Three years ago this month my first YA novel, AN INFIDEL IN PARADISE,
was released into the world. It was an exciting and terrifying time, not unlike the first time I rode on Space Mountain at Disney World. Back then my dad decided I was big enough to sit in the front of the rocket-shaped car all alone. He sat in the back holding onto my brother.
I just want to take a moment to reflect on this. My dad was a psychiatrist. I was a puny ten-year old. We were going on the most terrifying ride in Disneyworld, perhaps in the entire world – a roller coaster, in the dark. Don’t get me wrong, in most circumstances I couldn’t have asked for a better dad but he was a trained mental health practitioner. What did he think was going to happen? In case you’re similarly flummoxed, I’ll give you a hint; it rhymes with llama.
Anyway, in the months following my initial excitement at finding an agent and selling my first manuscript, I began to experience a growing feeling of déjà vu. I was back on the roller coaster, alone and IN THE DARK. But unlike those many years ago I did not end up a quivering mass of nerves with trust issues. Instead, I came across a group of fellow debut authors and was welcomed into their midst. And just like that I had people to hang onto. I still often feel like I’m speeding through the dark. The ups and downs, particularly the downs, can be stomach-clenching but it makes all the difference to have friends who know exactly what you’re going through because they’re going through it too.
Over the years our careers have gone in many different directions. Some of us haven’t published since our debut, others have had breakout careers, won awards, and made gazillions of dollars. Okay, I’m lying about the last bit but some of us are actually scraping by on our book earnings, which is the same as being rich in the book world. Yet despite our different trajectories, we’ve tried to stay in touch because the one thing that hasn’t changed is that book writing can be lonely, frustrating, often confusing and it’s a whole lot better if you’ve got writer friends to share the journey.
Which brings me to the interview series that is launching today and will continue over the next few weeks. Some of my Lucky 13 colleagues, all debut authors in 2013, have volunteered to share what it’s really like being a published author in today’s leaner publishing market.
First up will be Nicole McInnes. Nicole hit the ground running in 2013 with BRIANNA ON THE BRINK.
Here’s what Booklist had to say about her debut:
“McInnes manages to take a boatload of typical teen-lit tropes … and turn all that into a sensitively grounded tale of a young woman taking the first steps toward owning her own life…Reluctant readers will devour this one, so here’s hoping that McInnes is currently hard at work on more.”
So what has Nicole been up to? Has she been hard at work writing new books or lazing about on a beach enjoying her success? Find out tomorrow from the first installment of THE Lucky 13s, Then and NOW!