I had the absolute pleasure of a successful book launch with my family and closest friends. We were celebrating the first book in my series, Truth, Lies and Love in Advertising. The book, entitled Camera Ready just came out! My good friends Tere Starr, one of Miami’s foremost published poets, and Lori Swick, also a published author, were kind enough to throw a virtual bash in my honor.
A Huge Thank You!
I thank and acknowledge the amazing family and friends who took time out of their busy schedules to join us on Zoom last Sunday to celebrate the birth of my first published novel. There was such an outpouring of encouragement and love from the most important members of my support system. They were all genuinely happy for me. Many of my friends said I mentored them in their careers. What a pleasure it was for me! I’ve been mentored by strong, successful women my whole career. Hearing gratitude from women I had mentored brought me to tears. It is so important to root for women, especially when they work in male-dominated industries.
I will call out those who joined us on Zoom: First, my incredible husband, who is my muse in every way. I was so tickled that my mom, brother and sister, aunt and cousins from LA were there. My best friend Jenni from ASU (and her lovely mom – who is my second mom) were there. The fabulous New York crew (you know who you are) jumped on to say hi. And my closest comrades from Las Vegas were a huge part of the celebration – thank you! My buddies from the South Florida Writers Association were there for support. The wondrous family of women from Brandeis National Committee made the party complete! I am so proud to serve on the board of directors for both SFWA and Brandeis in Miami. I make it a point to give back to my community – especially for these worthy causes.
If you live in Miami and you want to buy my book, I’m so thrilled to announce that it is on the shelves of Books & Books. Because we know how much Mitchell Kaplan has done for the reading and writing community in South Florida, let’s all support his iconic stores. He is also founder of the Miami Book Fair, which is coming up in November, 2020, virtually, of course.
A Dream Come True
I told the group and I’ll say it again – writing and publishing one book is a dream come true for me. Ever since I was a child, I wanted to be a published author. And while I have written professionally my whole life – first as an English major, explicating poetry and writing analytical essays on everything from Shakespearean tragedies to short stories and full-length novels and second throughout my professional career.
I landed a job as a publicist in the casino industry and wrote press releases until I was promoted to running the whole PR department and eventually the advertising department for as many as 11 casino resorts at one time – so I’ve had my share of writing assignments: ad copy, business plans, blogs, direct mail pieces, responses to customer letters, employee communications, speeches for high level executives – in all of this, one thing was certain, the words were always there, and I have been blessed with the ability to use them.
Nothing prepared me to write a book
There’s the old saying, “Those who can, do.” I’ve never been afraid of hard work. I put myself through college while working full time – and was a straight-A student. My closest friends know I’m someone who always wants the highest “A.” And I will work harder than anyone else to get it. There were so many things I had to learn – and I made a solid commitment to years of studying, taking webinars, attending writers conferences, and then joining the South Florida Writers Association. With that connection, I found the fiction critique group headed up by Don Daniels (or The Rhetorical Oracle, as we fondly refer to him!).
Writing a Novel is a Science
It is also a sheer act of creativity and imagination. I had to learn how to create plot premises, subplots, the plot arc, how to hook readers within the first 10 pages, how to set up conflict and metaphors. I learned to use literary devices like foreshadowing and flashbacks. I also learned to plant cliff hangers at the end of each chapter and, most of all, develop interesting characters.
But that’s not all – the writing needs to have energy – it needs to have a theme, a tone and all of those inexplicable things that happen when you’re an author. It needs to have a voice ring out loud and clear. A famous author recently said, the reader must always be wondering: “What Happens Next?”
The More You Write …
Like most everything in life, you have to “just do it.” The more you write, the better you get. And it’s a very solitary pursuit. It has always just been me and the empty page. It was up to me to do the work required to create a novel, which meant rising before dawn and devoting weekends to my creative work.
Sometimes I look back at the earliest drafts of novels I began writing more than 15 years ago and I cringe. Then, I realize how many words, pages, manuscripts it took to create the three novels I have in my series. I’m, at this moment, half-way through a fourth (stay tuned) and have a whole collection of short stories – all of which have won awards. I plan to publish them within the next year.
My fabulous publisher, Christopher Church at Dagmar Miura in Los Angeles, advised that one should not publish more than three books in one year – so my latest creations will have to wait until my trilogy is out on the market.
The Marketing Funnel
I believe that things happen in a serendipitous way – it was no coincidence that my professional career prepared me for my ultimate dream career in becoming an author. Because I know marketing and I own my own business Madweek Marketing LLC, I was uniquely prepared to market my own book.
So far, based on my sales results – drum roll, please … it’s working! My book hit the top 1/3 of one percentile on Amazon’s sales ranking several times since its release! But I can’t take all the credit, I do have a marketing guru – Chris Jenkin at Gotcha! Mobile Solutions, who is a genius digital marketer.
Be a Creator, not a Hater!
Some of my friends have asked me what it feels like to put my book out into the world. Many have books, screenplays, poetry, paintings, sculpture, fashion design, jewelry, etc., but they are afraid of negative reverb from people who won’t like their work. I tell them that there will always be people who don’t prefer your work, but there are those who will. I happen to be extremely lucky to have a long list of genuine friends, but I do have a saying: If everyone likes you, you’re not being yourself.
So, go ahead and put your work out there! Remember, when people snub, dismiss, or are disturbed enough to troll and spew vitriol – they are jealous. And jealousy has to do with them, not you – it’s within their own deep-seated insecurities and lack of accomplishment. When I encounter jealousy in others, I see it as a sign of success. Never let the negativity of others prevent you from finding your own destiny.