Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Book Publishing Secrets with Emilio Corsetti III @emiliocorsetti #books #bookpublishing


Emilio Corsetti III is a professional pilot and author. Emilio has written for both regional and national publications including the Chicago Tribune, Multimedia Producer, and Professional Pilot magazine. Emilio’s first book 35 Miles From Shore: The Ditching and Rescue of ALM Flight 980 tells the true story of an airline ditching in the Caribbean Sea and the efforts to rescue those who survived. Emilio’s latest release Scapegoat: A Flight Crew’s Journey from Heroes to Villains to Redemption tells the true story of an airline crew wrongly blamed for causing a near-fatal accident and the captain’s decades-long battle to clear his name. Emilio is a graduate of St. Louis University. He and his wife Lynn reside in Dallas, TX.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

Website Address: https://www.EmilioCorsetti.com
Blog: https://www.35milesfromshore.com (dedicated website)
Twitter: https://twitter.com/EmilioCorsetti 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Emilio.Corsetti.III

On May 2, 1970, a DC-9 jet departed New York’s JFK international airport en route to the tropical island of St. Maarten. The flight ended four hours and thirty-four minutes later in the shark-infested waters of the Caribbean. The subsequent rescue of survivors involved the Coast Guard, Navy, and Marines. In this gripping account of that fateful day, author Emilio Corsetti puts the reader inside the cabin, the cockpit, and the rescue helicopters as the crews struggle against the weather to rescue the survivors who have only their life vests and a lone escape chute to keep them afloat.

ORDER YOUR COPY

Amazon → https://amzn.to/39zbKBq

 Barnes & Noble → https://bit.ly/39HL7dz

Is this your first book?
This was my first book.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
This is an independently published book.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?
I wasted nearly three years trying to find a traditional publisher. At the end of that three year process the only offer I had was from a European publisher who offered me $2,500. I turned down that offered and decided that I would bring the book to market myself. I wish I would have done it sooner.
The book was first published twelve years ago and it still sells a hundred or so copies a month in one of three formats: eBook, print, or audio.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
I would advise all writers to give the traditional route a try. Maybe you will be luckier than most. Spend all of your effort in finding a literary agent. Give it a year or maybe two. Then decide if you want the story to get out there or do you want it to sit on your hard drive where no one will ever see or read it.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Absolutely. You won’t get rich, but you will reach readers who will not have known about you or your story.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
When you think you have your manuscript as good as it can get, it’s time to hand it over to the professionals: editors, cover designers, typesetters, people who know how to produce quality books.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Book Publishing Secrets with MaryAnn Kempher #books #bookpublishing

For many years, MaryAnn Kempher lived in Reno Nevada where most of her stories are set. Her books are an entertaining mix of mystery and humor. She lives in the Tampa Florida area with her husband, two children, and a very snooty Chorkie.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

What happens when your soul is bound to another before you were ever born? Lonny and Roo have been best friends since they met in high school in 1975 at the age of fourteen. Same last name, same birthdate, they were attached at the hip; rarely was one seen without the other. Together they navigate through their emotional high school years, but nothing prepares the naive teenagers for the real world ahead of them. Now on the cusp of their fiftieth birthday, Lonny finds Roo broke and alone and convinces her to leave with him on a cross country road trip from New York to Las Vegas, hoping to set her on a new path in life. Told exclusively by Roo, follow the friends back and forth through their unique relationship — experience the loss of innocence, career and life choices that separate and unite them, and unspeakable events that nearly destroy them. It’s a love only they understand, as well as the unbreakable bond that forever ties them together. Is it possible they are only capable of loving each other?

ORDER YOUR COPY

Amazon → https://amzn.to/329vHMV


Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published.  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?
A year before starting book one, I’d retired from the US Air Force. Because my kids were still young, I was staying home vs going back to work outside the home. I had time on my hands, but writing a book wasn’t something I’d ever given any thought to until I’d read an article on-line that got me to thinking. It took me nearly five years from start to publication because I was treating writing as a hobby. Now, I average nine to twelve months between books.
Is this your first book?
Yes, but since its original publication I’ve gone on to write six more.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
This book was originally published by a small publisher, but after a year I bought the rights back and self-published.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?
I’ve had ups and downs. All my books have done relatively well. My first book made it into Amazon’s top 100. However, it’s been hard to maintain that momentum. Having been published traditionally and having self-published, I’ve found self-publishing to be the best route for me. I like the control it gives me.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
My respect for authors who do really well has increased. This is because I know that no matter how much you promote, it might not be enough. It’s not easy to become a bestselling author. I’ve learned that a book that most people say is written terribly could still be a bestseller while a book that is thought to be well-written might not sell at all. That there is an element of luck to this business.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Self-publishing? Yes, absolutely.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Assuming you’ve created a well-written, enjoyable book—don’t assume your job is done. Ensure the book is professionally proofread and edited, and is given a professional looking cover. As much as your budget allows—promote, promote, promote.


Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Book Publishing Secrets with Elysia Strife @elysialstrife #books #bookpublishing

Elysia Strife is a self-published author of science-fiction fantasy and romance novels.

Adopted by two educators, Strife developed a deep love for learning new things. In 2012, she graduated from Oregon State University with two Bachelor’s Degrees in Public Health and Human Sciences: Interior Design and Exercise Sport Science. Her past wears fatigues, suits, and fitness gear, sprinkled with mascara and lace.

“I like to question everything, figure out how things work, and do tasks myself. Experiencing new things is fun but also helps with writing raw and genuine stories. And I’m always trying to push my comfort zones.”

Strife likes the rumble of her project car’s 350-ci V8. She enjoys the rush of snowboarding and riding ATVs on the dunes. But nothing brings her more solace than camping in the mountains where the stars are their brightest.

Strife enjoys connecting with readers and welcomes all feedback and questions.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

Website: elstrife.com


A romantic-suspense novel featuring: miscarriage, hot co-workers, cybersecurity threats, and the
struggle of defining family.

With only an abusive mother-figure to guide her, Norah has learned everything the hard way. An unexpected pregnancy with her fiancé changed her career plans. But miscarriage and betrayal thrust everything in reverse again. Eerie things start happening at work, and Norah finds herself at the center of the investigation.

Secrets tumble forth from Norah’s father, her ex-fiancĂ©, and the mystery around her adoption, breaking the walls she’s put up to protect her heart. Now, more than ever, she longs for trust, love, and a family of her own.

Bonding with her handsome co-worker, Evan, and his teenage daughter, Ashley, Norah gets a glimpse of cohesive family life. She finds herself falling for Evan and becoming an unlikely source of help and understanding for Ashley. Evan and Ashley have an empty seat at their table, one Norah wishes to fill. Yet the guilt of taking the previous woman’s place threatens to keep them apart.

Can Norah overcome the scars of her past and discover her inner strength? And will the private letter from her father answer her questions or destroy the family, and the man, she’s come to love?

ORDER YOUR COPY

Amazon → https://amzn.to/2wYVKLh

Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published.  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?
I didn’t set out on this journey thinking, “I want to be an author.” I just had stories I wanted to share with others. A Promise in Ash was prompted by the feeling of emptiness and failure I experienced after a miscarriage. It developed into a full story after an interesting encounter with a woman as one of the RV parks we’ve stayed at over the years. Her tales inspired the book to become what it is today. I think it’s important to talk about miscarriage and abuse. The more we do, the less uncomfortable the topics become. I just felt like fiction was a gentler way to go about this than self-help. 
Is this your first book?
No, this is my 5th book. I’ve also written three sci-fi fantasies and one holiday romance.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
I’m a self-publisher by nature. I love learning how to do things, so it just seemed like the right fit: doing everything myself. But I also chose self-publishing because I didn’t think I was ready for querying, traditional agents, and contracts. It sounded more serious than I was prepared to dive into. I wanted to figure the system out before I put time and effort into queries.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?
My first book was pretty rough the first time around. I’ve edited it a few times since and changed the cover. I’m finally happy with it, but it took a while. But lack of sales came down to a lack of marketing platform and knowledge of marketing in the beginning. I’m much better at it now, but it’s still hard to compete with the pros. 
I still like having total creative control. I design my covers too. This can be detrimental in the beginning when you have no idea what you’re doing. I know I’ve learned a lot, but sometimes I still feel like I’m just “winging it.” Eventually, you learn to trust your training and instincts, and then move on when a project is done. Getting bad reviews sucks. But even super famous books have them. So I figure if I get just a few great reviews, the book was a success. 
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
There is a lot of competition. There will always be the top 100 books to read for the year. But I’ve read some fantastic books by indie authors with less than ten reviews. They’re great writers, but they aren’t included in the top 100 because of lack of discoverability. Indie publishing is great, but it’s led to market saturation. If you want to get readers’ eyes on your books, you have to advertise. 
Traditional publishing is getting more competitive. It’s not just enough now to have a superb query letter and a polished manuscript. You have to have a social media following. Yep. I’ve seen people rejected for that very thing. A marketing platform is everything.
I didn’t understand how to narrow down my audience in the beginning. I’m still working on it. But it’s not enough to search for readers in your genre. You have to focus on the subgenre and key interests. I’m finding this issue is surfacing again with my romance. I have a holiday romance and a dark contemporary romance, which I list as romantic suspense because there’s yet to be a subgenre for that. But readers of one book won’t like the other. The themes and content are too different. It’s frustrating to start over with a readership, but it’s important to acknowledge and respect how very particular some readers are. 
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Sure. I think it’s great to be able to say that you’re an author and have a physical copy of something to show others. People need to share their stories, whether true or fictional. With as much competition as there is now for traditional slots, I think indie authorship is a great alternative. Everybody has a story to tell, even if it’s just their memoir. When we share our ideas and concepts, we discover things about each other and humanity.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Be realistic, which I know is hard when you’re not really sure what you’re getting yourself into. Hopes and prayers aren’t enough to get your book done and seen. You have to be prepared to do a lot of work. Writing is hard. Editing is harder. Formatting is cake. The cover is the frosting; make it look darn pretty. Publishing is eating cake. Marketing is the hardest. 
You need a marketing plan before you publish. You need an author brand, at least in concept. You need to know who will support you, what the genre expectations are, and how to avoid all the amateur mistakes. 
You need to have conviction. Writing will only be one tiny facet of the business if you choose to become a full-time author. You’re going to spend a lot of money on ads and websites and programs—tons of stuff. Save your receipts. You won’t make a lot the first few years until you start to figure the system out. Don’t quit your day job if you can help it. 
Remember why you started writing. Remind yourself of this every day, so you don’t get discouraged. There are going to be chunks of time with no sales. You’re going to get bad reviews. Every author, even famous ones, get them. Don’t pull your book down. Don’t quit writing. You’re going to get better, but only if you don’t give up. 
Thanks for having me!
Best wishes!
-Elysia
 




