Today I want to talk about my book – shocker, But I thought I would sum up what this process has been, how I came to the decision to self-publish – WHY I’m actually excited about self-publishing now AND a bit about my book so that you know what to look forward to when it’s published!
Let’s start from the top for those of you who have been living under your figurative rocks!
I started working on We All Fall Down in college back in, oooooh 2007-08? During a scriptwriting class. It was really just an assignment like any other, but something about the characters I created during those late hours in the deserted COMM Lab reached inside and grabbed hold of my soul. They never let go, so fast forward to about a year and a half ago – my husband and one of my dearest friends who I attribute ALLL my guts to, encouraged me to finish it!
So, 3 months later, there I sat on about 64,000 words and still didn’t quite feel satisfied. I thought finishing it would give me some sort of relief, but once it was complete, I kept hearing that voice telling me (publish dat bitch… puuuuublish dat biiiiitch). I started researching day and night the options I had. Should I go to a publisher directly? Should I try and find an agent, first? What about self-publishing. And after much debate, I felt safer with an agent.
45 emails at 30 mins per email over the course of a few months, later, I got 22 “No’s” and the rest not a word back. Not even a poop emoji. Rude. (Very common – that’s how this biz works), but I mean, I spent 30 mins on that shit. Anyway! So, as 2017 was coming to a close, I realized I needed to push harder. I went directly to publishers, if one liked me, I would figure out contract details later. I’ve become a master at Googling and writing research – no biggie.
Only one response out of 15… and it was a “No”.
My ego has taken quite the beating over the last 18 months. I’ve had to grow a thick skin and remain confident in myself and my work. I know it’s good – not because it’s mine, but because the story is strong, engaging and my friends told me so. 2017 ended and I was left with two choices. Either put it on the shelf and just be glad I completed a novel, OR… self-publish.
Self-Publishing has a stigma attached to it. People don’t really take it seriously, and it can be in the upwards of $6,000 out of your own pocket. Mama don’t have that. SO – I have had to get REALLY creative on how I can do this, with zero budget while still making it look as professional as possible.
As some of you know, I am nearing the finish of my second book, jotting ideas on the third, and maintaining my blog. I’m a stay-at-home mom and the “house manager” as my husband so lovingly titled me. My plate is full, but up until last week I had a rhythm. I was confident and efficient and I felt there was a good balance between my “work” and my mothering/wifery.
THIS week… totally chewed me up and spit me out. I still took my kids out to play, we went for our run, we watched Minions on repeat… but my brain is complete mush and I’m so overwhelmed by all the things I need to do that I FEEL like i’m failing them. On top of that, my husband is out of town for work THIS week, of all weeks.
BUT – I didn’t come this far to let my own head get the better of me. I got BACK to the research and reached out to everyone I thought that could possibly help or offer some sort of advice/support. That act alone must mean something because I NEVER ask for help. It’s not in my code to not just figure things out on my own. I don’t like putting people on the spot or placing something on someone else’s plate when they have enough going on. But, by some miracle, I have had several magical, incredible human beings reach out and do just that. Help. Offer advice. and like REAL advice, from people that actually know what they’re talking about. I even emailed the agent that is a friend of a friend (she made the mistake of telling me before that if I had any questions I could contact her – even though my book wasn’t a fit for her, she still supported me). BOOM! SO! I email her and ask what her thoughts were- and sweat. And sweat. And pulled my hair out thinking I had overstepped – even though I put in the email that I REALLY wasn’t trying to overstep.
She wrote back 2 days later. And it was exactly what I needed. She fully supported me, agreed that the business is just that competitive and that the “Nos” did not necessarily mean my book sucked.
Today, I have 2 pretty solid cover art choices, two amazing people helping me to technical edit and I am steady crossing my “Publishing To Do’s” off my list! And I love me a good list!
If all goes to plan – I hope to have this beautiful baby released in late March 2018! So, be on the lookout for We All Fall Down! Tell your friends and family – make everyone you know read it, share it, buy it and share it – whatever! Just read it because that’s what this is about. If I make a few bucks, cool – you’re supporting my wine habit and may help me keep my kid in preschool. HA! But, in all seriousness – I just want people to read. I’m also learning how to market n shit… this should be interesting.
Here is a brief summary of my book!
My hope is that I’ve created complex characters who are multi-dimensional and allows the reader to really connect with my protagonist through not just his own point of view, but how others view him as well. This manuscript highlights the progression of a mother/son relationship and how it can affect someone’s life in deep and unforgiving ways. John Jacobs is a Senior in high school who is desperate to escape the small town that knows every humiliating detail about his mentally ill mother, Patrice, his desperate and controlling father, Rick and his homosexual brother Ben as well as the strange dynamics that go on in and outside of their home. John agrees to spend the Summer before going off to college with his best friends Roach and Mickey and their love interests Jen, Mary Beth and Rose ten hours from home in Wimberley, Texas. The moment he leaves, he feels a weight lifted and for the first time he believes that there is hope in getting beyond what he assumed was his destiny. That is until he is quickly and violently thrown into something even darker and more confusing than he ever thought possible. This story takes you on a journey that leaves you questioning all your most intense “What ifs”. It is set in a small town called Fairhope, Alabama in the 1970’s.
I have an excerpt from the book on my Short Stories section in the sidebar – so check it out to get a stronger feel of John.
Here are the 2 cover options I’m playing with!
The first plays on the love interest and the hope of something brighter, while the second represents the mother as she was so strongly influential in, not only John’s life, but others in the book as well. This is a dark story – so I need the cover to really reflect whats inside.
I hope you all are as excited I am to really bring this manuscript to life!