So, on February 15, 2016, the ink was dry on my contract, and I was finally able to tell the world that I was going to be a published author! That Bucket List Item Numero Uno had been slayed and that a beautiful editor at Marching Ink thought my book was groovy enough to put some money behind. Good stuff, right? YES! Yes, it is!
With that announcement came A LOT of questions from friends, acquaintances, and future readers. So instead of answering each person individually, I figured it would make sense to tackle this all Q & A style. So if you want to know more about my debut novel, how I got here, and what's coming next, read on. And if you don't? Well, carry on. I'll look the other way while you leave.
Q: What is the title?
A: Um, I don't know yet. No, really. I don't. See, I had chosen THE PERFECT TITLE for this book, but as I was writing it, a big-name author came out with a book with the SAME DANG TITLE. And that book ended up being a pretty big deal. So, instead of trying to compete with that other book or look like I'm trying to ride on its coattails, I'm going to rename mine. But for the record, it should have been MINE! #notbitter #atall
Q: What type of book is it?
A: You can categorize it as Romantic Comedy, Women's Fiction, or Romantic Women's Fiction (think Emily Giffin, Jennifer Weiner, etc.). Whatever you want to call it is cool with me. Is it Fifty Shades-ish? Nope, nope, and nope! Is it a literary masterpiece? Also nope. Is it a fun, flirty 300-ish pages of escapism that is perfect for the beach or bath or wherever? YESSSSS!
Q: When will it be released?
A: At this point, it's looking like late Spring 2016, but I'll keep you posted.
Q: Where can I buy it?
A: At whichever online retailer tickles your fancy. Amazon, Nook, Kobo, etc. I'll have pre-order links when they're available and regular links once the book is officially released.
Q: Can I get it at Barnes & Noble or Target?
A. No, you can't. It is very difficult to get a book placed in a retail operation like that unless you're an established author or you're being published by one of The Big Five. Even then, placement is not guaranteed. The publishing world is changing rapidly, and quite frankly, my focus at this point is having my book available to readers indefinitely, rather than pining for shelf space that will be snatched away after a relatively short period of time.
Q: What's going on with the book right now? aka: Why isn't it out yet?
A: Right now, it's being reviewed by my editor. She offered me a contract because she loved the story and sees its potential. But now it's time to take it to the next level. I've asked her to push me, so that it becomes the absolute best story it can be. So now she's looking at it with her "editor" hat on, and she'll point out any places she thinks we could make improvements. That could mean anything from beefing up scenes to toning some down to removing some altogether. It could mean tweaking characterization (e.g., "She is being SO WHINY in this scene. Stahp it!") or questioning where the hell I was going with something because whatever I'd intended wasn't carrying through. She'll watch for word repetition (I've already found some, so surely there's more), weird turns of phrases, or whatever else makes the book less than amazing.
From there, I'll take the book back and make all the changes. Then, my editor gets it back again, reviews the changes, and if everything meets her approval, the book goes off to the proofreader and copyeditor. These are the people who find any grammar and punctuation issues, are super in tune with consistency ("Why were they eating tacos on this page, but burritos on the next?") and so on. While those other folks are on "word duty," my editor and I will conceptualize a cover design (I get input on this which is SO YAY!!). We'll also work on the blurb and start pre-marketing activities.
After allllll that, the file (which is still just a 300+-page Word document), will go to layout where someone super talented will make it look like an actual book. We'll add the cover, the blurb, and, one of my favorites, the Acknowledgments page. THEN, a book will be born. So see why this takes SO. LONG?!
Q: What's the book about?
A. If I had a dollar for every time I was asked this ... #hellobeachhouse
I'm going to keep this very simple, because eventually I'll be releasing the blurb (the descriptive paragraph on the back of the book that lures readers in). And I'm planning on teasing one-liners, dialogue chunks, and mini-scenes on my Facebook page and here on the blog. So you'll definitely get to learn all about the story soon enough.
But for now, I'll just say this ...
It's about a girl/lady/whatever who dreams big, has the balls to pursue those dreams, and then realizes a dream bigger than she'd ever intended. We'll get to see all the fun that entails, and all the challenges, too. Because every book needs a little tension, right? (And also? #becarefulwhatyouwishfor)
So that's it in a nutshell. But with a little smoochy-smooch thrown in for good measure. :-)
Q: What are you working on now?
A: These characters are pretty dear to me, so I've already written a short installment (called a novella) that checks back in with them a few months later. I also have ideas for other related stories that will use some character carryover, so it's safe to assume this will be Book One in a series. As an author, series are fun because we get to hang out with our beloved characters a little longer ... and readers love series too, mostly for the same reason. :-)
So I think I've answered all the burning questions I've had thrown at me so far. Do you have any others? Fire away! Just send me an email at liberty (dot) kontranowski (at) gmail (dot) com or ask me through the Contact Form on this site.
Thanks for reading this loooooong message. Can't wait to share more details soon.