Chicklitisnotdead.com is giving away FIVE copies of my book, Cruising Attitude! All you have to do is scroll down to the bottom of the interview posted on the Chicklitisnotdead.com website (just click the highlighted link above), leave a comment – any comment!- and you’ll be entered to win. They’ll choose the winners on Sunday April 8th after 3pm PST. Here’s an excerpt from the interview that focused on my journey to becoming a published author….
2. What’s a line from your “favorite” rejection letter? An agent who’s famous for being snarky once scribbled a personal note at the bottom of one of those generic rejection form letters that after reading my book about flight attendants she hoped to never have me on one of her flights. HA! I should mention the book was about a serial killing flight attendant. I called it Stewardeath. Almost every agent who read the manuscript said they liked the voice, but wished I could make it more “fun.” I stuck to my guns and….well…you guessed it. I never sold it. That’s when I started blogging. The book business is a business after all, so I figured if I could get a following and be able to show just how many people come to my blog, maybe, just maybe, I could sell a book. 10 years and 7 million hits later an editor from HarperCollins read my blog and asked if I’d be willing to write a book for them about flight attendants.
3. What was the hardest part about writing your debut novel? Finding the time. I’m a flight attendant. I’m also a wife and mother to a five year old. There were times I thought I might have a nervous breakdown because I wasn’t going to make my deadline. When I was writing I’d feel guilty about not spending time with my family. When I was spending time with my family I’d feel guilty about not writing. I think the hardest thing for most writers is not giving up. Being patient but also persistent. Recently someone asked me for writing advice. I told him to just sit down and start writing. It can’t be that easy, he wrote back. Certainly there’s more to it, he added. That’s when I informed him that it took me 10 years of writing every single day to get where I am now. He was shocked. Another writer came up to me at a conference to let me know she’d been querying agents for six months. She couldn’t believe she didn’t have a book deal yet. I tried not to laugh. Most people get discouraged if they don’t sell their book within a year – one year! It took me ten.
4. What is the best/worst advice you received while you were trying to break into the book biz? A passenger who turned out to be a television show writer once told me there’s no such thing as writers block, that writing is work and some days are just harder than others. If writing were easy all those people who say they’re going to write a book someday would have already written it. You have to put in the time. Every. Single. Day. Doesn’t matter if all you have is an hour each day and it takes 10 years to get to those oh-so-precious two little words, The End. That time is going to go by anyway, so why not have a finished book to show in the end?
5. How did you celebrate your book deal? I didn’t. In the beginning of my writing career I dreamed about launch parties and celebrating at a special restaurant in Beverly Hills. I read about in People Magazine, which turned out to be right next door to my second agent’s office. But when my book finally published, just spending time with my family without feeling guilty about not writing was celebration enough. To be honest, writing a book is so much more than the final product. People have no idea what it truly takes to not only write a book, but then also sell the book, and then market the book to readers I never dreamed my book would make the New York Times bestseller list, but it did, and I still didn’t celebrate. I did, however, stare at the newspaper for a few hours in an effort to let it sink in. It still doesn’t feel real.