Publishing a book has been an interesting experience for me. It wasn’t something I saw on my radar…it just happened. I kept my secret author life under wraps from people in my “real-life.”
This was something I did for me…something I didn’t have to share, explain or defend.
The first person I “came out” to was my husband. He would watch me furiously typing on my laptop while we were watching TV together. Whenever he’d ask who I was writing to, I’d answer “No one” and continue on. He’d tease me about my secret internet life, occasionally asking me if I had a virtual boyfriend. He was kidding…at least I hope he was kidding.
Finally, after about two months, I came clean and confessed. I think he figured it out at that point. He knew I was reading fanfiction. I’d bitch and moan about all the awful things my beloved characters were doing. He knew when I read a cheating story by the side-eye he’d get from me after I read it. And he certainly knew when I read a lemon…. You can fill in the blank there.
One day I get the bright idea to write a book. This was an interesting change from fanfiction writing. My characters weren’t based on someone else’s ideas. I wasn’t bound by the personalities already written. These were my characters and mine alone. And I grew to really like them… occasionally wishing they were real so I could hang-out with them. That’s the nice thing about writing your own characters; you can make them anyone you want.
In my imagination they felt real…if they did something funny, I laughed with them. If they felt pain, I felt it. If they did something stupid, I wanted to smack them up side the head. But they were locked inside my head…just for me.
It wasn’t that I was afraid that anyone I let in on my secret wouldn’t support me. My family is awesome. My friends are awesome. They may make fun of me for writing a story that had some snark and smut… but they will always have my back.
My fear was “the blur”. I knew if I told anyone who knows me in “real-life” about publishing my book …and they took the time to read it…most would not distinguish between my own reality and my character’s reality. My characters are fictional… relatable, cool and a lot of fun…but still … fictional. (Not gonna lie…I’m relatable, cool and fun too, but still… real. Every time I step on the scale, I’m reminded how very ‘real’ I am).
My husband encouraged me to share my “Big News”… After all, publishing a novel is a big friggin’ deal (there should be a special candy or wine for such occasions). I was proud of my book. Sure, I had my moments of insecurities …okay, many moments… but I believe I accomplished the end result I was hoping for… a story that makes you smile…mostly.
The first people I confessed to were my mother and sisters. And it pretty much went as expected.
Mom: I love it. It’s so funny. The sex is good too. That husband of yours must be a lucky man.
Me: Please don’t say anymore.
My mother now uses the term “hot-sex” when speaking of my book, frequently. It makes me feel so dirty. Don’t get me wrong, my mother is no “little old lady” but still…she’s my mom…and the term “hot-sex” uttered from my virginal mother of seven’s mouth…Umm…no thank you.
Let’s move on to my sister… here’s the email I got from her:
So…… how do I keep you & your husband out of my head while reading?
Yup, that’s about what I was expecting.
Next…some of my friend’s reactions. I love my friends. They can tease you and it’s okay. … because you know karma is a bitch and one day you’ll get them back.
These are my childhood friends. I’ve know these wonderful ladies since I was seven-years-old. They know too much about me… and I know too much about them. It’s nice having enough dirt on each other to secure lifetime friendships. Oh, the stories we could tell. I’ll save that for another book.
Here’s their reaction when I “Came out of the Author Closet”
Friend 1: What an awesome accomplishment!! I always knew you were a writer, way back in high school, you could always dazzle the teachers with your work, even if you didn’t even start the assignment until an hour before it was due! I have started your book and gotten to chapter 6, I am enjoying your smuttiness!!
Friend 2: Wow. Always knew you had it in you. I’m expecting to lol when I read this – I still remember those great stories from Rivlins class
(Rivlin was our 10th grade English teacher… I don’t think he appreciated my smart-aleck mouth, but he begrudgingly liked my writing. My friends in his other classes would beg him to read my work to their class. I liked to write funny then…I remember a character I wrote named Venetian, a blind prophet (we were reading Greek tragedies at the time)… I created him all because I wanted to write the line “Venetian’s blind.” I thought that line was hysterical.
I tended to write all of our assignments in the hallway on the way to class on the day it was due. And still pulled off A’s. Pissed off my friends. What can I say? I worked better under pressure. If I was still in high school, I’d probably do the same.)
Friend 3: started yesterday afternoon and just finished……..loved it!!!! Who knew you were such a dirty girl!!! LOLOLOL when’s the next one coming out???
Okay, that went better than expected. Although I see them in person in a week. After a few glasses of wine…I’m sure the conversations will be much raunchier.
Everyone naturally assumes that the sex I wrote about was my own. I cannot confirm or deny this assumption.
However, my husband has no issue if my readers choose to believe that the Ben character is based on him.
So, it’s been an interesting experience all around. First publishing a book. Waiting for feedback (which thankfully has been very positive). Then unveiling my secret author-life to a few of my nearest and dearest.
All in all, I’m glad I came-out to my selective few. I cringed and blushed while confessing to the smut portion of my writing… but didn’t hurt a bit.
A bit of business:
Here’s a few links to my book, The Casual Rule. If you haven’t already bought it… what are you waiting for? One-click it! It’s the perfect beach read… and if it’s your winter…it’s the perfect sit by the fireplace read. Covers all the bases.
If you have read it and feel so inclined to leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads, it would be greatly appreciated. (It helps us Indie writers get seen). I’ve taken my magical multicolored gel pens and blank notebooks to the summertime home-office (the beach) and started writing book 2.
Amazon US link: http://tinyurl.com/osl87fb
Amazon UK link: http://tinyurl.com/nx374jq
Amazon AU link: http://tinyurl.com/ntcasyb
Amazon CA link: http://tinyurl.com/nf3yt56
And many other countries…check out your Amazon links.
I updated Fifty Shades- A Different Way last week. Already working on the next chapter. I have to say, I have changed direction on the original intended storyline and I’m enjoying writing this new direction. It’s been a lot of fun (CG’s thought process has made me laugh out loud a few times while writing it) and I know many of you will never look at Jeopardy the same way.
How to Find Me:
1- Subscribe to this blog
2- Facebook: I have two accounts:
A) ‘Friend’ me at AC Netzel (I talk fanfiction snippets among other random thoughts. I’m probably most active here) https://www.facebook.com/netzel.fanfic
B) ‘Like’ my facebook Author page: Author- AC Netzel
3- Twitter: ACNetzel@ACNetzel
4- ‘Follow’ my stories on the fanfiction site for updates on chapters. ( Netzel- Author) Late Night Thoughts is complete, but Fifty Shades – A Different Way is still updating…and Nighttime Thoughts (the tongue-on-cheek story) will eventually get one more addendum (because I refuse to call it a chapter)