Write the Damn Book Already

Ep 71: From Attorney to Author with Novelist Jessica Saunders

January 17, 2024 Elizabeth Lyons
Write the Damn Book Already
Ep 71: From Attorney to Author with Novelist Jessica Saunders
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Jessica Saunders's debut novel, Love, Me, was released on January 16, 2024 (Union Square & Co.)

In the latest episode of the Write the Damn Book Already podcast, Jessica and I chatted about the power of pursuing a literary dream as she discussed her debut novel, Love, Me, (January 2024, Union Square & Co) with raw and captivating honesty. We also discussed the delicate balance between rigorous careers and the pull of creative passions, the catalysts that drive us to write, and the sacrifices made along the way—including, sometimes, a brief hiatus from all things Netflix! 


INTERVIEW HIGHLIGHTS

  • Finalizing the title, from the initial idea to the final decision
  • Jessica's writing process, what prompted her to (finally) write the damn book already, and her approach to plotting versus pantsing
  • Which writers' workshop helped her get her first draft out
  • How she decided between traditional and self-publishing and found her agent, Elizabeth Bewley (Sterling Lord Literalistic)
  • Her experience connecting with the author community and planning for the book's launch and ongoing marketing


ABOUT JESSICA

Jessica Saunders is a lawyer, who, after years of writing scintillating legal briefs, was finally able to fulfill her lifelong dream of writing fiction. A graduate of Cornell University and St. John’s University School of Law, where she was a St. Thomas More Scholar, Jessica currently lives in Westchester, New York with her husband and two daughters. Love, Me is her first novel.


CONNECT WITH JESSICA

Instagram: @jessicasaundersbooks 

Website: jessicasaundersbooks.com

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Speaker 1:

Welcome to the Write the Damn Book Already podcast. My name is Elizabeth Lyons. I'm a six-time author and book editor, and I help people write and publish powerful, thought-provoking, wildly entertaining books without any more overthinking, second-guessing or overwhelm than absolutely necessary. Because, let's face it, some overthinking, second-guessing and overwhelm is going to come with the territory. If you're anything like me, I believe that story and shared perspective are two of the most potent ways we connect with one another and that your story, perspective and insights are destined to become someone else's favorite resource or pastime. For more bookwriting and publishing tips and solutions, oh, and plenty of free and low-cost resources, visit PublishAprofitableBookcom and for recommendations of fabulous books. You've possibly never heard of bookwriting inspiration and the occasional memes so relatable. You'll wonder if it was created with you in mind. Follow me on Instagram at Elizabeth Lyons author. Hi there, and welcome to another fun and insightful episode of Write the Damn Book Already.

Speaker 1:

This week, I'm chatting with Jessica Saunders, whose debut novel Love Me will have just come out when this episode is released. It's published by Union Square and Company and we had so much fun chatting about how she went from attorney to author, finding time to write, getting the first draft out, her decision on traditional versus self-publishing, finding an agent and now getting ready to launch Spoiler alert. Even as a traditionally published author, she hired an outside PR group to help with the marketing, and she does name them in the episode, so listeners can start creating their own Rolodex not meaning to date myself or age myself with that term, but of sources to consider as they're filling up their author team. As always, jessica's info and all mentioned resources are in the episode notes. Let's get to the chat. Kind of a random first question, but is, is or was Love Me the original title? Yes, really.

Speaker 2:

Yes, I'm actually curious why you're asking.

Speaker 1:

No, it's great and I could not love the cover more. The reason I ask is only because it is so common that I talk to authors who will say, well, this wasn't the original title and it's almost an aside when they say it. But then I have to ask, well, what was the original title Right, and who made that change? Because sometimes it's the author. They start with one title and then they write and they think, no, this isn't it. And sometimes it's the publisher and sometimes it's a combination. So I'm always that's interesting that it stayed.

