Monday, August 6, 2012
How Does It Feel To Get Your Novel Published With Lisa M. Stasse
Today, I am pleased to have Lisa M. Stasse, author of THE FORSAKEN, on my blog today to talk about about how it feels to be a debut author and have her first novel published. I'm sure it's something we wonder and dream about. Anyway, take it from here, Lisa!
One question I get asked a lot is, "How does it feel to get your novel published?" I understand exactly why people ask me the question, because I always asked it myself to a bunch of different authors. They would always answer, "It feels awesome!" or "It's incredible!" And that's completely true. It is indeed pretty awesome. But it's funny how their answers would end right there. Very few of them confessed to the more complicated feelings that they were probably feeling about publication. So I thought I'd just write something honest about how the whole process feels. The truth is, it's awesome, but also kind of scary! So, in a numbered list (for absolutely no reason), I thought I'd share my feelings with you guys.
1. Getting published is the coolest, most awesome thing in the world! I've been wanting to get published since I was in high school, so this really is the culmination of a big dream of mine. As a librarian at UCLA, I'm surrounded by books all day. So to finally have Simon & Schuster publish my debut novel feels fantastic. Because I'm a super nerd, I go and visit my book in stores and take photos of it on the shelves and stuff. I'm still amazed that my book is out there in the world, doing its thing. It's like my little baby has grown up and gone off to college! (Now I know how parents feel when their kids leave home!)
2. Now, for the scary part. I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself. I want people to like the book. I want to do everything I can to promote it. And I want the book to do well, so I can write more books! My goal is to entertain readers and tell them a gripping story that they'll enjoy, and that will hopefully inspire them and make them think about stuff too. But I realize not everyone will love my book. And of course that's okay! But it's kind of stressful too. Like every other author, I look at the Amazon sales rank and how many people have added The Forsaken on Goodreads each day. I get excited whenever it looks like it's doing well (which luckily is most of the time so far), and I feel bummed out when it looks like it's not. The other day I heard that The Forsaken had already gone into its second printing, and I didn't only feel happy--I also felt hugely relieved! I don't want to let readers down, or myself down, or my kick-ass agent or my awesome editor and team at Simon & Schuster down. I want to make everyone excited and proud! So again, like I said, that can lead to some internal stress. But I guess that's what ice cream was made for. There is nothing that chocolate ice cream can't fix. Truly. Nothing in the world!
3. It's also funny how many people give me credit for the cover art. That's all thanks to the incredibly talented Lizzy Bromley, who did my cover (and also did Wither, Level 2 and some other great upcoming YA books too). I only wish I had Lizzy's awesome art and design skills. So if you like the cover art for The Forsaken, then Lizzy is really the one to thank (although I'm always happy to accept praise on her behalf!) I feel like she kind of gets ignored in this whole thing, but personally, I think her unique and eye-catching cover art is one of the reasons The Forsaken is doing well.
4. Having a book published is also really humbling. You realize how lucky you are to have made it this far. And you look at the authors you love and admire (like JK Rowling or Suzanne Collins) and realize what total geniuses they are. Not only did they write incredible books, but their books sold tons of copies, and changed people's lives. Those writers are endless sources of inspiration.
5. A friend of mine who directs movies once told me, "By the time one of my movies gets released, I'm already halfway through making my next one. And that way, I never really get stressed, because I'm already thinking about the next film." That makes sense. And he's right. I just finished Book 2 of The Forsaken trilogy right as Book 1 was coming out last week. And instead of being overwhelming, it was actually really fun to be writing Book 2, while also juggling all the promotional stuff and appearances for Book 1. So hopefully by the time Book 2 comes out next year, I'll be wrapping up the very end of Book 3!
Lena, again. Did you guys hear that, folks? Lisa is done with Book 2! Maybe she'll give us hints or spoilers... *nudge, nudge* :-P
Lisa, thank you so much for taking the time to let us know how this experience has been for you. Be sure to check out THE FORSAKEN and add it to your goodreads list!
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