Sunday, October 4, 2015

Dear Reader

Dear Reader, Like any debut author, the idea that someone, a perfect stranger, will read this book and love it is amazing. But if you are reading this and plan on picking up a copy of IAWD, I think I might be your biggest fan! No, seriously. Get out your Sharpie and get ready to sign because I want your autograph! I’ll wait.  Okay, you’re taking too long. I really have to get this letter to my editor so it can show up in your book or else there’s this whole time-space continuum issue that comes into play. As you will see when you read It’s A Wonderful Death, that can get tricky. One of the most common questions I’m asked is where I got the inspiration to write IAWD. The short answer is: I was tired of rejection. The long answer: As much as I would love to say this book was an overnight success and I wrote the flawless manuscript in 23 days, that would be a lie. (The 23 days part is true, but the flawless detail, totally false. It took almost a year of revision to get it almost right.)  As for the overnight success, well that’s a story in itself. My first book was written when I was fresh out of graduate school. And it was bad. I actually wrote the last chapter and had all the characters in a bus that went flying off a cliff to their fiery demise. Even in my writer infancy, I knew the characters were two-dimensional at best. That book resides in a manila envelope in the back of a file cabinet, locked in a steel vault beneath the earth. I couldn’t even burn it because I was afraid the smoke would produce a toxic plume that would destroy the world. But I learned something from that book. I learned how not to write characters.  Book number two was a fun one to write. It was full of insta-love and werewolves and shapeshifters and bad guys who were out to destroy the good guys because they wanted power. I know what you’re thinking: how did that one not get published? Well, it might have had something to do with the fact that, while the characters were pretty good, the main character was a super sweet, doe eyed duckling turned swan and the love interest was a brooding loner in a leather jacket. I pretty much embraced the cliché and then spewed forth another 300 pages. But there was one character who stole every scene she was in. She was strong, confident, fatally flawed and the character that wielded snark like a light saber. From this book I learned  the kind of characters I love to write.  Book number three is a victim of timing. It was your classic virus destroys the world and oh no, how will society manage to survive setup. While I am a huge fan of these types of books, I was about a year too late. But during the revision process, I played a game with my character. Every time I got to a scene that was fairly predictable, I gave her the choice to play it safe or amp up the tension. The best scenes were the ones where she went rogue. From this book I knew I wanted to write books where my characters took the road less traveled. I also learned to forget what was trendy and write the story I wanted to tell.
The result of these never-to-be-mentioned-again manuscripts is that they made it possible to write It’s A Wonderful Death. A story that will keep you laughing right up to the second you need to reach for a tissue. A book that will show that no matter how imperfect a character is, there is always the possibility of redemption. And one that will inspire you to find your own dream and go for it. Because there is nothing cooler than seeing your dream happening in front of your eyes.  You should know... you’re part of mine. Have you found that pen yet? Happy reading

No comments:

Post a Comment