Speaker 2:

Well, it's a great question, and I laugh because I had it as my working title and when we went out and pitched the book on submission, it was Love Me and maybe I don't know. Like a few months after I sold the book I had a meeting with my editor and I said I'm like, oh, so what do you think the title's going to be? And they were like what are you talking about? We're going to use Love Me. And I said why? It's a good listen, it definitely is a good title. I agree, I love the cover and it works, without a doubt it works, but it was truly for me, just it was a working title and I suppose that they liked it. So I think it's a great question because I imagine that a lot of authors aren't that they get, maybe get the final say, but they're not. You know, they're like more strategizing, but I think they were happy with it, which I guess is great.

Speaker 1:

Sure, and I mean sometimes they you're correct, like the experiences run the gamut. Sometimes they don't get the final say at all and they're not terribly thrilled about what it ends up being. Sometimes they warm up to it. Sometimes they do get a say I've even heard of and I think you have to be a little further along in your career as an author. Like you have to be in that top whatever one or 2% of your house's author pool where people have written it into the contract that they have final say over certain creative. I mean, again, you have to be at a certain point to be able to command that. But make sense. It does make sense. I mean, you know I'd be demanding certain things too. So tell me about your writing process, because this is your debut. Right, it is my debut, okay, so tell me about just all the things. Where did it come from? What all the things? Sure.

Speaker 2:

No, so I'm a lawyer, actually, right, and I'm still working as a lawyer, and so I've always done a ton of writing in my job, in my like day to day life, and I've always loved, I've always loved to read. Reading has been a huge part of my life forever since I was, you know, in second grade, and I think writing a book had always just been sort of something I knew I wanted to do and I really hope that I could one day do. But of course, like all things, it sort of fell to the back burner. And then, when I was right after I turned 40, sadly, I lost a very close friend. And so, you know, obviously, in addition to all the grief it took, you know, it forced me to take some stock of my life, and all my girlfriends felt similarly and we all were like, okay, who can we? You know, what can we do better? And for me it was okay.

Speaker 2:

I've been saying, for, you know, 25 years that I want to write a novel. I really should make an attempt to do it. And so, very shortly after, I signed up for a writing class through Gotham Writers Workshop, and it was a weekly online but live class, and it was just a fantastic opportunity for me to get this thing off the ground and get started. And when I started writing I found that I just loved it. I loved it as much as I hoped that I would. It came as naturally to me as I had hoped that it would, but you never really know and so I really, as a means for getting started, I just kind of went into it and really worked at it and loved it so much.

Speaker 1:

Were there hiccups along the way where you were writing, and then you would be like I don't know if this is working, yeah.

Speaker 2:

I think. Well, a few things. I mean, taking this class was terrific because it was very much. It was called a first draft novel writing class. I highly recommend it, and each week we kind of had some writing goals and word count goals. But the goal of the class was not to do. There was no critique involved.

Speaker 2:

Each class was partly a lecture where we learned some technique, plot, narrative perspective, things like that Just very basic, very rudimentary. But then there was also time during the class to do some writing. And so what? The goal was to do a first draft. And I think one of the first pieces of advice and the best piece of advice we were given is just write Full steam ahead, don't stop yourself along the way and edit as you go. I could give any author that advice. That's it. So for me, during the actual first draft writing process I didn't set back and say what am I doing wrong? I just I had permission, I'd given myself permission, I'd been given permission by the instructor that if I need to change something halfway through I can change it, and then I could go back and fix it all later. So that was a really nice way to approach this for me.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so were you? Did you have? Are you a plotter, a pants or a combination? Did you have an outline? Did you know where the thing ended? What's? How did that work out?

Speaker 2:

So I was. I was a plotter, I mean, I had an outline and I liked that. I mean, at my core, I'm an attorney and so very little of what we do is buy the seat of our pants, and so for me, I had a general idea of the structure and what I needed to hit on. And so I found that there were some days where I was like I just want to write this, this chapter where Rachel meets Jack at the restaurant, and I did, and it was so fabulous, Like I just like it was like great, Now I have that chapter there and I can write something else and go back. So it was a really like. So until I finished a draft, so I didn't know. You know, I basically had like 20 word documents of chapters and then I just reorg because I didn't know anything about writing Okay.

