Monday, November 26, 2012

I sold my first book!! It's called Settling the Score and comes out in April 2013. Yep, that's the big news around here. It took me more years than most but the journey was worth it. I met a lot of fascinating people, all of whom have their own story to tell. I asked a few of them if they would share these stories of their own first sales.

First up is Nancy Parra: 

When my first book sold I ran the gamut of emotion- joy, accomplishment, pride and then came the most unexpected of emotions - fear. Yes, after ten years of writing and seventeen full manuscripts, when it came to the idea that people would actually READ the book and worse-have opinions-about it, I panicked. It was rather like working out for ten years to have great abs and then suddenly being forced to strip and parade in front of the nation in a bikini… Not the thing for an introvert. What if people didn’t “get” it? I wouldn’t be there to explain. I wouldn’t be able to protect my baby from the dreaded thrown-against-the-wall. What if the readers all thought my heroine was too-stupid-to-live? I wouldn’t be able to defend myself or my baby…

Then came the option book.  For the first time in my life I had to write a book an editor expected to publish. What if my “sold” novel was a fluke? How would I explain why my option book was so bad? What if I would end up being a one book wonder?  The pressure! How would I ever be able to write again? (Yes, a writer’s brain is full of drama.)

Proposed Cover 
Here my published friends were congratulating me and telling me to enjoy the feeling because nothing feels as great as the “first” book. Meanwhile, I had to remind myself to breathe. I was so terrified I wrote the option book in 6 weeks and sent it in as fast as I could so that when the dismal news came from the editor I would get it over with fast. Yes, I’m the kind that rips the bandage off in one fell swoop.  Out of that terror came “A Wanted Man”, my first Booklist starred review book and contracts for five more books.

To this day I am still slightly terrified when someone tells me they have read my books. I brace myself and say, “I hope you liked it.”  Thankfully, they usually do.

Nancy now puts her fear and terror into cozy mystery series. “Gluten for Punishment”, Berkley Prime Crime will be out May 7, 2013 and is available for preorder.