While blogging, one of my joys has been making friends. Over the years and despite the miles, someone on the other side of the world can become a real friend, in the truest sense of the term. Once such friend is, Guilie Castillo-Oriard, talented author, large-hearted dog rescuer, and awesome friend.
She’s recently had her book “The Miracle of Small Things” published via Truth Serum Press, and if you haven’t read it, I urge you to get yourself a copy, pronto! There’s something for different kinds of readers: for the lover of short stories, of narratives, of language. It is also a love letter to Curaçao. I’m thrilled to welcome her today on this blog. Take it away, Guilie!
Today marks the end of the MIRACLE tour. A whirlwind five weeks—actually, a whirlwind year. Plenty of firsts. Plenty of awesomeness. Plenty of lessons.
And one seriously unexpected surprise.
- Don’t underestimate the post-contract / pre-publication revisions.
I expected revisions to be a snap—MIRACLE had, after all, already been published (in the Pure Slush anthology 2014 A Year In Stories)—so I agreed to a 30-day deadline. It took me five months to deliver the manuscript.
Chances are that, even in the last proof copy, you’ll find a mistake that’ll keep you awake nights wondering how you missed it in the previous tetrazapzillion edits.
2. Get a jump on author blurbs.
If you want fellow authors to provide blurbs, approach them well in advance. (No, it’s not the publisher’s job.) Nothing says inconsiderate like a one-week deadline—for a favor.
3. Are you absolutely sure every single word in the book is yours?
They sneak in when you’re not looking: song lyrics, lines of poetry. If they’re going to make it onto the published page, you better get your copyrights straight. A credit in the book’s copyright page will usually suffice—unless you’re quoting significant portions. Check it. Yes, yourself.
- The greatest satisfaction won’t be what you expect it to be.
Getting published is validation, right? I’m an author. So it took me by surprise that holding my book in physical form, fabulous as it felt, wasn’t the highlight. No, the non plus ultra was the incredible generosity I got showered with. Even from perfect strangers. The launch in New York happened thanks to four people I’d never met, three of whom had never heard of me. Friends traveled miles, even all the way from Curaçao, to be at the event. They shared the book with their circles. Fellow authors wrote reviews and promotional blurbs.
And this tour! So many bloggers interrupted their routines to host me, they tweeted and shared and commented and visited back. So many in their audiences responded so warmly, even bought and read the book, and took the time to send me a message to say they loved it. To say thank you.
I’m the one who needs to thank you. All of you. Beyond any success MIRACLE sees in sales or reviews or awards, it’s the open arms and generosity I’ve received from you which feel like the Nobel prize.
Special gratitude to lovely Damyanti, for hosting this closing post of the tour on Daily (W)rite today.
What’s the most powerful lesson you’ve learned in your writing journey?
ABOUT THE MIRACLE OF SMALL THINGS (Truth Serum Press, Aug 2015): Mexican tax lawyer Luis Villalobos is lured to the tiny island of Curaçao anticipating a fast track to the cusp of an already stellar career. But the paradise we expect is so rarely the paradise we find.
ABOUT GUILIE: A Mexican writer and dog rescuer who moved to Curaçao “for six months”—and, twelve years later, has yet to find a reason to leave. Her work has been published online and in print anthologies. THE MIRACLE OF SMALL THINGS is her first book. Find Guilie on Facebook and Twitter, at Quiet Laughter where she blogs about life and writing, and at Life in Dogs where she blogs about life and… well, dogs.
I suspect that the support Guilie has received is definitely because the writers’ community is generous, but it is also in large measure due to the beautiful, open generous soul that Guilie herself is. I’ve been touched by her kindness and her writing; and I know, you will be, too. She’s a great friend to have, and her book is a must-read this holiday season!
Are you a lover of short stories? What’s the latest anthology you’ve read? Do you know Guilie? Buying her book? (I bought it for a few friends in the States!) What’s the most powerful lesson your reading/ writing/ life has taught you? As ever, the comment space is for you to talk, and Guilie is an excellent conversationalist. I’m sure we’ll all have wonderful chats if you talk to her in the comments!
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