My deepest apologies! I am 34 hits over 2,000 and have yet to upload the opening chapter of Becoming Mrs. Kennedy. I hurl all blame away from myself to heartily thrust it on Fairfield University and professors who require both final papers and exams. One or the other I could handle, but both? Come on, now you’re just being mean. Pick one. Hats off to professors who are able to make up their minds.
Anyway, in a few moments I will, as promised, post the first chapter of my novel. This book and I have been through quite a bit. I gave birth to her about half way through senior year of high school (so that puts us at approximately February of ’08) because of an inspiration to write about a soldier and the need to get over a guy. Let me tell you, ladies (and I suppose it could work in reverse for gentlemen as well) there is no better way to get a man out of your mind than making him a hero of one of your stories and then finishing that project. Because once you finish it, it is done! Then you are quite literally done with him! This strategy has come through for me now on two occasions. *Note to self, do not write about the, we’ll call him interest, you have now lest it makes things go awry.* What, did I say that? Of course not, that would be getting my hopes up …
ANYWAY, I completed the first draft around May of ’08, and then edited it a bit in between spurts of unsuccessful queries to agents. It didn’t disappoint me too much, for I had much on my mind with college and moving out, etc. Plus by then the idea for Damn Brits would not leave me alone, so I had Julian on the brain rather than Derek (all names have been changed so as to not resemble flesh and blood people). I was still proud of BMK, I only decided to put it down for a little nap like a good mother would for her over-tired toddler.
Two years later, I pick up the damn thing to edit it and give it another shot in the publishing world, and nearly go into the bathroom to hang myself. I thought this writing was good?!?!? I thought this would get me published!?!? No wonder agents rejected me! No wonder my mother lied about finishing it. It was awful!!! This was how I wrote? I would never be a published novelist if this was the way my writing took shape!
Following a few days of self-pity and despair, Ralph gave me a good kick in the ass (unrelated to writing, but quite related to other life experiences) that basically hammered home the realization that I had to give it another go. My precious toddler had grown into a gangly, pimply teenager who just needed some tlc and a giant makeover. Snuggling up in a comfy chair in the library armed with a notebook, highlighters, stikie notes, post-its, pencils, pens, and a Sharpie, I began construction. I excavated the entire first chapter, laying a new foundation in the form of a much better one, and remodeled all of the interior design by scrapping my “See June run” (little tribute to June Hur there) sentences for better craft.
So now here it is. It is what it is. I’m still uncertain of whether to pitch it as a YA novel or an adult novel. The first chapter begins in college, but the rest of it is post college/adult life … I’m not sure. Your thoughts would be welcome!
I do hope you enjoy it (warning gentlemen, it is girly) and let me know what you think. Please be honest, I’m a big girl and I can take it. I come from Irish heritage; the world has been crapping on us for centuries, therefore we have thick skins. I will gratefully take all constructive comments. This is my baby, and I want her to be the best she can be before I send her off into the world to fend for herself among the turbulent sea of publishers. Hopefully there she will then find her soul-mate, a publishing contract, and then the two of them can ride off into the sunset to blissfully reside in their lovely house on Bookstore Street waiting to hear of the birth of her little sister, The Second Novel. Or so a mother can dream.