Speaker 1:

Oh, so each chapter was its own word document. Oh my God, okay.

Speaker 2:

And then I just like I was like okay, and I basically like put it together like a puzzle and I put. Now I know about Scrivener and there are all these amazing writing programs and I think you know when I've been playing around with those, I think it's much more practical because you can move things around. You know it's physically, you know it keeps everything in one place, but and I really love that. So I was a plotter, but the way I wrote was almost like a pancer, because I could just sort of go from place to place, like wherever you felt called, whatever scene or chapter or beat you felt called to write.

Speaker 1:

That's what you wrote Exactly, which was so how long between when you first started and when, like how long did it take you to get what you would consider the first draft?

Speaker 2:

So I was fast. I started this class in July and by September I had a draft, and so that is, I understand now, very unusual.

Speaker 1:

But I would like to get that through Osmosis right now. If you could just send that through the screen, because I think.

Speaker 2:

I think I had a few things going for me that allowed me to do that First. You know, and I will say, I'm on the other side of this now and as I'm trying to work on another book, it's much harder.

Speaker 1:

So it's much harder the second time.

Speaker 2:

Well, it's much harder to find the time, I think I think now I'm balancing so many different.

Speaker 2:

You know it's not, and I know I'm sure we'll get to this, but you know it's not just writing a book. There's so much more that goes into it and promotion, and you know the marketing of it all and right Is there's just so much time that I don't have, especially, you know, being a mom and working and all those things. But for the first, for when I wrote my first, when I wrote this book, I it was over the summer for the most part, and my older daughter was at sleepaway camp. So I did have a one less child to be focused on, which was really, and she, you know, at the time, was younger and went to bed early and it was, and she was in camp during the day. It was an easier piece. It was also COVID.

Speaker 2:

So while I was still working, I was working from home. So you know I I didn't have the commute I had, you know I'd had some extra, like if I had time during lunch I might stop right for you know an hour and get back to work. So I had. That, I think was was a real, you know, gift for sure in terms of timing. But the other piece for me and I think this is a theme that I'm realizing now is I had no pressure at all, I'd not been alive. I think there are so many people who are working their entire lives to be a writer and it is so hard. But for me this was like let me see if I can do this Right. And so, you know, and I did it and I liked it so much, and because I'm such a big reader, as are you, you know, at night when I'm read, you know I'm reading, maybe I'm watching a show. I kind of gave that up for a few months.

Speaker 1:

Oh, I got excited for a minute. Oh the audience here like couldn't see me.

Speaker 2:

She was excited. Where did I lose you?

Speaker 1:

I know, I know and I always tell people like you don't have to give it up forever, just just a short time frame. I mean, you know, when people say I don't have time, I'm often like listen, you don't need six hours at a stretch, you need 20 minutes. So give me your schedule, I can find you 20 minutes.

Speaker 2:

Yes, but I and I and I think you were disappointed that I said I gave up on my TV and my reading. I just for that brief period, while it was deep in this story, my story, I was choosing almost as like my restful evening activity. I was choosing to write. I know that's unusual, but it was like. But again, this was for me, this was like my you know, and so I really, but I don't, I don't, but now again I'm not doing it. We were up watching Fargo last night, which is so terrific, I mean, there's not. You know, I think obviously everybody operates differently, but in my initial attempt, that's what I found, that I was doing, which was which worked out well.

Speaker 1:

Which worked, and I mean I. So here's why I got excited, because what I thought you were going to say is clearly projecting, as the therapeutic community would say. I thought you were going to say that you, in reading other books and in watching TV, you got great ideas. For that kept the, because that's my justification, jessica, for continuing to watch TV. And you know, one of the justifications for continuing to read books while I'm writing one is like I need to. I, frazier, just gave me a really good idea. I you know what I have, in case, maybe.