Friday, March 27, 2020

Book Publishing Secrets with Kiran Bhat

Kiran Bhat was born in Jonesboro, Georgia to parents from villages in Dakshina Kannada, India. An avid world traveler, polyglot, and digital nomad, he has currently traveled to more than 130 countries, lived in 18 different places, and speaks 12 languages. He currently lives in Melbourne, Australia.

Website  → http://iguanabooks.ca/

Book Blurb

The Internet has connected – and continues to connect – billions of people around the world, sometimes in surprising ways. In his sprawling new novel, we of the forsaken world, author Kiran Bhat has turned the fact of that once-unimaginable connectivity into a metaphor for life itself.

In, we of the forsaken world, Bhat follows the fortunes of 16 people who live in four distinct places on the planet. The gripping stories include those of a man’s journey to the birthplace of his mother, a tourist town destroyed by an industrial spill; a chief’s second son born in a nameless remote tribe, creating a scramble for succession as their jungles are destroyed by loggers; a homeless, one-armed woman living in a sprawling metropolis who sets out to take revenge on the men who trafficked her; and a milkmaid in a small village of shanty shacks connected only by a mud and concrete road who watches the girls she calls friends destroy her reputation.

Like modern communication networks, the stories in , we of the forsaken world connect along subtle lines, dispersing at the moments where another story is about to take place. Each story is a parable unto itself, but the tales also expand to engulf the lives of everyone who lives on planet Earth, at every second, everywhere.

As Bhat notes, his characters “largely live their own lives, deal with their own problems, and exist independently of the fact that they inhabit the same space. This becomes a parable of globalization, but in a literary text.”

Bhat continues:  “I wanted to imagine a globalism, but one that was bottom-to-top, and using globalism to imagine new terrains, for the sake of fiction, for the sake of humanity’s intellectual growth.”

“These are stories that could be directly ripped from our headlines. I think each of these stories is very much its own vignette, and each of these vignettes gives a lot of insight into human nature, as a whole.”

we of the forsaken world takes pride of place next to such notable literary works as David Mitchell’s CLOUD ATLAS, a finalist for the prestigious Man Booker Prize for 2004, and Mohsin Hamid’s EXIT WEST, which was listed by the New York Times as one of its Best Books of 2017

Bhat’s epic also stands comfortably with the works of contemporary visionaries such as Umberto Eco, Haruki Murakami, and Philip K. Dick.

PURCHASING LINKS

https://amzn.to/2DQIclm

https://bit.ly/2Lqe9Fi

Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published.  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?

we, of the forsaken world... came to me in 2011, when I was on a bus between Dubrovnik and Zagreb. A tall, brunette woman with a lingering stare sat down next to me on one of the stops. We began to talk about a host of things I can’t remember now, but the one thing that she told me which did remain in my head was the following: Croatia is one of the poorest countries in the world. Something about that sentence inspired my imagination. After we reached the bus station, I had to sit on one of the metal benches for a few hours, and write. I was starting to imagine different countries, completely imagined in my head. One was a half-rich half poor megalopolis, the sort found in most third-world countries. Then, there was a town that wasn’t so different looking from my grandmother’s place, the southern Indian city of Mysore. There was a tribe in the middle of nowhere, not to mention a town of great touristic importance, destroyed by an industrial spill. I also imagined hundreds of voices. Though, over the course of time, those two hundred-so voices became around sixteen; the most distinct and boisterous of the lot.


