I love BloodHound Books new design for the cover of Hidden in Paris! Just in time for a Spring release. What do you think?
The Weight of Words
Back in 2007 when blogging was in its infancy, I was having the freest of times with words. I had a blog, which I wrote anonymously and took great joy in. I met other bloggers, some of them are still (virtual) friends to this date. But my dysfunctional upbringings had led me to consider it my duty to tell everything to everyone about myself. Or pretend to. Under the guise of honestly, I entertained people with my shortcomings and propped them up with reassurances that I was not someone they should fear. In other words, I diminished myself on purpose to make others feel better about themselves. At some point, I grew up, and this state of things stopped working for me. I had to take a new, radical approach to self-care and realize that it is more valuable - and infinitely freeing- to be disliked for who you are, than loved for who you are not. Then I brought my graphomania mixed with too much imagination (see I still do this) to fiction, and published one book, then another one, then a third. My blog was no longer anonymous, and boy, did I overshare. But I found myself writing far deeper truths by calling them fiction.
I am telling you all this because, as am sensing the pressure to promote my novels, I must use words in a different way- I cannot return to the old tricks. Words have weight. Not only can them make the reader feel and see things, they can also make the author shrink in many small and big ways. I have not quite figured out how to safely navigate the stormy waters of integrity and story-telling. I understand that I don’t owe the world explanations, or a fiction of myself, but I also understand that we live in the world of tiktok ya’ll. You must shout pretty loudly to be heard.
What I loved about blogging back in the days, was the impulse, the sheer joy of writing and being read immediately by strangers. I am still driven by the desire to connect. Blogging gives a direct sense of an interaction. It is throwing a bottle at sea and believe that only the coolest, kindest souls will find the message in it. You can’t really blog when you weigh every word to make sure not to say too much, not to risk too much, and in my case, not to exaggerate or self-deprecate (too much). So, I guess this is a blog post about not knowing how to write a blog post. Hello to whoever reads this. Please leave a message…..
Just as I was not expecting it and not looking for it, a book deal offer arrived. And like the princess in stories, I was just swept off my feet. I can't wait to tell you more but for now shhhhh.....
My new book trilogy is here!
I am amazed. Pinch me! My novels are DONE !!! All 3 of them! Incredible. Absolutely incredible.
And yet because the process happened so incrementally it feels natural. Normal. A huge amount of mental preparation must be happening below the surface before a writer releases a book. Or 3. By release, what I mean is that the book stops being a private thing, and start belonging to everyone.
Before releasing it, the book is pure play. Pure dream and creation. Pure potentiality. Once it is released, who knows? There is aftermath. The beautiful secret you cherished for so long suddenly no longer belongs to you. It belongs to the readers who might love it, hate it, curse it, ignore it, and everything in between.
The writer dreams of success -- which is, let's admit it, a dream of the book being loved by all and for all eternity no less--. But there is also the very real possibility of a flop. That's because writers are, above all else, dreamers. We not only dream up characters and plot. We dream that others will want to join us on the ride.
The mental preparation happens over time, despite yourself, in the minutia of spell checks and page count. It is partly a mental separation. Like a mother sending a child off into the world. The mother has done absolutely everything within her power, and at some point, if she is a good mother, and if she is going to survive the separation, she must emotionally let go.
So the trilogy is yours now, dear Reader. I hope you love it!