non saper dire addio porta alla perdita di parti molto importanti del corpo, come le braccia o le orecchie vorrei essere lontano a volte, come se esistessero luoghi in cui alla mente non arrivano timori di conoscere troppo e di non sapere nulla
So many of you asked me how long it took me to put my first book together. So here’s a timeline.
First of all I always loved to write and won a couple of short story competitions as a teen, but then I dropped it all for college and work.
In 2010 I quit my well paying job because I could not take it anymore!
I started a part-time teaching job and a store on Etsy (it was quite successful, but I don’t sell crafts anymore), dedicating the rest of my time to writing. I wrote the first draft of An Italian Adventure in Italian (my first language), in the present tense. It was complete in 2011, within a year. It was called Magia e farfalle (Magic and butterflies) and it sucked.
Oh, and…nobody could read it (I live in the US).
On the bright side, my mom loved it.
So, I rewrote it in English. It still sucked. I rewrote it in the past tense, chopped, rearranged and rewrote. Meanwhile I got a tenure-track full time position which meant that in order to carve at least 20 hours of writing per week I had to write every evening and every weekend.
And one day…around January of 2013 (3 years later), I finally liked it!
Did I just write a novel or was I delusional? The book was now 135,000 words. I shared it with my hubby and with another good friend (my mom doesn’t speak English) and started looking for a writers’ group, to get some peer advice
And well, the first two writers’ groups I tried were not a good fit for me. Finally, in March 2013 I met a group of honest writers from all kinds of genres, walk of like, and skill levels, but PASSIONATE and GENUINE about writing. I was home! Unfortunately they did not meet often enough for me, so I became one of the organizers myself to have weekly meetings :)
I started hacking at my novel again, removing parts that dragged, rewriting good ones to make them better, explaining what was obscure.
In June 2014 I was done reading the entire novel to the group. They had very much liked it and the hefty bundle was now 30,000 words shorter (105,000). Meanwhile I had written book 2, 3 and part of 4, so MUCH FASTER than book one! I finally felt like I knew what I was doing!
One of my writer friends with experience in the show biz (she’s a retired producer in NY who won several Emmys) told me book one was still way too long. While there is no rule set in stone, for a first time author seeking an agent a very long book was a red flag. I argued, but eventually slashed it to 90,000 removing some chapters I thought were not essential and rearranging the timeline. In my writer virgin state of mind, I sent some queries out to a bunch of agents. In a time span between one hour and twelve weeks I got a lot of rejection letters.
In her magnanimous heart, she actually replied to me (most rejections are standard forms) saying the story held promise but she thought I was pitching to the wrong agents. My story, she said, sounded like young adult, not contemporary fiction.
I looked it up. My book was the definition of young adult. All my favorite books were young adult. Shame on me!I had made a fool of myself in front of all those agents proving to them (and me) that I hadn’t done enough research. I had committed the rookie mistake number one, four years into working on the darn book I thought I MUST be ready to send it out and queried too soon.
So I did more research. Lots of it. It turns out that for first time authors independent publishing might be a much better option, even more so if you are working on a series, even more so if your book is quite different from the mainstream in some way (mine is). Ha!
In the spring of 2015 I finished the fourth book and I started blogging about my writing experience. Things went nuts. In three months I gained 3,000 followers on twitter (now close to 7,000), 1,600 on tumblr (now over 3,000) and hundreds of daily visits to my main blog (now about 6,000 per week).
This gave me confidence. Meanwhile, believe it or not, I had gone through book one 3-4 times more.A bunch of writers and friends had read it and liked it. It was now down to 70,000 words and I felt like I could add back some of the chapters I had removed but kept thinking about. Guess what? My style had changed so much since then that I had to rewrite them entirely.
Finally I felt like the book was REALLY DONE, even though my friends did not believe me.
But I was. I started recording the audiobook in July 2015, which turned out to be amazing for proofing (now I have proofers, but back then…not). There’s nothing like reading your book out loud and then having to re-listen to it for finding typos.
Also, at the beginning of July 2015 I found the perfect artist to illustrate my covers! At the end of August 2015 the audiobook was complete and edited and the cover was done!
In September 2015 I got the first proof of the paperback. There is nothing like the fear of seeing that little cardboard box and knowing that it contains the first specimen of your hard work, years of tears, sweat, blood, defeat and…
I cried. My hubby cried. The book was real, and it looked GORGEOUS. It was released in November 1, 2015 and within a week it was #1 new release on Amazon in its category. Book 2 and 3 followed suit, and the rest is history.
So, how long does it take to write a book?
As long as you need.
If you are a writer, you’re not going to give up no matter what. Book one took me 5 years from inception to completion, but book 2, 3 and 4 took much less (some longer than other). My word of advice to you is to to keep writing. Very few people in the world can just sit at a piano and play, or pick up a brush and paint. Writing is no different. Just keep writing.
I am the very short and undisciplined author of the Italian Saga (#TIS): an irreverent series taking place in Italy and speaking of love, sadness, sex, and happiness with a healthy dose of humor <3 I believe in novels that educate and entertain, “page turners with an Italian soul”. You can check out the books pretty much anywhere including Amazon and Smashwords ^_^
Borboleta na minha amiga @gmariacosta feita lá no estúdio de NY @acquasantatattoo #borboleta #butterflytattoo #bulletwithbutterflywings #tatuagemtradicional #tattoorj #farfale #mariposa @ancquora (at Acqua Santa Tattoo)
Mi muoiono le parole sulle labbra ogni volta che mi sorridi,
in questo modo, scoppi la bolla in cui tentavo di tenere a bada le farfalle.
Sfarfallano nella mia pancia,
invadono il cuore, i polmoni,
impedendomi di dire quanto mi piaci,
quanto sei la perfezione imprecisa che serve nella mia vita.
Le mie labbra restano socchiuse,
con la voglia di dire, di baciare, di sfiorare
per un effimero attimo