Thursday, September 4

Christy Effinger's First Novel is WHERE?

On August 29, 2014, my first novel was released by The Wild Rose Press.  
            Well, that’s not entirely true. My first novel sits unpublished and unread (thank God!) in a closet next to a stack of shoe boxes. The book that was just published is my second novel.
            My real first novel was a mess, though I didn’t know it at the time. It was bloated and meandering, filled with anemic characters who used wooden dialogue. There was no real plot, no riveting scenes, no memorable prose. I spent two years of my life working on a piece of junk. And it was the best thing I ever did for my writing career.
            That first novel was my practice book. I learned more from writing an actual manuscript than I did from any class, workshop, or writers’ group. It had to be done: I had to write that first bad book to flush the crap from my system. Or at least most of it. 
I seem to be in good company. Many of my author friends wrote one (or two or three) books before their “first” novel was published. Of course, some writers manage to sell their first project. But the rest of us needed years of practice before we were ready. 
Back when I toiled over my real first novel, if anyone had told me that this was only a practice book, I would have been disheartened. Now I see the importance of that training period, and I’m grateful for the experience.  
One day I’ll revisit my novel in the closet. I plan to tear the manuscript apart and reassemble it piece by piece until it’s an entirely different story—the story I wanted to tell originally but didn’t know how. In the meantime, I consider my unpublished book a reminder that writing, like anything else worth doing, takes hard work and perseverance.
For those of you who are published, did you sell your first novel? Or did you write  a practice novel that is collecting dust?    
  
Christy Effinger’s poetry, fiction, and essays have appeared in various print and online publications. She lives near Indianapolis. Her website is www.christyeffinger.com 

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Now through September 30, 2014

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Say Nothing of What You See by Christy Effinger


Published by The Wild Rose Press

Blurb:

When her aunt steps off a grain elevator into the emptiness of a prairie evening, Mira Piper loses her one protector. Chloe, her flighty mother, impulsively drags her daughter to Bramblewood, an isolated spiritualist retreat in northern Michigan, run by the enigmatic Dr. Virgil Simon.

Chloe plans to train as a medium but it's Mira who discovers she can communicate with the dead. When her mother abandons her, Mira discovers a darker aspect to Bramblewood: the seemingly kind doctor has a sinister side and a strange control over his students.

Then one winter's day Troy Farrington arrives, to fulfill his mother's dying wish and deliver her letter to the doctor. But calamity strikes and he finds himself a captive, tended by a sympathetic Mira. Haunted by her dead aunt and desperate to escape Bramblewood, Mira makes a devil's deal with Dr. Simon. But fulfillment comes with a steep cost...betrayal. 

Buy Links: 

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BN.com


24 comments:

  1. Welcome, Christy! And congratulations on your first *published* book!

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  2. Since the Raflecopter widget isn't showing up, you can access the Giveaway here: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/bde1f2e51/

    Or, just go to my Facebook page and click on the Giveaway tab.

    Thanks for letting me appear on Word Wranglers!


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  3. Congratulations on your first book, Christy. My very first manuscript was the book of my heart. I think I put every idea I ever had into that book--there may even have been a kitchen sink (and it was a medieval.) First version came in around 115,000 words. LOL. I still love the idea of it. Perhaps someday I'll rewrite the story. Best of luck with Say Nothing of What You See.

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    1. Barbara, I heard somewhere that you should write your first novel for love and your second novel to sell. It may not be true for everyone, but it did work out that way for me. Thanks for stopping by.

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  4. Christy, congrats on your first book. What a wonderful feeling to have your baby in your hands. My first few manuscripts were so bad that I cringe every time I think of them and I will never revisit them at all. Great post.

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    1. Thanks, Kayden. I know what you mean. When I think of that unpublished manuscript, I wince. At least no one else ever read it.

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  5. It's a wonderful feeling seeing that first book advertised on numerous buylinks, isn't it? I see from your social media list, you're well into the process of getting the word out there. My first book was pubbed two years ago, and I'm still catching up with the list you've got. It took well over a decade to finish my first book. And it's been well over a decade since I finished it. Two years ago, I dusted it off and sent it to a publisher's contest for feedback. Amazingly, I received it. If I took it, it meant spending a LOT more time revising and updating, which I started to do this summer. I stripped out at least 20K words already. But just this week, I came up with a new slant that has reinvigorated both my interest in revising it and the story itself. I've learned a lot since I first finished it, but I've learned even more the past two years editing the last five books.

    Barbara Barrett

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    1. Hi, Barbara. It's fantastic you've been able to keep working on that manuscript. You must be passionate about the story. I think that is the key for completely overhauling an earlier unpublished book.

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  6. Christy, what you wrote about first novels is so true. I wrote three before getting serious about being published. Then years later I dragged out that first novel and began rewrites on it. Beyond The Moon will be released Sept. 30 from a new publisher as a hardback, paperback and Ebook and is being nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for literature, so lesson learned. Never throw a ms away.

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    1. Wow, that's amazing, Velda. Congrats. And I agree about not throwing away a manuscript. If it can't be rewritten, there may be lines or even passages that could be used in another book.

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  7. My first book never got out from under the bed; it was definitely a learning experience! I actually have another one, written after I was published to try and get a new print publisher that didn't make the grade, either. Unfortunately, I'm one of the people who throws away all kinds of stuff, so both those manuscripts are extinct.

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    1. You make a good point, Hebby. Just because a writer publishes a book doesn't mean that he or she is guaranteed publication for every subsequent book. In our field, there is always the chance of rejection.

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  8. Only one? You only had one practice novel? I must be a slow learner! I think I wrote 20 before one was published!

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    1. The important thing is that you kept writing! Just imagine if you had given up after that first manuscript . . . or tenth, or nineteenth. :)

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  9. Christy, sorry about he Rafflecopter thing--it obviously doesn't like me!

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    1. No worries. People who want to enter can just go to my Facebook page and click the "Giveaway" tab.

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  10. I wrote more than one practice novel as well. You're obviously a quick learner, Christy!

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    1. Thanks, Jana. It would be interesting to take a poll of published writers and see what the average number of "practice" books is per person. It might be higher than we think.

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  11. Yes, I have the terrible practice novel under the bed not to mention several false starts on other stories.
    Congratulatins on the release and good luck

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    1. Thanks, Marlow. It's nice to hear from all these published authors who also have a manuscript (or several) collecting dust.

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  13. This is so true! I have a TON of false start novels (which I've since cannibalized from). My "practice novel I self-published, but 7 finished books later and I look back at that one and want to fix. That practice novel is crucial. And each book after is also a learning experience.

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  14. I'd have to say both. I "practiced" on my first book by gutting it four times. Many years after I first starting to learn the craft The Wild Rose Press published my historical romance, Sapphire and Gold.

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