Speaker 2:

I, I, actually I think I wish, because I love to read it, I wish I was a. And television, yes, television is a little more safe for me. But because I'm such a reader, I just somehow and I haven't gotten back into that headspace yet. I'm reading all the time now, but during that real heavy drafting phase, there was no part of me that could allow myself to fall into someone else's story.

Speaker 1:

Okay, that makes total sense, yeah.

Speaker 1:

And it's interesting because, I mean, I've said this before, but I'm working on my first novel, so my first six books were all nonfiction, and I feel like one of the things that I'm curious about the more people I talk to, is learning what their background is outside of writing, because for people who have a background that's more structured so law, medicine, accounting it's interesting how it transfers in, seemingly, to their ability to be structured with book writing, whether it's plot, timing et cetera. And then you've got the rest of us, poor people who are just creatives, and I was just thinking this morning that I feel like my rich imagination and tendency to overthink are equally good and bad when it comes to writing a novel, because I aspire to be in that place where you can just sit down and gut it out.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

And get to the end.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean I certainly overthink. So I share that with you. In life I mean, of course, in life I do. But yes, I think I'm forced to be very productive during the work day and carving out time to write or to meet a friend for lunch or spend time with my kids has just always sort of been the way I've had to function. So writing naturally worked its way into that. It's hard, I think, if I'm on, say, a role and I'm loving what I'm writing and then I'm like I have to switch gears into being a lawyer. That is very difficult but for me it's always been.

Speaker 2:

I'm a litigator. Now I work in-house at a manufacturing company, but for a while I was writing briefs on deadlines and it really just it forces you, I think, to just be very focused on your time and I think it's also just like you get a skill set. For me with being a lawyer, I think is a particular advantage, especially as a litigator, because you're doing so much writing. So the breadth of a novel wasn't scary to me. I mean it's a lot more pages than that, but I'm certainly I have lots of practice writing your 10, 20 page emotions. So there was that, translated at least into, like not the fatigue and figuring things out. It helps also, I think, with jumping ahead to the editing process, because you can't be so precious. There's always people looking at your work and giving you things Okay well coincidentally, that's where I was gonna go next.

Speaker 1:

So once you got to a certain point, did you always know that you wanted to traditionally remind me who your publisher is? Union Square and yes, union Square. Did you always know that you wanted to go traditional?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean for me yes, I think that I did. I wanted to see if I could. Okay, had an explored self-publishing, so the first step for me was let me see if I can find an agent. And so I did, and I was very fortunate I found an agent relatively quickly, and so that put me on this path where we were gonna submit my manuscript around and see if someone was gonna buy it. So, yeah, I mean that was a pretty straightforward path, okay.

Speaker 1:

And did you have it edited before you went to your agent?

Speaker 2:

No, there's so many things that I now no, no, my agent, thank God really connected with the manuscript and I think it was rough. I didn't know that at the time because I had. It's funny there are so many people out there who are just these beautiful writers and those are the books that I just love. And for me, I wrote and I think it's funny, my two best friends read my book two years ago or a year and a half ago.

Speaker 2:

And I'm like just wait until you look at it again, because it is so much better and cleaner. And they're like but it was amazing. I'm like because you love me and I love you, but no, no, no, there's so much to go.

Speaker 1:

I don't even think that's so. I mean, the more people I keep saying it's like on repeat, the more people I talk to. But it's like I think that as authors or, you know, authors, aspiring authors, people who are working on their first thing don't realize there's, yes, it has to be in the best shape you can get it into, but what we end up reading as consumers is usually pretty far. I mean, it's been developed significantly, whether it's by an agent and an editor, or just the editor or editor, agent, editor, you know, so yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think that's so true. And again, and as a reader, I had no idea. And so as a new writer, I also had no idea. And because my agent did like my book in its you know, maybe more raw form she felt, you know, we agreed it was ready to be sent out on submission and then I actually did not get the response initially that we were hoping for. So I did get rejections and I ended up then saying wait a minute, and my agent gave me some great critique and before we went out and I put it in, but I think she just was really excited about it and, as you know, as was I.

