One year ago today, my first novel, Not Famous, was published.
It was the end of a seven-year journey from its original conception.
Prior to this, writing a novel was always something I thought about doing but never expected to. Forget all the stuff about publishing is a tough business and it being difficult to market yourself… It took a long time for me to feel like this was something I needed to do and set out to accomplish. I’d had stories in my head for a while before finally having the courage to put anything down on paper.
To finally complete Not Famous, and to put it out there, was no easy feat for me. While I personally loved the story, there was no reason to believe others would—or if it be read at all. If people read it, maybe they’d hate it and I’d get mostly one-star reviews.
Honestly, those concerns went through my head for a short while before I’d finished. But after the novel was complete, I didn’t care. I was proud of the final product, and if no one else liked it, so what?
If I’m also being honest, it’s an amazing feeling when people did read and enjoy Not Famous. One glowing review can make you feel like a bestselling author.
Here are some excerpts of reviews Not Famous has received.
“I love this book. Nick and Alli are brought to life in this sweet story. My only complaint is that it ended too soon, I’m hoping there is a sequel in the works.”
“From the very first page, the author managed to grip me and make me want to read more.”
“I am an avid reader but I couldn’t (and wouldn’t) put this book down! It held my attention, engaged me with not only the story and characters but the writing itself.”
“Great book. I was almost crying at the end.”
“A huge triumph…”
“Really delightful book to read. I wanted a good story with interesting characters and this book hit the mark.”
“A charming and intriguing tale of love and relationships.”
“Here’s hoping that is just the first of many books coming from this author. I know I’ll be reading more.”
It’s a great feeling to know that there people out there who took the time to read your novel and responded so positively to it. I didn’t write the novel with the expectation of selling thousands of copies and being able to quit my job and write full time. I wrote the novel because I wanted to create a story. People reading it and enjoying it is just a bonus.
It was surprising to how quickly I was ready to jump in start working on my next novel, Not Dressed, which comes out next month. It took roughly seven months to complete the first draft of Not Dressed, compared to seven years for Not Famous.
I admit that after completing Not Famous, it was difficult to imagine writing another novel. I’d poured so much into it that for a while I was quite spent, and it was hard to get my head out of Not Famous and start thinking about new characters. Could I even love another novel as much as I do Not Famous? Could I ever feel as proud of another novel? The answer to both questions is: yes.
Today being the anniversary of Not Famous being published is quite a moment for me. I didn’t get rich off the book, but I sold quite a few copies, and most people who read it really enjoyed it. I accomplished something I’d wanted to do for years but never had the courage, and I got to meet some wonderful fellow authors and readers as well.