So here I am. I’ve written a book. My first book. My debut novel-Free of Malice. That backstory and ongoing narrative will be fodder for future posts. Today I’m sitting in my Atlanta-area living room with the last afternoon autumn light streaming in the windows with Buckwheat, my cat, about to write my first blog post.
I’ll be candid; I fought the idea of having a blog at every twist and turn. But here I am writing…so let’s start with the questions I’m asked most frequently when people learn that I’ve written a book.
Where did you get the idea for the book? Like the main character, a stranger attacked me in my home in the middle of the night. In order to heal, I started to write about how I was feeling and what had changed in my life. At the time, I didn’t know about EMDR therapy to heal from trauma, so I used writing as a catharsis.
Also like the main character, all I had for self-defense was a can of Mace. After the attack, I said to my brother-in-law, if I had owned a gun, I would have shot the guy as he left. My brother-in-law informed me that I was fortunate that I didn’t—as the shooting might not have been a clear case of self-defense. That idea sparked my interest in learning about the criminal justice system and inspired me to write the hypothetical case portrayed in the book. The ending, which I won’t spoil, was prompted by a question from my mother. Once you’ve finished the book, you can write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll tell you more about that.
One of the best compliments I received was that my book was educational while entertaining. It has a lot of information about therapy, gun ownership and the criminal defense system, but wrapped into a suspenseful thriller. I wrote it to be a fun beach read…and maybe a movie! And if you know Atlanta, you’ll enjoy reading about all the familiar places.
What advice would you give to authors who are thinking about writing their first book? I postponed writing this book for many years to pursue other opportunities—I moved to Paris, got my MBA from Northwestern and got my pilot’s license. But this book kept nagging me to write it so I finally relented. I would tell other authors, if you have the calling, listen to it.
What made you decide to self-publish? The publishing industry has changed so much over the years and self-publishing has become a viable alternative, especially for a first time author.
What made you decide to write under a pen name? I’ve just recently reread my grandfather’s book, Follow My Leader. It’s a children’s book first published in 1957 and still has fans to this day. He published using a pen name so I’ve followed his lead.
When will Free of Malice be available? We’re in the advance reader stage right now. Individuals and books clubs are reading the book and giving me the final round of suggestions and edits. If you are interested in being an advance reader or having your book club preview the book send me an email for details. The book will be available in February, 2016. Sign-up for my periodic (very infrequent) newsletter for insider information on the book launch, important dates and sneak previews.
Curious for more…check back later in the week for my next post.