Tuesday, February 23, 2010

One Book's 15 Year Journey

El Patron is finally available! I am so excited about this book. It has been a journey to see this book in print. I don't know if any of our eight readers care, but whatever, I'm gonna "blab" for a minute about this book's journey, and then maybe you will understand why I refer to it as a journey.

I'm going waaaaayyyy back now. In 1991 I gave birth to my first son Alex. He was six weeks preemie and had some health issues that dictated that I stay home with him and not work at the time. I was fresh out of college with a degree in journalism. I chose journalism as my major because my parents didn't think creative writing would be lucrative and since they were footing the tuition, I acquiesced. However, the bug to write fiction never stopped biting at me. So with my baby at home and the urge to write a book, I took a correspondence course through Writer's Digest (these were the days before I had a clue about the Internet). I finished that novel, and sent out submissin to agents and actually had some good feedback but ultimately it was rejected. Two years pass and by then I had a rough and tumble toddler and a new baby on the way. I was now working at our family business, but I still had that need to write. What I would write, I didn't know.

Well as things would have it, some very interesting events took place in my life during that time. I won't divulge but let's just say I might have known someone who was married to someone who had a cousin who knew someone in the Mexican Mafia a.k.a the drug cartels. I had read The Godfather series and found the history, etc., of the mafioso interesting--I didn't want to be involved with that lifestyle though, so I stopped knowing that person who was married to someone who had a cousin who knew someone in the Mexican Mafia a.k.a the drug cartels. But the idea of a book about them intrigued me. I did some research and I sat down with my then six month old baby either in my lap or in a swing next to me, while my two-year-old made a fiasco out of the house. I had just acquired my first laptop. With my baby at times in my lap, I hunted and pecked my way through the first draft of El Patron. Then my life kind of bottomed out. I went through a divorce, I lost my home, I had to file a bk because I was left with a ton of debt I had been unaware of in my youthful naivete (that's a nice way of saying I was a pretty dumb twenty-something). I took a year off from writing and went back to work for my family.

But writing is a passion and once you have it, you want to write. You always come back to it. So, eventually I wrote another version and then another of this big book (450 typed pages). I had the fortune to attend the Maui Writer's Retreat and it was there that someone in the industry said, "Oh no. Organized Crime books and family sagas don't sell." Funny how The Sopranos were on a year later and we all know how unpopular that series was. Instead of focusing on Patron, I wrote two thrillers, a children's book, and then Murder Uncorked, which was the first book I sold to a publisher. But the characters of El Patron kept nagging at me. After putting out a few mysteries, I decided to take another crack at El Patron. I revised it two more times and utilized my Yoda (my freelance editor Mike Sirota). This was three years ago. But then, more mystery book contracts came in and my focus was back on them. I have now written nine mysteries and after finishing up the latest one "A Toast to Murder," and then putting out "Happy Hour," I thought now might be the time to see if El Patron will fly. I hope I'm right.

For those of you (all 8 of our readers here) who are used to reading my comedic mysteries, be prepared that this book is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyy different. I'm not a writer who only wants to write one type of book. I want to write good stories--stories that compel me, wake me up in the middle of the night yelling at me, "WRITE ME!" So, if you do decide to join me on this journey, just know what you are getting into--this is a saga, and there are some not so nice parts, and there are some steamy scenes (compliments of my partner J.P., who is the go to girl when yoou need to ramp up a sex scene. Oh boy, talk about blushing! I can hear J.P. now--you're such a prude." Yeah I know). But on the flip side now that I've told you this book isn't all laughs and light, it is my favorite book. These characters have been screaming at me for 15 years now, and they wouldn't leave me alone. So, even if only the 8 of you here buy the book and read it, I'm good with it. It's been worth the journey all the way! If you want to get the early release copy, order here http://bit.ly/cpvafN. Amazon and B&N should have it some time in the next two weeks. It is also available on Kindle for only $3.99!


P.S. Here's a link to my latest newsletter where you can get some cool free stuff. http://bit.ly/bda3VS


Linda Benson said...

Awesome post, Michele, and Congratulations! I love to hear about other writer's journeys, especially with a book they've put so much into.

You need to post the cover of El Patron up here! It's a great cover!

Linda said...

I love the story of how El Patron came about. Thanks for sharing. And I'll definitely read it!

Michele said...

Thank You to both Lindas!

Lori's Reading Corner said...

Make sure everyone gets a copy. It's FANTASTIC!!!!!

Kris said...

Congrats on the book finally being published!!!!