Speaker 2:

And so it needed work. So at that point, after having gone through some rejections, I said, you know, let me see if I can have someone look at it and give me some feedback. So I did engage a woman who, you know, I was very sort of. Everybody does editing differently, but for me I was very much like I don't want someone to go in and edit my book, I want someone to tell me what I need to do to make this book better. Because I was very much like challenging myself. If I'm gonna really try and do this, I wanna be able to do it for real and for myself. So I did work with this fantastic editor and she, she really. You know, I have a habit apparently of you know, telling, not showing. And for showing, not telling, telling not showing.

Speaker 1:

I'm not an MFA, I don't even know.

Speaker 2:

But I wasn't doing it right, telling, not showing yeah, right, and so you know, these are things where she was flagging for me and then I was able to oh okay, I know how to flag, I can flush out that scene, I can put it in dialogue here. And so when I did that, the book, the book definitely started its better, improved transformation. And then after that, when Elizabeth went back out on submission with my book, then we were able to sell it to Union Square. So it was definitely well worth it and I don't even mind that it took that extra time, because it really just gave me a taste of this industry and it is a hard industry, it's a really tough industry.

Speaker 1:

So it's complicated too and it's changing all the time, and there are just no one size fits all, one experience fits all. It's just a very different thing. Can we say who your agent is? Sure? I'm with Sterling Lord, literistic Elizabeth Buley Buley okay, I have a friend who has an is with Elizabeth Weed. I'll cut this part out. Oh sure, but do you know who that?

Speaker 2:

is Well? Yes, because Neely Tabadi Alexander.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Oh, do you know, neely? She wrote this book Love Buzz. Yeah, another book coming out soon, and so Elizabeth is her agent and I just Okay, I won't cut this out.

Speaker 1:

Oh sure, I'm sure we have a kind of a running joke. I met Neely about a year ago. She also lives in the Phoenix area and I talk about her on almost every podcast. It's gotten to the point where I'm almost not. Stalker is a strong word, but I'm almost challenging myself to mention her now in every podcast because I don't know that there's been one where I haven't messaged her. I love it.

Speaker 2:

Well, she's great. She actually wrote a blurb for my book. So she oh she did. Yeah, yeah, she was just someone who I mean we can. She was someone who you reach out to these other debut authors like for me, and I just was like, let me see who I think I might want to be friends with, and so there are a few other women who I've connected to. She's definitely one of them. But I could talk to you a lot about the author community, because that has been just-.

Speaker 1:

Let's talk about that, because I think, if you're up for it, because I think that you know one of the things I asked I don't know what social media platform it was, but what people who are looking to publish, what was most important to them about their publishing experience? Right, was it getting in advance? What was it? And by far and away the most important thing I hear is team. I want a team and I think there's a misconception that if you're an indie author, you can't have a team. That's not, you know, you just get to create your own team is the way that I look at it. But the author community part of it is something else, because people really I think we're craving community still post pandemic, and it's the best part of this industry in my experience.

Speaker 2:

I was blown away. So you know, when I first I didn't know any authors personally and but I'm a reader and you know, I think readers, authors, are phenomenal, and so you know, I'm on Instagram and I started following authors that I liked and I started reaching out to authors that I wanted to connect to, and there are some people that were just so warm and open and met with me. I had a very early meeting me, a lunch date, with Annabel Monahan, who wrote I love her. She is a dream of a person and she's so funny. And she, she wrote Nora goes off script in same time next summer and she's another book coming out this summer?

