Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Nitty-Gritty of My Publishing Journey

In the process of researching Russian history and language for Blind Stitches, I became acquainted with Anesa Miller, who has a background in Russian studies and creative writing. When I first visited her blog, her post “Drawer No More” caught my attention. To quote Anesa:
In Russian (one of my former professions), there was a saying in the days of universal censorship: “This one’s for the drawer.” Or, “He writes strictly for the drawer”—i.e., with no hope of publication. Even in the era of samizdat, a practice of illegal home-based publishing, writing for the drawer meant that an author was brave enough to put unflattering ideas about the Soviet system down on paper. Sadly, his or her readership remained limited to a circle of trusted friends.

She continues:

In an American context, where being ignored is far more likely than being censored, writing “for the drawer” suggests the author has lost the will to keep seeking the golden fleece of publication. Given up on sharing his or her work with anyone, anywhere.
Anesa’s words immediately struck a chord with me. For anyone who has followed my blog since I started it over five years ago, you know how long it took finally to get any of my work published. What you don’t know—because I have always been very cautious about publicly sharing the nitty-gritty of finally gaining and eventually losing a publisher—is how I ended up self-publishing, that is, how I felt about my publishing journey, the highs and the lows. As I corresponded with Anesa and read more of her blog, I realized that although our publishing paths have differed, we shared many of the same feelings about our work and trying to get it out where it could be read and hopefully appreciated. Anesa has graciously invited me to her blog to tell about how I eventually found a publisher and what lead me to choose the path of independently publishing even while with a traditional publisher. If you are curious about my Inside Scoop, stop over at Anesa’s blog!

Interestingly, over the past several months as I corresponded with Anesa, I found out that she was on the verge of publishing her debut literary novel, Our Orbit, and by chance we ended up publishing the very same week. I’ve just begun reading Our Orbit, a novel about the conflicts that arise when nine-year-old Miriam—with a fundamentalist Christian background—finds herself in foster care trying to adapt to a secular lifestyle while struggling not to lose her connection to the past and her oddball and radical family. Our Orbit, captures the tension between modernity and tradition in the Appalachian corner of bellwether Ohio. Amid the conflicts of finely drawn and compelling characters, Anesa provides a glimpse of the spirit that binds us in our common humanity. I’m really enjoying this read. Can’t wait to find out how it ends!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Why Glasnost and Insanity?

I know that on this blog I’m supposed to share my thoughts on my writing process, but to be honest, when I’m writing, well, I’m just not in the mood to write blog posts. My focus is on finishing the story! When a story morphs from 'my work-in-progress' into a published novel, that’s when I have more time and inclination to share, which I have been doing more of lately—today’s post is a case in point … sort of. I’m actually sharing on someone else’s blog. If you are curious about what inspired Blind Stitches and why I chose to write about insanity and set the story during the Glasnost era—and what about those chickens! head on over to Long and Short Reviews where I tell all (okay, not all, but more information than I have posted here on my own blog).

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Blind Stitches! Now Available! — And an Interview!

I’m a little ahead of schedule—Blind Stitches is now up and running!

Not only that, but I have the pleasure of answering a few questions for one of my readers, Ariffa Bevin, about Blind Stitches, Portrait of a Girl Running and Portrait of a Protégé, and also my writing process—even some bits of information that I’ve never shared on this bog. Go have a look!

Ariffa read my two Portrait novels recently and contacted me. One of the best perks of writing and publishing is finding out that a complete stranger has read your work and enjoyed it enough to send off an email. Come to find out, Ariffa has also recently published a novel, Kingdom of the Sun.

Ariffa’s novel, to quote her, “… reflects the desire that most of us have to make a change, whether it be in the world or in our own lives, and how we may lack the strength or the courage to do it. The novella highlights the significance of what it truly means to be educated as well as the power that one possesses when they are.” Sounds like my kind of story! I’m looking forward to reading it now that I have Blind Stitches up and out. 

Oh, and here’s where you can find Blind Stitches:
·         Amazon paperback
·         Kindle
·         iTunes
·         Smashwords

It will soon be available through Barns & Noble (paperback and Nook), Kobo, Indiebound, and loads of other online ebook retailers!

If you do read Blind Stitches and care to leave a review on Goodreads or Amazon, or anywhere else, that would be grand!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Uncharted: Story for a Shipwright—The Perfect Summer Read!

In case you are looking for a good summer read, I'm offering Uncharted: Story for a Shipwright eBooks for $0.99 until the end of the month! Reviewers call it the perfect beach read!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Blind Stitches—Preparing to Launch!

I'm down to the nitty-gritty of getting Blind Stitches published by July 15th. If anyone is interested in a free ARC (advance reader copy) for the purpose of reading and writing an honest review, please email me at bridget at jbchicoine dot com

In case you're curious, here's what it's about:

Nikolai Solvay has been dreading his sister’s wedding, but when his father dies unexpectedly two weeks beforehand, his return to New Hampshire promises to rake up his worst nightmares. 

Meanwhile, talented young seamstress Juliet Glitch has been putting the finishing touches on the wedding dress. Mother of the bride—former prima ballerina and Russian expatriate—asks Juliet if she ‘would hem her blind son Nikolai’s trousers for the funeral’ … and the wedding. 

When Juliet meets Nikolai, he draws her into the whirlwind of his unraveling family that makes her own quirky domestic situation seem normal. Confronted with the Solvay’s delusions and narcissism, Juliet must decide if her developing relationship with Nikolai is worth the turmoil as she deals with her own unreconciled past. 

Either way, Nikolai cannot stave off the repressed memories surrounding his mother’s defection from the Soviet Union twenty years earlier. Against the backdrop of autumn 1989, during the Glasnost era, Nikolai’s family secrets crash alongside the crumbling Berlin Wall.