Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Sarah Palin Inspired Me, Bristol and Levi Brought Out the Nancy Drew in Me; After a While, I Wrote a Book
On Friday I will post the first chapter of a novel I wrote a while ago. I think you will be amused and it is my hope that the imaginary Saplin family will fascinate readers not only because they seem familiar, but because they seem real. This is not presented as a story of true events. It may take some turns you don't expect. Or not. Either way, I hope you will look forward to chapter 2, which I will put up one week later. And so it will go. My intention is to e-publish by the end of June (target date, not firm) for those of you who want a fun summer novel. If you prefer the once-a-week intervals, it will be here for you week by week. Let's have fun with this- that's been my personal intention since 2009. Here's how that happened:
Like the episodes of Law and Order, inspiration for my imaginary story came from stories in the news. In 2008, I saw Sarah Palin and family introduced to us by John McCain. Like many of you, I put her name into a search engine and found astounding rumors, pictures, comments on news stories and blogs. I became hooked. I remember the day I saw the September 2007 “First Family of Alaska” photo taken for use as a Christmas card. I said to my husband “Bristol definitely looks pregnant.” That opinion never changed.
In 2009 I began to write with a purpose. Seriously and consistently, I invested an average of 20 hours a week in composing a novel. My inspiration came from political news coverage supplemented by reading blogs. I read books by or about a certain celebrity-status person and they gave me the basis for a personality type that I worked into the story. It was fun.
I finished in about 10 months. Like most writers, I like my own work. I thought it was pretty good. I gave it to a few friends and family members, and they made some suggestions, helping me make it better. The polishing could go on forever, and if that happened, it would never be read by the public. And so, I bought my very own copy of Writer’s Market and began sending out query letters. Lots of them. Some electronic, some by snail mail, each one tweaked to suit the specifications of very strict guidelines. This is not an industry where there is a standard query process. Very time consuming, very annoying, very discouraging.
In April, 2011, I was in JFK waiting for a flight to Wisconsin. It was delayed and people pulled out electronic devises and took care of business. So did I. I checked my email and found rejections, I researched more agents and agencies to see if they were in the market for a political novel written with humor by a never-before-published author. And I spent my time submitting more queries. When we finally were called to board, I overheard the woman in line behind me give a quick pitch over her cell phone to a client. The pitch was for a book idea. Not a novel, a work of non-fiction. She talked about there being a market niche, etc.
I’m not shy. When she finished, I pitched my book. She was interested. We talked and laughed and commiserated about the sad state of politics that followed in the footprints made by someone wearing Red Monkey pumps. I thought my dream was going to come true. I polished my book even more. I sent it off to her. I never heard a thing.
In October, 2011, I needed to write more than query letters, so I continued my writing and my imagining and put it into a blog. This blog. It is fun.
Tomorrow, I will post the synopsis for my book, and I will reveal the title. Be forewarned – set down your coffee and swallow before you get to the title. I will not take responsibility for damage to iPads or computer keyboards.
More tomorrow, thanks for being here. I plan to make it worth your while.