Friday, March 18, 2011

A Glass Slipper in a Stiletto Heel

by Laura Spinella

When the fabulous Susan McBride invited me to guest blog at The Stiletto Gang, I was intimidated. I haven’t owned a pair of stiletto heels since—well, frankly, I don’t think I’ve ever owned stiletto heels. Not by lack of desire, I simply have feet more akin to a duck than a diva, and therefore have never been a candidate for sexy footwear. But considering I was to lead with my writing and not my wardrobe, I figured I could muddle through.

I suspect there’s every chance you’ve never heard of me, Laura Spinella, or my book, which was released in January via Penguin Group. BEAUTIFUL DISASTER is Southern set women’s fiction with a heavy thread of romance. And by heavy thread, I mean there’s a chapter or two where stiletto heels and all the connotations fit like a glass slipper. It’s my debut novel, which makes me new to publishing. However, not so new to writing or life; I have plenty of experience there. I’ve made a modest living freelancing, but I didn’t write a novel until I was flirting with forty. I always knew I’d write a book; I just didn’t have a timeline in mind. You know how it goes. First there was one kid, and then there were two. This was followed by moves from sun-baked states to places where snow on April Fools’ Day is no joke. Eventually, I glanced down and there was a third kid. Today, he and I meet eye-to-eye, though I still find myself asking, “How did you get here?”

The truth, in part, is that I didn’t sit down to write a novel until public education took over childcare. But, mostly, I didn’t do it earlier because I didn’t know enough about life. When you write book you have to think for a lot of people. Inherently, novels involve conflict. It’s the author’s job to craft an entire world from scratch, filling it with characters and issues and outcomes that will satisfy the reader. Before forty, I had enough trouble doing that for real, never mind in a book. So here I am, at a beginning.

A debut novel can do a lot of things. It can satisfy a dream, make you Uber-popular in the car pool line, and incite opinions from strangers. Odd as it is, those strangers will decide if you’re the next Alice Hoffman or if the Author’s Guild should confiscate your laptop. It’s interesting when a debut novel skyrockets. Reviewers and readers will talk about it as if the author never hammered out a single sentence before penning their breakout novel. A book like that is often viewed as an epiphany. That or the writer cracked their head on the bathroom sink, grabbed a Ziplock bag full of ice, and proceeded to a computer where the debut novel bled from their head onto the page. I’d bet you every pair of stilettos in the Jimmy Choo collection that said author’s book had more than one inception, preceded by numerous novel attempts. And knowing the amount of attempts it takes, I feel fortunate to have made it this far. Ten weeks in and I’ve experienced some of the highs and lows of a being a published author. I’m invested now, carefully constructing my sophomore effort. Hopefully, it won’t suffer a sophomore jinx. Either way, one thing is for certain, in front of me is a debut novel with my name on it.

Thank you for having me, ladies. I don’t know if I’ll be a writer in my next life, but I’m definitely coming back as a 7 ½ narrow. For more info on BEAUTIFUL DISASTER or other inane tidbits, visit my website,

Laura is giving away a copy of BEAUTIFUL DISASTER to one lucky Stiletto Gang reader! Just leave a comment on her post through Sunday at noon. She'll randomly pick a winner on Sunday afternoon! Plus, if you visit her blog and post a comment any time through March, you'll get another chance to win!


  1. Hey, Laura! Great to see you here at the Stiletto Gang:)

  2. Welcome Laura and congratulations on your debut novel!

    Your post really resonated with me. Loved your insight on why you wrote your novel when you did: "But, mostly, I didn’t do it earlier because I didn’t know enough about life."

    I felt the same way exactly!

    Good luck and come back to The Stiletto Gang.

    Marian (who's still wearing bedroom slippers)

  3. Laura, it's so wonderful to have you here (and I'm not saying that just because you called me "fabulous," which is very sweet of you!). I love your post so much! You are so funny and honest. Can't wait to read BEAUTIFUL DISASTER, which is in my short stack of TBRN (to be read next) books. ;-) The cover is simply lovely, and I'm sure the words within are incredible. Keep hammering out that next book! There'll be lots of us waiting eagerly to read it!

  4. Thanks you Maria & Susan for having me! Hey, can you guys win on your own site?? I've always wondered that? And, thank you, Marian. I'm answering you in bedroom slippers!

  5. Hey Laura! Congratulations on having your first book published!! It is always nice to find new and upcoming authors. I am looking forward to reading your book!!

  6. Hi Laura, Well if we're making confessions I don't own any stilettos either. I think that's the beauty of books though, we can read about sassy, stiletto wearing women in the comfort of our bathrobes and slippers!

    Thanks for writing in today. I'm looking forward to reading your book. : )

  7. Congratulations on having your book out! I very occasionally wear 3 inch heels - can't imagine trying to walk on the 6 inch ones that seem to be the rage now. I'm mostly a flat sandal in the summer person.
    Oh, & did I mention? I love to read!

  8. Laura, I think we take ourselves out of the equation for contests (much as that pains us!). And I have my copy already so I will bow out regardless. I mean, I don't want to get the reputation of being a book hog. Then no one would ever call me "fabulous" anymore. ;-)

  9. Congrats on having your first book published! It sounds really good and I love the cover!

  10. Trisha, Anjali & Jody, Thanks so much for the good wishes and comments! They're much appreciated! Susan, I will always call you "fabluous" no matter how many books you hog ;)

  11. I enjoyed reading the blog, and even tho I dont wear heels, I beleive Laurie should recieve the "ohhh, gotta have that pair " award.

    All the best in your sophmore year!


  12. Hi, Laura, welcome and that was a great post.

    I've never worn stilettos though I used to love high heels, wore them everywhere and all the time. No more.


  13. Wearing sensible shoes just makes . . . sense,
    but we can imagine sailing through life in whatever we choose.
    On the page you are glamorous! I'm looking forward to more.
    In real life, let's keep our ankles whole. . . I declined the offer by our guide in Portugal to teach me how to walk in heels as she did -- on cobble stone streets!

  14. Laura, we must be kindred spirits from different decades - can't wear stilettos, still having those babies, and waiting to hear when the next move is. Beautiful Disaster sounds like a fabulous read! I'll have to get a copy. :)

  15. Laura, I traded in my stilettos for cowboy boots long ago, and I can totally relate to your post. Thanks for making me laugh tonight. BTW - I have finished Beautiful Disaster and would be tempted to put stilettos back on and shave my legs if Flynn walked into my house. Love the way you developed your characters-especially him :) Loved every minute of BD.
    Anxiously waiting for more from you!