Speaker 2:

I do not wait right, and she and I sat down. She actually lives nearby, near where I live and we so we got together and we just had the most phenomenal discussion and she was so just helpful. And then, when it was time to ask someone to look, you know, to read my book and potentially, you know, write a blurb, she was at the top of my list and she so graciously did that and now her words are on my cover, which was, which is a dream come true. And then Amy Popol is another one who wrote the Sweet Spot and she's so warm and I asked her also out for coffee and we ended up sitting for like four hours and just, and the list goes on.

Speaker 2:

There's a living in New York. There's a huge community of people. Jackie Freeland is another one and she's terrific. There's just so many people who have been willing to read my book. Help promote me. You know I've been as I'm starting to schedule events. My release comes out on. My book comes out on January 16th. I'm talking to Annabelle on the night. I know you know books in Greenwich and then you know I have a plan to do a conversation with Jackie Freeland. Actually, we live nearby but we're meeting in Florida which is so cool and just lots of different.

Speaker 2:

Christy Tate is. I'm a huge fan of hers, so just all these people are so open and the biggest mantra you know I think everyone has there is enough room for all of us if it's the best.

Speaker 1:

God bless, right, I think, for real, like, I think that's one of the reasons I love, beyond my love of words and story and all of that it's one of the least competitive. At the business level it's very competitive and it's difficult and all that, but at the just the like, the ground, communication and community level, it's so supportive. And I don't I've not had an experience specifically with women and I really haven't had one with men either, but I just, I love the women, the female community of this, because nobody has ever expressed anything to me or within earshot. That would be like what if she does better than I do? Like what? Like, oh God, I think she's going to be, and we and almost every other space I've been in and I've been in several different spaces, that's the prevailing mantra. It's like, oh, definitely Right.

Speaker 1:

Like, keep everything close to the vest. Don't share agent names, not agent names, but in whatever their version of the agent name is in their world, don't share agent names. Don't share publisher contacts. Don't share editor names, don't share. But in this space everybody is. So it's like the high tide raises all boats, right.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely, and that's exactly what it is. I think everybody, yeah, wants to lift each other up and we all benefit, I think, from each other's successes. If people are reading which not everybody is a big reader and if people are reading and they, you know, they liked her book, they might like my book.

Speaker 1:

and if you know or?

Speaker 2:

maybe if they liked her book, I'm gonna tell them to read her book and it's just, it's really wonderful. And it was such a surprise for me that I've now tapped into this whole community of wonderful women who are my friends, absolutely wanna spend time with. So it can be a solitary profession writing but it just doesn't have to be because there's so many resources. But it's been really especially as a debut coming in. But you know, I have to say I think for anybody who's looking to embark on this, you have to be willing to put yourself out there.

Speaker 1:

Well, and that's the thing, because you know I'm a big fan of saying you don't have to do anything because, right, we don't have to do. I mean, beyond feed our children and things like that we don't have to do anything. Sure, However, the idea that I mean it's lovely to think sometimes that I could sit in a corner and book talk could be the impetus that takes my book all the way. That's happened once. It probably won't happen again.

Speaker 1:

I mean, book talk is a beautiful, wonderful thing, but if you're not comfortable putting yourself out there or getting comfortable, I mean that's the thing too is sometimes it's like, okay, You're not comfortable, now Are you willing to dip your toe in? So maybe someone isn't comfortable doing a face-to-face event but they're willing to do a podcast. Hey, that's how they can dip in. So, as you come up on the launch, what has that process been like for you with Planning? Has your publisher been really helpful with planning all of those events? Have you had to real, because that's the other thing that I talk a lot to people about is there is a misconception that the traditional publishing houses will do all of your marketing and it varies? Yeah, for the most part. If that's not the case, no, and I think it's.

