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.
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