Book Anniversary

Nine years ago today I took the plunge and self-published my first novel, Dogs with Bagels, a story about a mother and daughter with a complicated relationship set in New York City. I chose self-publishing because my very favorite advice columnist, E Jean Carroll suggested it. After 7 years of revising the manuscript I felt like it was ready. By then a lot of friends had read it, and emailing the manuscript to friends had gotten old. I wanted people to have easier access to it. I wanted total strangers to have access to it, which was both exciting and scary. When I pushed the ‘Publish’ button I thought my life would change in a huge immediate way.

My life did indeed change, but slowly. For the first years I felt like my book was hiding in a dark corner of the internet. Actually, this situation persisted for my first five books. It wasn’t until Storms of Malhado, my sixth novel, that people began discovering my books out there. Of course, by then I had learned a lot more about marketing, also I was writing in a very different genre and I was clear about who my audience was.

Dogs with Bagels, while I still love many things about it, was not necessarily an indication of who I would eventually become as an author. Over the years, the subject matter I was interested in changed, my way of looking at the world and myself and my characters in it changed. My writing style changed too. And what’s most refreshing about this realization is that it helps me understand that what I’ll be writing nine years from now, if I’ll be lucky enough to still be writing books, will most likely be very different from what I write today.

Leave a Reply