t be creating enemies already!)
However, I will say that the review I speak of here is NOT for my own book. Seriously. Actually, it’s for a YA book that I haven’t even read yet, so take from that what you will.
But in this review, which received a good rating, the blogger laced it with more backhanded compliments than a Simon Cowell critique on American Idol. First, it started off by stating that you might expect this novel to be “cliché,” but it was actually kind of good. Gee, thanks. I’m sure the author felt all warm and fuzzy after that. Then, the reviewer—who called the book “definitely chick lit”—said it was a perk that the novel didn’t convey the “bad messages” that most other books in the genre do. And that it is impressive that the book managed to be a fun read without being “all trashy.”
Wow, now that’s a cover blurb. “Read XXXX, it’s not as trashy as you think!”
I don’t even know the author in question here, but I took offense to this. How horrible it is to have novels featuring female characters who A) go to school or have jobs, B) have personal and professional conflicts, C) solve their own problems, and D) are enjoyable to read about? Talk about your bad messages…
But I’m betting that this reviewer is jumping on the bandwagon with the other cool kids who think that chick-lit, and it’s YA counterpart, promote materialism . (Omigod! Did you know that Carrie Bradshaw owns a lot of shoes?)
And while the brand-dropping stereotype might be true at times, to use that as a basis for a book review seems pretty shallow in my opinion. And don’t get me started on people who judge a book by the color of its cover. (Oh, no! My cover has pink in it. What does that say about it me? Oh, wait. That’s right. I didn’t design the cover, a marketing department did…But I love it anyway. Isn’t it awesome?)
But I digress…take a look at the Gossip Girl series. Yes, it features designer tags, but the characters are also highly educated, motivated, and focused on making it into Ivy League colleges. Where’s the bad message there? The characters are also under immense pressure to succeed from their high-powered parents whose careers pay for the Prada labels on their backs. Does that factor in at all?
My point is, when are reviewers going to stop blindly attacking the “chick lit” genre? What happened to reading books for their individual merit rather than through the lens of some preconceived stereotype? “Not as bad as the other books in this genre” is NOT a compliment. In fact, I don’t think other books in the perceived genre have much of a place in any reviewer’s remarks—especially when the review is only a couple of paragraphs long and not an in-depth feature analyzing an entire classification of literature. Stick with the book that is in front of you and judge it based on that.
Besides, there’s nothing wrong with a woman wearing nice shoes—fictional or otherwise. What are we supposed to do, dress all our characters like the Amish? Hey, I could be onto something… “Amish lit.” Everyone would have to take that seriously. I see a Pulitzer in my future.
POP-CULTURE RANT: Buffy-vs.-Twilight I just got Season 2 of Buffy in a discount bin and I’m LOVING re-watching these episodes. And I must say, reminiscing with Buffy so soon after reading Breaking Dawn has got me thinking. Clearly Bella is no Buffy Summers. Buffy’s dialogue alone leaves me in awe, let alone her ability to kick some vampire butt. But my question is, who’s the better vampire boyfriend: Angel or Edward Cullen? Both are undeniably hot, both are “vegetarians,” both have been undead for more than a century and are thus perfect gentlemen, and both put their women on a pedestal. But if it came down to it, vampire-to-vampire, who would win in a fight? My money’s on Angel. His “scary vampire face” beats Edward’s “sparkling” any day ;-)
Go Ahead, Move Over Scorsese, That Next Oscar’s Mine
Some of you may know that in a former life I was a broadcast journalism major at Boston University. I mastered the fine art of 10-word sentences, one minute packages, and supers flying across the screen. I even worked for WCVB ABC Boston as an evening news intern—nobody could hand out scripts like I could. And who knew all that training was preparing me to one day edit my very own BOOK TRAILER!
