Write what you know…and then grit your teeth and publish. With an older and wiser Vickie Lester and a young Joan Crawford

joan crawford-reading-mgm

Write what you know??? If that were true all you’d be hearing from me is, “Blah-blah-blah, perimenopause, blah-blah-blah, who didn’t close the refrigerator?, blah-blah-blah, that director is an ASSHOLE, blah-blah-blah, does anyone see my glasses anywhere…

Furthermore poppets, I get queasy handing out advice, but the thing about writing, more than anything, is sitting down and doing it. Of course journalists should adhere to who, what, where, when, and why… But, for those of you who are starting to write fiction: MAKE STUFF UP. Make it as emotionally real as possible, make the laws of physics in your universe consistent, make it absorbing and believable, but for God’s sake let loose.

Think about the most compelling novel you’re read recently and ask yourself, did the author experience what their protagonist did? On one level the author does, because they created the protagonist, and the experiences live in their minds as they are translated to the page, but…

Think Donna Tart (The Goldfinch) lived through a terrorist bombing as a young teen, stole a masterpiece in a state of shock, and became a drug addict? Probably not.

Did Marcus Zusak (The Book Thief) get sent to live far from his mother in war-torn Germany, catch the eye of wise-cracking Death, and befriend a boxer hidden in the basement? That one is a definite, no.

What both these writers understand, deeply, is how people feel. How it feels to be cast adrift, to be young, the enchantment one feels when finding friendship… So, no matter the plot, or the circumstances of the narrative, it all seems real, identifiable, human…

Whether or not I am human right now is open for debate but, I did just publish a book. It didn’t go as I’d planned almost from the outset. And starting about two days ago it felt like I was rocketing way too fast down paths I’d never seen before. However, through dumb luck I managed to put my book out there in the world three weeks earlier than expected. I think from now on I will refer to it as premature publication.

I have one hot tip for you self-publishers, once you approve your manuscript draft and cover on CreateSpace, hold on for one wild ride. Once I set things in motion the most amazing people appeared to keep me firmly in the saddle. And sage advice from CreateSpace and KDP were just a phone call away. The likes of Fabian, Melinda, Raul R., Jason, Laura, and Sid worked their magic with calming voices and, here we are:

It’s In His Kiss: Vickie Lester: 9780692207215: Amazon.com: Books.

If you are one of my Angelic Blogging Dozen who has agreed to read and write a piece about the book, there is no more schedule, whenever you’re ready set those fingers typing.

If I have promised you a signed copy of the book, give me a little while to order copies and get them in the mail.

If you want me to visit your book club via the Hangout at Google+, send me an email.

If you don’t like the ideas of trees converted to print, there will be a Kindle version of the book available in about a week.

And if you have been reading along as I yammer on about Hollywood and my book I thank you deeply.

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  1. George Kaplan
    May 10, 2014

    Not Human? I beg to differ, you are the one of the most Human Humans who has ever lived! I, however, am still waiting for the Mothership…
    What great advice, Ms Vickie. I first visited the shores of Beguiling Hollywood a little over a year and three months ago, I soon became enthralled by your personality and writing, enjoying both your myriad entertaining posts and the compelling extracts of story. I soon discovered that you had a novel to be edited and published in the future, which was very exciting but even more exciting and wonderful than that was becoming your friend. I have seen you embark on the voyage of polishing and publishing the Book, the weather and waves have sometimes been rough but you have persevered even when you worried that your novel-ship might founder on unexpected rocks and you have constantly AMAZED and INSPIRED me. I know our friend, RW, was pleased to lend assistance but your accomplishment is *yours* and SUBLIME. Thank You for letting me a part of it. And to all those helping Vickie: thank you as well, you are mensches!

  2. May 10, 2014

    The most lovely of tributes is that from a friend. Or if I were Shakespeare I’d say: “Thy friendship makes us fresh.”
    xox, V

  3. May 10, 2014

    Make stuff up? You mean none of what I am reading in It’s In His Kiss is true 😉 Well, blow me down. It seems so real. 😀

    • May 11, 2014

      Half truths 😉 and character amalgamations!

  4. May 11, 2014

    Whoo hoo! Congrats! Hard enough for me to write a blog post, cant imagine an entire novel. That you sat down and finished it is pretty cool in itself. Cant wait to read all your hard work.

    • May 11, 2014

      Funny thing is…the novel was kind of easier to write than the blog posts…and working on the book was a blast, I just loved it. I think it’s that creative thing that you know a lot about, when you get into that neural zone it’s all about the flow. xox! V

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