If you were paying attention, I slipped this bit of news into my post Extra! Extra! on Monday: I am now, officially, a (paid) published author! I feel incredibly lucky to be part of what has turned out to be a very lovely little book. However, before I gloat further… I have a confession: I was a snotty skeptic about this project for a while. When Lisa Winkler of Cyclingrandma, who has kindly supported and followed my blog for ages, approached me about a book idea, I was interested. She proposed putting together a collection of posts written by women. It was something I’d been thinking about myself, so the ideas sat well with me initially. However, as it progressed… I got snotty. That in turn led to me being taught a big, fat lesson: trust, let go, and don’t cut off your nose to spite your face!
When Lisa diligently began to put writers together and ask us for stories; I was still willing and in the game… but just the teeniest bit of snotty attitude had moved in. I began to question the very thing that’s been driving me nuts about my own novel: how can a self-published book, really turn out professionally and be a good project? I’ve been tripping over that one, personally, for months now. When the book project that would be come Tangerine Tango started, I found myself applying those same concerns to Lisa’s project and assuming things would not go well. For the record, boy was I wrong!
As things moved along, Lisa certainly had tenacity and she seemed to be talking about all the right things, but I remained skeptical. Then she began lining up all the appropriate ingredients: cover artists, editor(s), layout person, etc. Despite all that, I had it in my head that this just couldn’t be a professional, good book, that I would be proud to be included in… and that then made me wary about including the stories that Lisa was asking for. I was anxious about handing over my work, not knowing where it would really end up, or how it would be represented. Lisa and I only knew each other through our blog comments, and that was tenuous in my mind. As doubts began to feed my arrogance (I know better, and My stories should only go somewhere I believe would be a worthwhile landing pad…), my snotty got snottier.
Lisa had me send her stories and she wanted edits. There were things she wanted changed that I refused to change. In my defense, some of the changes would have altered the very character of some of the posts, and I wasn’t willing to do that; while other suggestions were fairly reasonable, but snotty me got in the way and threw up road blocks. Lisa remained tenacious despite that. She pushed for more stories and she encouraged me, with her enthusiasm and positive vision. Not enough for me to drop my snotty however… So, in the end I gave her two stories and frankly, wasn’t all that sure the book would pan out. There were a few glitches and a lot of work to do and I figured maybe something would come out of it, maybe it wouldn’t. I sat back and stayed snotty, while quietly Lisa worked… and worked… and worked!
One day she started emailing us all that the book was actually coming together. I found out that she had a very talented young woman who was managing the cover, layout and “artwork” (details on the pages, not illustrations, that make the chapter headings look really top notch, etc). Foolish, doubting me. I found out that things were being edited, and re-edited. Hmm, I began to think. This may just work out. Maybe I should have included a few more stories…? Lisa totally blew me away with her unrelenting dedication and timing! She worked constantly and that book came together before I could say, Wait! I was a snotty fool, I have more stories for you! And in the end, the book has been released with only two of my stories, and man is it beautiful!
Introducing Tangerine Tango, Women Writers Share Slices of Life, the brain child and baby of Lisa Winkler, with the contributions from some really wonderful women writers who I am now getting to know, and am honored to share pages with. This is a small book that you can slip in your purse, or your pocket, which is currently available on Amazon.com and Create Space. I have to admit, for the first two days, I kept going back to Amazon’s page, just to see my name on there, I was so excited! It’s a short ode to a range of things mostly focused around family, with stories that range from funny to tender, sad to uplifting. Eleven women share their blog posts with readers, with proceeds from all of the Amazon sales (only) going to support the Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA), a cause that is near and dear to me and my family. I can’t thank Lisa enough for that extra kind gesture.
So in the end this girl learned a big lesson about trusting others and letting go, and thanks to a cool group of women and the creative, tenacious and very determined Lisa Winkler, I am a published author, in a book that I hope you will all consider buying!