Oh, yes. I busted out the vacation video I shot in Puerto Rico last fall—from the fort in Old San Juan to my dad’s old church in Utuado. Then I headed over to Suburban Square Shopping Center on Monday to take some photos and video deep in the heart of the Main Line. I also promptly Googled “royalty free production music” to download some killer tracts to lay across my images (and who says elevator music can’t be awesome?). And, of course, I wouldn’t be a film producer if I didn’t have a script—so I banged one of those out too.
Then I spent about fifteen minutes reading the “Help” menu on Windows Movie Maker (did you know this comes free with your laptop? I had no idea until I checked ‘Start’ and ‘Programs.’ Go look, it’s there.). Turns out it’s a pretty easy program to use—granted there was a time when I could edit footage on professional news equipment. But trust me, this is way easier than adding “color bars” to a VHS tape before you can lay down the voice-over audio. However, I do now wish I owned a Mac. I was limited in the transitions I could use, and I couldn’t change the timing of those transitions or lay graphics over video (other than plain text). So, Santa if you’re reading this, an iMac would make an excellent stocking stuffer.
Thus, without further ado, here it is….my directorial debut! All shot on location in Puerto Rico and the Main Line—by the author! (So I guess that makes this my cinematography debut as well.)
Ladies and gentleman please rise for…. Amor and Summer Secrets, THE BOOK TRAILER!
Well, what’d ya think? Did you like it? Send me a comment and tell me your thoughts!
Also, it’s on YouTube (though the quality there isn’t as good, it looks like it got distorted during the compression process). But if you’ve got a YouTube account and you’d like to rate my video and give me wonderful feedback, CLICK HERE!
POP-CULTURE RANT: Beach Volleyball So, as you know, my watching of the Olympics has reached addictive levels. I think there is a part of me that always wanted to be on a Wheaties box—though I sucked at sports (wait, does cheerleading count?). Anyway I was watching beach volleyball, and I noticed that in between every play the “stadium” blares music at unusually loud decibels considering that there are only four people on the court. And their song choices are hysterical even if they were playing in an arena football stadium. But somehow watching the Olympics in Beijing and hearing “Kung Fu Fighting” after a serve seemed particularly odd. So was “Walk Like an Egyptian” after a spike. And “Fight for the Right to Party” after a block. How are the players expected to “Go for Gold” with that as their theme music? At least play the Rocky anthem or something. Go USA!
I had this thought the other day. I was going around to bookstores in South Jersey, dropping off bookplates for all three YA novels in my series (yay!) and introducing myself to store managers. And every time I walked from the parking lot to the store, I had the distinct urge to change into a pink suit, ring a doorbell and yell “Avon calling!” (Not that there’s anything wrong with Avon. It’s a lovely company, I’m sure).
But here’s the thing—I’m not shy. I also don’t fear public speaking (that much). But even I get nervous introducing myself to book sellers for the first time. Do other authors feel this way? I can’t imagine what it would be like if you were introverted.
Add to that, I’m in the process of editing my book trailer (stay tuned, it should be ready by Friday). And while I was logging the footage I shot on my last trip to Puerto Rico, laying down audio, and overlapping titles, I wondered—what do people do who don’t have a broadcast journalism degree? It’s not like first time authors (at least most of them) are rolling around in extra dough.
And how about websites? I’m lucky enough to have a husband who works for an online advertising agency. Hence, my website was free. My web designer even works weekends (from the couch next to me…in his PJs). But I can’t imagine what it would cost to pay someone do all this.
Not to mention, this morning I sent out a Media Advisory about my book launch party to a couple dozen reporters in the Philadelphia area. Many of these are contacts I had developed through my previous job (handling marketing for a nonprofit). Now of course, authors don’t have to do this. We all have publicists who do their part. But I think it’s nice to give it that extra effort. Because let’s face it, no one’s going to work harder for your success than you are.
But my point is, it almost seems like to be an author these days you need a degree in graphic design, an MBA, a few years in film school and your own PR firm. I think they should come out with an “Apprentice: Extreme Publishing Edition.” Because if we can fake our way through all of this, then we can surely handle the Donald.
