Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My Novel Is About...

Today is Pierre's first birthday and so far, he has spent the morning napping in a sun beam. Pierre has a great life and so does my Pug, Ozzy. My fur babies make me smile, laugh and sometimes want to pull my hair out, but all in all, they are super awesome company.

There's always a story to tell with those two underfoot or overhead in Pierre's case. I can tell you in detail about how Pierre and I met at the shelter--love at first sight. I can share how great it was watching Pierre meet his older brother Ozzy for the first time by rubbing noses, and I can even tell you about the items and collectibles Pierre has broken in our home as he continues to test his kitty prowess and by sowing his wild oats or catnip.

Perhaps during this morning's nap, Pierre is thanking his nine lives that I rescued him from the SPCA in my town. But most probably he is pretending to be asleep because before this nap, he probably knocked over some valuable in another room that was high on a shelf that I'm unaware of. All that stalking of collectibles, pushing them to the edge, and watching said collectibles drop to the wood floor and/or rug can get tiring and yes, boring. I can tell you a ton of stories about Pierre and Ozzy...

BUT...ASK ME WHAT MY NOVEL,  A DECENT WOMAN, IS ABOUT AND I MIGHT FREEZE.

What's that all about?! I don't know why I instantly freeze and thaw out slowly, and it has happened to me more than once. A person asks me what my novel is about and I stop and think. I'm going to answer you, but I hesitate. Now, I KNOW what my novel is about for goodness sake. I wrote it! All 77,557 words of it! So, why do I hesitate before telling interested people what my novel is about?!

I'm known as the storyteller in my immediate family. I can tell a good story, honest to Betsy. I tell stories from when I was little and I share stories from a simple trip to the hardware store, a walk to the mail box or even about a neighbor I spy from my front yard, for goodness sake. I can tell a great story, but ask me what my first novel is about and I'll begin to tell you, but I seem to fall short.

Why do I find it so difficult to tell you briefly what my novel is about? I've researched my novel and I'm from Puerto Rico, the island where my novel takes places. I'm from Ponce where my characters live! But, I either add way too much detail or I leave out way pertinent information. I begin telling the person what my novel is about and midway through, I add something else or omit something and by the time I finish, the person might have just yawned. The person or people may have smiled at me politely, but the subject has gone from my novel and my spotlight (my Andy Warhol 15 minutes of fame!) to a missed opportunity!

I'm a balance between an introvert and an extrovert, leaning more toward introvert in my older age :) I can tell you a story about stuff that happens external to me, about me, but when it comes to explaining what my novel is about...I flounder. I'll tell you stories about my past, my failures and joys, fears and dreams, but when it comes to my novel that only four people in the world have read from cover to cover--I get nervous.

My query letter is well-written and has been well-received. It is clear, concise and grabs a reader, piquing their interest. But, if you ask me to tell you in three sentences what my novel is about...I flounder and hesitate as to what I should share with you.

So, I've decided to memorize the first paragraph of my query letter which has a great synopsis of my novel. That synopsis says it all.

I'm attending my first writer's conference in NYC in October--

The 2nd Annual Comadres and Compadres Latino Writers Conference, which will take place at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, New York on October 5, 2013--

and I'm psyched! I need to have my synopsis down pat by then because there are agents, publishers, writers and authors attending and the list is awesome. http://lascomadres.com/countonme/latino-writers-conference/

I have to be ready to talk about my novel and not be shy about marketing myself!
I have to sell myself and my book to people who don't know me and need to know me!
I have to find a bit more self-confidence so that I can speak eloquently and concisely about myself, my novel and my awesome characters because if I don't, no one else will!

Happy Hump Day to you!

Peace and love,
Ellie










4 comments:

  1. Perhaps we can meet when you are in Brooklyn???

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  2. Hey there, Meri! Yes, let's do that!! I'd LOVE to finally meet you, girlfriend!! How fun is that :)

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  3. Now, that's exciting, that you're going to a writer's conference! That sounds like a great opportunity to meet a lot of people who can help you. I bet you'll have a blast!

    Give Pierre a big ol' birthday smooch from elmo, please.

    You, an introvert? Who'da thunk that??

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  4. Yay!! Looking forward to it :)

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