Sunday, May 5, 2013

Pretty Okay

By Laura Spinella


Remember the old Virginia Slims tagline: You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby! I’m not advocating smoking, but the cliché is appropriate. I wrote my first GBC post in 2010. Back then I was a nervous debut author, unfamiliar with the perks and perils of publication. When I recall the lengthy explanations my seasoned literary agent took time to offer, I am humbled as I cringe. To say it was a steep learning curve is an understatement. I’m still not sure I’m anywhere near the downside of that hill. But I do know a hell of a lot more than I did three years ago. At the end of the day, the debut novel did pretty okay—awkward phrasing to match my awkward published author garb. It’s hardly a custom fit, and it still feels a lot like dress-up.

Did I make the New York Times Bestseller list? No. Is BEAUTIFUL DISASTER in its tenth printing? No. Did Oprah call? Afraid not. On the upside, and there is one, the achievement of traditional publication did come with some nifty highlights. Like Cinderella’s trip to the ball, I went to RWA’s RITA awards last summer. They gave me a flashy green finalist ribbon that, amazingly, did make me feel as though I’d truly accomplished something. During the awards, I sat chair-leg-to-chair-leg with Nora Roberts—how cool is that? Funny, somehow she didn’t seem quite as excited as me. Book clubs turned out to be the hidden treasure on the hamster wheel of show and tell publicity. I’ve met some really nice people along the way and drank an awful lot of their wine. My icing-on-the-cake, however, came up front, on the heels of BD’s debut. The novel’s setting is my alma mater—the University of Georgia, a place that is my eighth layer of skin.

Southern hospitality is always in good form, and the university was kind enough to throw me a tailgate-worthy, kick-off bash. But that’s not the icing part. At the time, my daughter was an incoming freshman at Georgia. I wonder, to this day, what are the odds? A kid chooses a college, 1200 miles from home, as her mother’s novel debuts, literally and fictitiously, in the exact same spot. Along with an airline ticket, I probably should have invested in a lottery ticket.

Interestingly, the same daughter will be a senior when PERFECT TIMING hits store shelves in November. It’s a jarring reminder that time does move on, more quickly than you think. This book boasts an Alabama/Las Vegas/Boston setting, so I’m already panicked that I have no alumni affiliation to back me up. But since there is no crying or whining or resting on your laurels in books, I suppose I’ll suck it up and just hustle a little harder. Admittedly, there was enough about being a published author that made me not want to dive back in. It is my addiction to storytelling that compelled me to go again. It also insists I embrace everything that comes with promoting a bound book. So here’s to publication and PERFECT TIMING! Consider this newest Girlfriends Book Club blog the drop of the green flag. To celebrate, I’ve included the musical tribute below. It’s a nod to my rock star protagonist, Aidan Royce, and the whirlwind of book publicity to come! Oh, if you have a sec, please come by a "like" my new FB page, Laura Spinella Books, cuz where we go again...


Laura Spinella is the author of the award-winning novel, Beautiful Disaster and the upcoming novel, Perfect Timing. Visit her a lauraspinella.net

17 comments:

  1. Love this post!! Love your new cover!! And your daughter graduating from college- what a wonderful year you have just ahead!! Enjoy every second!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Brenda! While there are all sorts of hairpin turns in publishing, I did luck out with covers! Of course, that would be the one thing over which I had no say or control. Hmm...

      Delete
  2. I loved Beautiful Disaster, so I'm looking forward to this one. Great cover! I'm glad you have an "addiction to storytelling." It feeds my addiction to read good stories!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Christa! I guess there are some good addictions! Thank you again for reading BD!!

      Delete
  3. Laura, have I told you how much I really love this cover? So romantic and perfect for your book, which I know is going to do great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And I know you're going to do great at the RITA's this year--FINALIST!! Just read your name in this month's RWA magazine! Very cool!!

      Delete
  4. Karin GillespieMay 6, 2013 at 9:21 AM

    Woof! Woof!

    Fun post, Laura. That is very cool that your daughter goes to UGA. I didn't know that. I actually went too, but only to law school. (One year of law school.) Wasn't my thing. Can't wait to read the latest!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! She's a dawg! In fact, her roommate is from Augusta! I'm so glad law school wasn't your thing! We might be missing out on your always humorous and savvy writing!

      Delete
  5. Dear Laura, Now I must read Beautiful Disaster, since UGA is a truly special place to my family (who are so upset that my daughter is going to be a Gator next year)...plus my work in progress is set in Atlanta this year. And I congratulate you on your second book. You have come a long way baby!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sheila, You have UGA ties?? How cool is that? I'm sure your daughter will love being a Gator! It's a great school too! Thanks for the congrats! But I think I still have a long way to go! Much continued luck on your WIP--Atlanta is such a rich setting!

      Delete
  6. I love stopping by here to see what's next on my reading list. I suppose I'm the perfect Girlfriends blog reader...so many good books, as if Pavlov rang his bell my way. Off to Amazon for your first. Looking forward to your next!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's so very nice of you, Normandie! Yes, there are always great suggestions at the club! I think we make for a supportive and eclectic group of writers! I hope you enjoy Beautiful Disaster!

      Delete
  7. Thanks, Sandra!! Yes, they did a great job with the cover!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh, Laura, CONGRATULATIONS on your gorgeous new book cover and on getting ready to dive into the fray a second time!! I know the whole publishing game is overwhelming and that there are too many ups and downs on the path to count, but I'm glad you're doing it again anyway. Glad to know your new book will be released into the world this November. I'm here sending you good wishes for the wild, exciting ride ahead ;).

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks, Marilyn!! I can use all the good wishes I can get! You are always so positive and supportive!!

    ReplyDelete