POP-CULTURE RANT: Olympics I’m obsessed with the Olympics. It’s almost as bad as my obsession with the primaries during the Obama/Hillary race. But, wow, talk about stepping up. I’m convinced at this point that Michael Phelps is a superhero. He and Lance Armstrong should have their own country where they train other people were similar superpowers. I mean, did you guys see that men’s relay race? My husband and I were jumping up and down! And I can’t wait for the women’s gymnastic finals. I even find beach volleyball interesting. U-S-A! U-S-A!
And being a loyal Twilighter, I tuned in last night to watch a streaming webcast of Stephenie’s “Breaking Dawn Concert Series.” For those who don’t know, the author did a multi-city sold-out tour with Justin Furstenfeld of Blue October (dare to dream, right?).
Nothing against Justin, but I logged on simply to hear Stephenie answer some questions. Because anyone who’s been following this story (or message boards) knows that the reaction to Breaking Dawn has been mixed.
So to get it out of the way, let me just say right off the bat: I liked the book. It’s my second favorite in the series. And this is why.
SPOILERS BELOW. CONSIDER YOURSELF WARNED.
I absolutely, unequivocally LOVED Twilight (the first book in the series). It had me so gripped that I was staying up late on my vacation reading rather than going to Borgata (slots, anyone?). What had me dazzled was Stephenie’s description of Bella and Edward’s interactions—whether they were in a meadow, a car or a cafeteria. As many have said, the character of Bella is so relatable that you can see yourself in her place and thus fall in love with Edward yourself. I completely agree.
So when I got to New Moon (the second book in the series), I was disappointed to see that Edward’s character had been abandoned to develop “this Jacob person” (as I call him). I didn’t enjoy his long intrusion into the story. And to top it off, I didn’t like that Edward had walked out on his true love without looking back. During my entire first read of the book, I had assumed the “voice” in Bella’s head was, in fact, Edward. I thought he had managed to find away to project his mind into hers (it makes sense, how else would she know to be fearful of Jacob? Or how to handle Laurent?). So when that wasn’t the case, I was disappointed.
New Moon is my least favorite in the series. But I loved it none the less, don’t get me wrong.
Eclipse left me with a similar mixed reaction. I was happy to have Edward back, but I resented his character for leaving in the last book. Add to that, Bella still being inexplicably drawn to Jacob. I completely believed her when she said repeatedly that she loved Jacob like a “brother,” and I was shocked when she suddenly found herself kissing him, professing her love for him, and envisioning their future babies. Huh? I thought this was Romeo and Juliet. You can’t have Juliet simply find someone else after Romeo dies and be relatively happy. That’s not how it goes.
So that said, my main wish for Breaking Dawn was that all this Jacob nonsense would disappear. Bella would no longer feel torn between them. And I got my wish.
Bella and Edward were married within the opening pages, they had a honeymoon, Jacob accepted Bella’s choice and he began to understand Edward’s love for her, and in the end they all live happily ever after—like the fairytale it is. Yay, me!
That isn’t to say that I didn’t notice many of things that fans are up in arms over. When I read that Bella was pregnant with Edward’s baby, I was as floored as everyone else. I even smiled thinking, “Stephenie’s going to have a lot of explaining to do.” Because I had read the interviews that implied a vampire baby was impossible. But, being a fellow author, I gave Stephenie the benefit of the doubt. I had read that this was the sequel to Twilight she had always intended to write, so I sat back and enjoyed it as if all of the Vampire Mating Threads didn’t exist.
I liked that Bella was happy, and I liked the twist the baby added to the story. Imagine readers, if you hadn’t read so many interviews, if you hadn’t joined so many message boards, if you hadn’t written so much fan fiction, if you hadn’t spent so much time SPECULATING, would the baby bother you so much? I think not.
