Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Let Me Tell You a Story...

By Laura Spinella
Today I'm celebrating the release of PERFECT TIMING, my second book!  Here's a little behind the scenes peek at how this novel came to be:
Backstory often ends up being the most interesting part of publication. Of course, while it’s happening, the author never realizes backstory is backstory. In the thick of things, backstory is the malaise of the process—or, more accurately, the one step forward, two steps back shuffle of book writing. There's amazement and achievement when a novel clears all the hurdles, the hard revisions, and labor intensive rewriting of pages that were briefly, dreamily deemed perfect. But after a book sells and edits are finalized, there is time to reflect. Traditional publishing comes with a wait time of a year or more. And it was in this holding pattern that I started to think about backstory, how and why I ended up writing the book I did. While my first novel, BEAUTIFUL DISASTER, was a product of past environment, PERFECT TIMING is anchored to my present. I’m almost as fond of its backtory as I am the result. In a phrase, this is the story of the little trunk novel that could.
Draft readers are important readers, and PERFECT TIMING had more than a few. Among them was my oldest daughter, Megan. She was this book’s first fan, and Aidan and Isabel remain her favorite characters. Her interest fueled a lot of drive during the novel’s rough “I can’t do this” stage.  Yes, Megan listened to her fair share of whining as I wrote, and rewrote, this book.  But she also insisted that if I was malevolent enough to create such heart-wrenching conflict, I’d better come up the right resolutions to see things through.
(Since PT contains a few steamier scenes, I should mention that Megan is 24) Writing to satisfy her demand was a challenge, and winning her approval an achievement. She’s a tough editor and a scrupulous critic. In the end, I believe she got the book she wanted. I know she's pleased by its dedication page. There was the trial and error of two manuscripts after BEAUTIFUL DISASTER, at which point Megan insisted I revisit the story and characters she found so endearing. Clearly, sometimes, you should listen to your kids.
At a glance, it’s true that PERFECT TIMING’s protagonist is a rock star. That part is intended to take the reader away from the ordinary.  And I do think, in his element, Aidan Royce earns his ovation. But that’s not what this story is about; it’s about the rhythm of lasting friendship, and the beat of a love story subject to incredible odds. It’s about family and figuring out what makes you truly happy, then being brave enough to embrace it. PERFECT TIMING is relationship fiction set to the sometimes extraordinary and always precarious tempo of life. 
When I look at this book's perfect cover, there is still the awe that comes with a second book, the surprise that it even exists. But I'm also pleased and confident in this story's backstory and the way life influenced PERFECT TIMING.

Laura Spinella is the author of the newly released PERFECT TIMING and award-winning BEAUTIFUL DISASTER. Visit her at lauraspinella.net 

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