So… I wrote a book.
I know, I can’t quite believe it either readers, but it’s true!
I wrote a book, or I guess I should say I finished writing a book because if the prerequisite for authorship was simply starting a manuscript than I’d be the most prolific author this side of Agatha Christie.
As you may or may not know, I am a huge, massive, crazy book nerd. I consume the written word the way other people watch TV or lose hours on the internet. I read 4-5 books a week in every genre you can imagine. I’m a passionate reader and a passionate recommender of books and few things give me as much pleasure as someone asking me what they should read next. Match my love of reading with the fact that I run this website and write every day for a living and it was only a matter of time until I tried my hand at creating a book of my own. I was tinkering away at a story idea that involved romance and magic and maybe even some time travel (I mentioned I was a nerd, right?) and someone asked if I’d ever considered just writing about what I knew. Specifically, if I’d ever thought of writing about the years I spent as an event planner. Because as you may or may not know, I was a celebrity party planner. It wasn’t a career I chose, it was something I fell into. I was barely out of high school, a little country mouse who moved to LA and found myself far far out of my league. I’d never known anywhere but the small town I left behind, and was far too naive to understand the irony of working an Oscar party filled with millionaires, while I could barely afford to pay my own rent. One opportunity led to another and I spent all of my 20’s producing million dollar events and helping more than one overwhelmed bride get down the aisle. It was fast paced, and exciting and more than a little terrifying. It was a story that wrote itself.
With this idea in mind, I opened up a new word doc and I wrote the first ten pages without stopping. Over the next six months I got up every morning at 5:30 so I could write before the boys woke up. Sometimes I could fit in writing at the office, sometimes I’d sneak away on a Saturday while the baby took a nap. It wasn’t easy to finish, but I promised myself that even if it was terrible I’d see it through to the end. So I got through my first draft, AND I got through the notes/critiques on the first draft (which felt a little like the dream where you show up to school without your clothes on… only in this case the bullies at school point out your run on sentences or the fact that your leading man smirks too much) I worked and worked and worked and finally it was done. We sent it to every publisher on the Eastern Seaboard and crossed our fingers. At first, I was positive that I’d be laughed at, or worse, somehow offend these professionals by asking them to read my newbie attempts at a manuscript. But then people started to respond and the responses were lovely and kind and so encouraging and I thought, Holy Moses! Someone might buy this book!! But weeks went by, and it turns out me and Moses were wrong because what we heard over and over and over was “we love it, but nobody is reading Chick Lit anymore.”
I felt like the girl who keeps hearing, you’d be so pretty if you’d just lose some weight. Because there was always a little something I could do or change or add that might make it more enticing. But as it was, nobody was willing to take a chance that it was good enough without adding a steamy sex scene, or a vampire, or maybe a vampire in a steamy sex scene.
The truth is, I really love this book. I love the characters and the story, I love the friendships and the southern references, I love this naive country mouse finding her way… and having someone tell me that this book is good, but not good enough when the entire cast of The Jersey Shore got million dollar book deals, was really hard for me to accept. But then I realized something… I don’t have to accept it. The beautiful thing about dreams, is that nobody gets to tell you how big yours can be… and so Chic Publishing was born.
My very first book is called Party Girl and it comes out on Valentine’s Day. It’s girlie and fun and the exact sort of thing you want to read on a lazy weekend. If you’re southern or interested in party planning or just love Chic and my writing style, then I think you’ll love it too! If you’re a big fan of Sylvia Plath or Dostoevsky, then this one might not be for you, but feel free to buy it anyway just for kicks!
It is my sincere hope that you’ll all read my book… an even bigger hope that you don’t all think it’s terrible if/when you do. But regardless of the outcome, if it sells a million copies or only my mom buys it, this dream has already come true for me. Ever since I was a little girl I’ve wanted to be an author, and for better or worse I wrote down 94,672 and on Valentine’s Day people will be able to read my work. Even if all 94,672 words are terrible, I still did it. I finished what I started and I didn’t let anyone tell me how big my dreams could be.
I know some of you reading this might roll your eyes at me and my latest hair-brained scheme, but that’s ok because I also know that some of you reading this have your own big dreams and you’ve been hearing people tell you NO for as long as you can remember. Some people might hear the NO and let it stop their journey, but people like us, the dreamers, we see the NO as a signal to change direction and chart a new course to our destination. I wish you luck on your own journey, and hope you’ll consider joining me on mine as well. xo, Rachel