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Writing, the Business of Writing and JLo
Writers are only sometimes good at writing. I feel that way lately as I’m writing my third book. I question myself constantly if what I’m writing is any good. If anyone is going to be interested in reading it. It doesn’t help that one of the main characters in my book is a, yes, writer who is questioning herself wondering if what she is writing is any good.
Right now, I’m starting to get into the thick of promotion for my upcoming book THE FALLING GIRLS which is not about writing at all. It’s about cheerleading, intoxicating female friendships, friendship breakups, a group of mean girls called The Three Chloes, tattoos and a murder.
It feels almost impossible that I’ve written two books during a pandemic and that my second book is coming out even though we’re not in the clear. People ask me about it all the time. What does it feel like debuting in a pandemic? It feels crazy. I think I’m too new at the publishing game to really understand the impact of the pandemic on my work, I need more time. I hope I’ll be able to keep writing more books.
I’m sorry to make it seem sort of bleak, but the truth is the only way to get another book deal is to sell books, to let the people in charge know that you’re a commodity. The book industry is like every other industry in that they LOVE creative people, but only if those creative people deliver.
I’m trying not to make that my focus. I’m really enjoying writing the new book that I’m working on (yes, even if I’m doubting myself, because that’s part of the process) and I’m trying to diligently stay in the moment. But then the discussion of pre-orders come up and I’m like oh… right. It’s about the work and it’s also about the sale of the work. It’s a complicated balance.
With that said! I’ve got some links for you. Because if you loved my last book, if you plan on buying my next book, I implore you to pre-order it now. If you don’t want to pre-order and put the money out there on the line for something you don’t know if you’ll like, I fully understand. Then can you ask your local library to carry it? Libraries count! Libraries loved Ali Greenleaf and they really helped me get it the critical acclaim it deserved.
+ Pre-order THE FALLING GIRLS!
+ If you pre-order THE FALLING GIRLS from Watchung Booksellers (my local bookstore in Montclair, NJ) I will sign it and personalize it to say anything your little heart desires. And then they will send it to you!
+Bookstagrammers, reviewers, social media influencers: if you’re interested in reviewing my book, please contact me for a digital copy! In the meantime, the e-galley will be available in the Netgalley public catalog in about a week.
+Put it on your TBR list on Goodreads and enter to win a copy while you’re at it!
+If you’re in the North Jersey area, I’m going to be at the Montclair Literary Festival on Oct 2 with some amazing other authors. So amazing that I can’t believe I’m sharing the same space with them. Mona Awad! Joyce Carol Oates! Henry Winkler! Paul Auster!
+Lastly, the paperback for SOMETHING HAPPENED TO ALI GREENLEAF will be coming out very soon. Be on the lookout!
What I’ve Been Reading/Watching/Obsessing Over—The JLo Edition
I can’t start this list without mentioning the thing I’ve been obsessing over the most: JLo and Ben. I know I’m not alone in this, but wow, if you love gossip, then they’ve given us gossip gold. It’s like the Olympics of gossip.
Last night I was at a friend’s house and one of my male friends told me that he didn’t think JLo was relevant. I was in shock. WHAT LITERAL WORLD ARE YOU LIVING IN, DUDE? HOW DARE YOU.
Instead I said: Wow, we live in very different worlds.
Which is the diplomatic response and it is the truth. Because this is all I talk about/group text with/hash out/analyze with my friends, family.
But maybe he’s right? I don’t know how he could possibly be right, but okay. Let’s pretend he has a point. Maybe people who don’t obsess over pop culture like I do, maybe those people don’t think about JLo at all. Maybe they don’t even think the JLo and Ben relationship is real.
In a strange way, it made me feel like I was back in the election world, when I first learned someone I knew was voting for that man.
The male friend asked a few other female friends “Do you think JLo is relevant.” They all responded with “meh.”
Meh? JLo is MEH? Who are you fucking people? I felt attacked.
Did you not read about the JLo Effect in the New York Times? Do you not read the Daily Mail 100 times a day, watching her every move? Do you not read Lainey Gossip’s psychological breakdown of the couple? Do you not…
I kept my mouth shut. I was in Long Island.
Then one woman who I didn’t know announced that she was “done” with JLo because JLo is behind the “Anti-Free Britney Movement.”
Me: I didn’t know there was an Anti-Free Britney Movement.
Her: Look it up.
Me: This sounds like a conspiracy theory.
Then she and I managed to have a very nice conversation about life! See people from all sorts of backgrounds can come together. It’s possible!
The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris/ The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid/ Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam/ White Lotus on HBO/ Also, The Books of White Lotus/ The Turnout by Megan Abbott/ Physical on Apple TV/ This longform on Cindy Adams
Thanks for reading,