Speaker 2:

I think you know I'm new to this industry so I don't know as much at you know, I don't know what other people's experiences are, but I do think there's a bigger emphasis on the authors doing a lot of their own reach out. So I have done that, I have, and I think you're right. I mean, you can hope that you have the success on Book talk and books to Graham and wherever, but unless they know about your book or you made that connection with them, you know they're they're less inclined, I think, to consider you. So you know I have I am Lucky to be working with, you know a great team at Union Square. I have Also and we could have a whole other podcast on this, but I've also. I did make the decision to engage an outside publicist to help me. A lot of people do, yeah, and I I. You know that was a very difficult Decision for me, but I did look at it as an investment in my career because this is something I love and something I hope to be able to do down the road.

Speaker 1:

Have you been happy with that experience thus far and if yes, can we say who it is?

Speaker 2:

because I'm oh, oh, yes, I'm working with Leo PR, okay, jessica Brock and Kristen Dwyer, and they're terrific, and what has been useful is that you know Two things.

Speaker 2:

I mean, you know Jessica's sending my book out to you know, all the Media outlets and and, and that's not something I have the contacts for, I can't do that myself. And while my publisher certainly has those contacts, they have their hands full. They have a lot of other exactly, and you know they and they also, and I don't know the case, but I believe, and what I've been told is different publishing houses have, you know, different priority titles and different, you know, and so it became clear to me that if I really wanted to push this book and I would be better served by working with With them, with Leo PR, and, and it has been, has been, terrific, but and and and also, just, you know, having a full-time job, I certainly can't Manage, you know, the planning of events and things. So just terrific, but I think also I'm pretty, you know, assertive and I'll get myself out there, and and and, you know, helps, I think to be a former litigator, because obviously, you walk into a bookstore.

Speaker 1:

Would you like to carry this? No, I take over Jessica, yeah.

Speaker 2:

Actually, no, I mean yes, it is so funny. I didn't ever think of myself this way, but it is true that it's like I can just. I'm just gonna ask, I'm just gonna ask. And here's the yeah.

Speaker 1:

Like I had an all one of my authors reached out to me last night and she said Okay, so here's the deal. You're never gonna believe this. I said I will, whatever it is.

Speaker 1:

I promise I'll believe it and she said I was in SFO, san Francisco, you know air international air, and I walked by Compass Books, which is one of their big you know bookstores in the in SFO. And she said I just walked right in and I had my arc with me and she's an indie author. I mean, she, you know she's with me, so she's indie. And she said would you be interested in carrying this? And the book is on empty nesting and Getting, you know, managing the empty nest years, and the guy who happened to be happened air quotes, I mean because there's no coincidence to be the owner, I believe, of the or the manager or something.

Speaker 1:

I said, oh my gosh, I need this, like we are going through this right now. And so she said, oh great, well, would you be interested in carrying it? And he said absolutely. So. He looked it up and you know you can get that distribution now as an indie author, you don't have to be traditionally published to be distributed by Ingram. And so he was placing an order. You know it doesn't come out until February, so I your that. All that to say, you just have to be willing to ask. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

You get rejected and that's where the thinking Exactly who cares? You know, yes, it's, it's really true, I mean it, you know, and and and I think it's hard. I think a lot of People who are writers are almost more naturally introspective and and that can be, that can be tricky. I'm really, you know, I am sympathetic to that. I think it's really tough Because one thing they don't tell authors is how much work on, you know, I think, goes into actually self-marketing your own book, yeah, whether it's, you know, meeting in person or doing a podcast and and Just reaching out to people. So, you know, it's definitely, ivan, I've really that. That fills me up, I enjoy that, but I understand why that's difficult for people and it's certainly not something that you, you know, necessarily going into this or know how to do.

Speaker 1:

I mean, I love the showing up part, I love, you know, talking and going to event. Setting it all up is not my jam right.

Speaker 1:

So, it's you. Either I have to figure out how to make it my jam or have to hire somebody else to do it, so I it's. It's the same thing. Do you think that, as a litigator Because I imagine you know when I'm a litigator in my dreams that you deal very much in facts, some things of fact or stuff Does that allow you to be less, to take things less personally, maybe? Like, do you find that you're not as Analytical about? Well, why did they say no? It's like no, they just said no, right, no.

