Posted by Tracy Solheim
Now that I’ve got a book in the bookstore, people seem to think I’m living the life of a famous celebrity: a new car, killer shoes, exotic trips, and Antonio, the pool boy. Seriously, if I lived that life, would I be writing fiction??
The truth? I’m a suburban wife and mother of two, who drives a ten-year-old minivan (without an on-board vacuum, thank you very much) and who spends most of my work-out time at the physical therapist, not a swanky gym. (Although I still pay membership dues to that swanky gym for the days when I do go, which, according to my husband, isn’t often enough to offset the costs.) On a really good day, I might look vaguely like my author photo, but only if I actually fit in to my skinny jeans.
What people don’t understand is that writing a book is manual labor. Wrangling the voices in my head and navigating writer’s block takes a lot of work. Sure, I get to work in my sweatpants, forsaking a daily shower when I’m in the zone. But I’ve got deadlines, people. Do you see the word DEAD in there?? Cranking out ninety thousand words in three months can be killer on a mind and body. There is nothing glamorous in how I look or behave when I’m on deadline. If you don’t believe me, ask my family. On second thought, don’t. They’re likely to post pictures on facebook.
So why do it?
Because, weeks after I’ve completed a manuscript and I’m reading it through again, I get a real high from telling the story that ricocheted around in my head for so many months. The notes I’ve cobbled together off my iPhone and my Alpha-smart actually make sense and there’s a story there. One that I like. The fact that other people want to read my books is just icing on the cake. I am awed and humbled when I meet people at book festivals and signings who actually read my book and want to talk to me about it. That’s nothing compared to the thank-you emails and hand written letters I’ve gotten from fans.
I do secretly think some of the fans come to the signing hoping my cover model will be there also. Another misconception about this industry is that I’ve actually met Jed Hill, the gorgeous guy who graces all three of my Out of Bounds covers. I wish! His mom is friends with me on facebook, though. Happy birthday, Barbara!! Seriously, I have a son not much younger, so while I can admire his physique on my book covers, that’s where it ends. (Okay, I put that in for my husband. And my son. *sigh* Yeah, the diva, too.)
Those of you who’ve visited this site, my website or my author page on Facebook were expecting the title to be Wicked Game. Yeah, so was I. But that sometimes happens in this business. Great minds think alike and another author had dibs on it first. Normally, it doesn’t matter if a title is hijacked from a song, a movie or even another book, except when an author in the same publishing house is releasing that title the month before. It was strongly suggested that I change it and I didn’t waste a moment in agreeing. While I like the original title, Risky Game works, too. Besides, I don’t think too many of you are looking at the printed words on the cover anyway. Right?
What do you think of the cover?