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, http://www.lauraspinella.net/.
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!