Speaker 2:

I mean I think I think that piece and and and and, certainly as Different, as different as writing as a lawyer is from writing fiction. There is creativity that goes into making an argument because the law, the law might be the law, but Interpretation and and and looking and then research and in different, you know case law and different outcomes. There is so much you know. You do have a have, have the opportunity to to infuse some creativity into that writing style. Yes, where I think being a lawyer really helps me is the.

Speaker 2:

I didn't ever feel so precious about my writing during the editing process. Okay, so when I, of course everybody gets tied to to certain things and and phrases, and but I was used to Handing a brief to the senior partner and having her like X out paragraphs or, you know, asking me to go deeper, and so I think that does prepare you in In not feeling so. You know, I just never felt so angsty about it and I also like that process. I think it's fun to go back in and, you know, come up with something else to say. So you know, I did, I did enjoy that. I am more than I think some people do.

Speaker 1:

Well, and I think sometimes there's the perception, if you haven't done it, that when you finish, right, like people don't think of editing as sort of phase two and then marketing as phase three, they think, well, the book is done, it's done like we're. Now, we're gonna skip like editing doesn't exist. Right, we're gonna skip to publishing and promoting. And so when a Manuscript comes back heavily redlined or, as I like to say, hemorrhaging, authors can sometimes feel like oh my god.

Speaker 1:

I know as opposed to looking at it and thinking wow, I'm curious, this is a lot of feedback. I'm really curious how this can make it better. It's just like if they go into it thinking I'm done, and then it clearly becomes evident that they are not, Then yeah.

Speaker 2:

Well, I think editors are well trained to be kind to their authors. So, even if you get this bleeding manuscript back, hopefully you're hearing, at least verbally, all the wonderful things that you did. And if you are, not.

Speaker 1:

That is so important. That is so important. I honestly didn't realize. I mean, I'm an editor as well and I make it a point to ensure that I'm complimenting when things are done well and when sentences make me laugh and things like that, because I think that we're, as editors, we're so focused on making it better that we don't sometimes we, I don't know, we just don't do a great job if we're not intentional about it of letting the author know where it's already great and they really need to hear that. That's really important.

Speaker 2:

Yes, I did, I did, I know I always will. It is so hard to put yourself out there, and so I am not someone who minds making changes, but I really wanna know that you loved it. It's, I'm sure, a very difficult balance for editors to achieve, it's just something to remember, I think as an editor is like don't just gloss over when you see something.

Speaker 1:

When I see something and it makes me laugh or I think, wow, what a great combination of words I have. I just remind them don't gloss over, let them know they need to. It's kind of that same thing of if you see somebody and they have a shirt and you love it, just say I love your shirt, cause sometimes we'll assume that everyone else is telling them that they love their shirt and in truth they put on that shirt that morning, wondering do I look like an idiot?

Speaker 2:

And that's the so oh, I think that's right. And why is there's no harm in making someone feel good? There's never any harm in being kind people.

Speaker 1:

That is the lesson. Okay, I'm gonna link everything. Thank you so much. By the time this comes out, which will be next week, the book will be out, so, and I would love it if you would be willing to come back in a few months and talk about the launch experience and the promo experience and what you enjoyed and didn't enjoy, and what's going on with the next book. One is there a plan for the next book in terms of timing? No, not yet.

Speaker 2:

I am really still trying to figure it out and that definitely will be a fun next topic because it is so hard to fit it all in, but I've really enjoyed this and I would certainly love to come back, so thank you so much, thank you so much.

Speaker 1:

Thank you so much for tuning in. If you enjoyed this episode, this is your friendly reminder to follow or subscribe, leave a quick review and share it with someone you know has a great story or message but isn't sure what to do next. Also, remember to check out publishaprofitablebookcom for book writing resources and tips and to see all the ways we can work together to get your book out into the world. Again, thanks so much for listening and I'll talk with you again soon. Ocean Jerk.

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