I think the flaw here isn’t with the story, it was with us over-thinking things before the story came out. We wanted Bella’s change to be romantic; it wasn’t. But given the story, it was exactly the way it should be. We wanted Jacob to imprint. He did. No, it wasn’t on Leah or a new girl in town, but hey, he got a happy ending. We wanted the wedding and the honeymoon to be romantic. Now this is up to interpretation. I think there wasn’t enough emotion in these scenes—my exact reaction was she “yadda yadda’d” over the sex. However, I’ve read others who think Bella and Edward were “sex crazed.” So, clearly with such mixed reactions, Stephenie treaded the line (though some more foreplay would’ve been nice).
And the last two pages of the book, without a doubt, made the whole series worth it. So I’m not only satisfied, but I’m in awe of Ms. Meyer and what she’s created. My only hope is to read more. Come on, who doesn’t want to read Breaking Dawn from Edward’s point of view? I know I do.
And if Bono ever wants to come out and do a concert series to promote one of my books, I’m available. Call my agent. ;)
Me and Bono at our future World Tour P.S. This is completely Photoshopped, but maybe one day....
It is now officially less than one month until the debut of my first novel. Let the countdown begin! Oddly enough, no matter how long you spend trying to get your manuscript to this point, it’s surprising how scary it is the closer the date gets.
When you spend your life as a bit of an over-achiever, you think about failure a lot. Anything below a “B” in school is depressing. Anything other than a perfect score on your employee evaluations is insulting. And then, as a writer, the struggle to get an agent. The rejections from editors. The nervous questions from friends and family about when they’ll finally be able to buy your book.
All of that can be ulcer-inducing. But the idea of THE WORLD having access to something you’ve created opens you up to a whole lot more when it comes to the nervousness department. My husband is already dreading the day I get my first negative review (if you’ve seen one already…or written one, please don’t tell me).
But another more entertaining aspect also comes along with all the fear of judgment. You get to celebrate!
I WROTE A BOOK! It’s going to be at your local Barnes & Noble. It’s going to be in sold for actual money. And I’m going to have a party!
I sent out invites this week to my upcoming Book Launch Party in Philadelphia. I’ve never been to a book launch party before, let alone hosted one, so my husband and I are pretty much winging this. We’re hosting it at a restaurant with Latino music, an open bar (margaritas and mojitos anyone?), and tasty Latin-fusion appetizers. So it should be very festive. Plus, I’m going to have a quick reading and a Q&A before my signing. I think that’s going to be the weirdest part—having people line up to get my signature on a book. (You mean it’s not just gonna be my mom there?). It’s still hard to fathom. Not that long ago, I couldn’t even write a query letter. And now, wow. Dare to dream people.
I’m also stunned by how many people have already RSVP’d and how encouraging everyone’s responses are. You expect to hear kind words from your immediate friends and family, but sometimes it almost means more to hear it from less acquainted people who have no reason to be so nice. So thank you all! See you at the party!
POP-CULTURE RANT: Brett Favre Seriously, Brett? The man is one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the game. He’s the man other players are judged against—the accurate passer who never gets hurt and who loves the game. Other quarterbacks grew up wanting to be him (Tony Romo, anyone?). He inspired not only his fans (who adore him), but people everywhere who wore his jersey no matter what state they lived in. And now—Poof!—he will forever go down as a traitor. A man who didn’t know when to quit. A man willing to turn his back on his endlessly loyal fans and be traded to the enemy (though despite his first choice of going to the Minnesota Vikings, looks like he'll now be going to the NY Jets). A man who erased his impressive legacy in one big swoop. How, after a career as stellar as his, could he be willing to kick himself out of retirement, leave Green Bay, play for some mediocre team, and ultimately retire someplace else? Come on. Say it ain’t so, Brett? But I guess if New York doesn’t work out, there’s always arena football.
Diana Rodriguez Wallach’s debut young adult novel, Amor and Summer Secrets, is the first in a three-book series published by Kensington Publishing in 2008 and 2009. In addition to writing, Diana is a pop-culture junkie: everything from primetime to soaps, ew.com to The Soup, The Hangover to Slumdog, and Gossip Girl to Jane Austen. She’s loves it all and loves to rant. Enjoy!