As for why I became an author itself... well, that is more complicated. I suppose it started at the age of 17, 2007, when my parents tried to cure me for being gay, and I had to turn to poetry to emotionally survive. I showed this poetry to my classmates and teachers, and they said it was quite good. I grew the courage to write stories, and then as I started traveling, I realized I wanted to write for a global era. So, I continued to travel, continued to write, and continue to creatively evolve.


Is this your first book?

It is my first work in English, but I’ve published books in my mother tongue Kannada, Spanish, Portuguese, and Mandarin.

With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?

I chose to publish with an indie press, because they were the only ones as of now who really loved the book, and so I went with them.

Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?

I had finished the book in 2016. One of my friends, who was an editor at a small press in New York, gave me a list of agents to contact. Most of them responsed stealthily and quickly, but after some months, they did not find my book – experimental, ambitious, overtly literary – to be a quick fit for the market. They had to turn it down. After about a year of waiting for these agents to respond, I started submitting to small presses. It was in 2019 that I got a response from an editor at Iguana Books. They were interested in publishing the book. I told them that I was still waiting for some other publishers to respond, so I asked them to wait for some weeks so that I could get some responses. Within two weeks, this same editor emailed me, asking me to follow up. He really liked this book, and wanted to publish it. 

Before my work with Iguana Books, I hadn’t had a publisher respond to me so positively. Admittedly, Iguana Books is a hybrid press. This means that they vet every book project that they take on, but they ask the author to take on the financial burdens of publication. This still did not mean that they had to care so much about my writing. They did a lot of work, from the editorial stages, to the design of the cover, and the maps that I asked to have tailored onto the book itself, to make sure that the book was aesthetically enriched. They spent a lot of time with me talking on the phone, making sure all of my needs were met, from last-minute changes to a sentence or two, to having my books flown to Hong Kong or Delhi for the sake of book festivals. I do not think having been published by a hybrid press has downgraded the quality of my work in any way; if anything, I am glad to have had people who believe as fondly in my vision as I do. It makes me look forward to later publications, as well as the future of my career.



I think it would be hard for me to speak of the pros and cons of hybrid publishing; I will have to see, I suppose, once the book officially comes out.



What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?

There is still a lot of stigma in the world towards hybrid publishing, as there is to any alternative means of writing. I don’t understand it, because we all approach writing because we believe we have a story to tell, and so we should judge people inherently through their talents in writing, not by the means to which they published.

Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?

I don’t know. I think you pick whatever path ends up working for you as a writer. If a big publisher takes it, then go for that. If they don’t, keep going down the ladder, until self-publishing is the last resort, and then take that route.

What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?

We as writers are drawn to write what we believe in because that is what our minds have chosen for us. Do justice to that path, and you will get everything you deserve.


Thursday, March 12, 2020

Book Publishing Secrets with J. Arlene Culiner

Writer, photographer, social critical artist, musician, and occasional actress, J. Arlene Culiner, was born in New York and raised in Toronto. She has crossed much of Europe on foot, has lived in a Hungarian mud house, a Bavarian castle, a Turkish cave-dwelling, on a Dutch canal, and in a haunted house on the English moors. She now resides in a 400-year-old former inn in a French village of no interest and, much to local dismay, protects all creatures, especially spiders and snakes. She particularly enjoys incorporating into short stories, mysteries, narrative non-fiction, and romances, her experiences in out-of-the-way communities, and her conversations with strange characters.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:




Love and Danger at the ancient Hittite site of Karakuyu

Priceless artifacts are disappearing from the ancient Hittite site of Karakuyu in Turkey, and the site director has vanished. Called in to solve the mystery, archaeologist Renaud Townsend is hindered by both his inability to speak the language and the knowledge that the local police are corrupt. His attraction to translator Anne Pierson is immediate, although he is troubled by her refusal to talk about the past and her fear of public scandal. But when murder enters the picture, both Anne and Renaud realize that the risk of falling in love is not the only danger.

Praise:

Author J. Arlene Culiner does not disappoint in this fast-paced novel, The Turkish Affair. Glittering descriptions, magical settings, and enviable characters bring the solemn grounds of Turkey to life as we are planted firmly in an archeological dig in Karakuyu, Turkey. Culiner’s mastery of the English language and sentence combinations form an enchanting read. The Turkish Affair is a must-read for all lovers of romance and adventure.
–Lisa McCombs for Readers’ Favorite

ORDER YOUR COPY

Amazon → https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0823B18Z3

 Barnes & Noble → https://tinyurl.com/yx2lyg6v

Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published.  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?
I once worked in Turkey as a translator and guide, and I lived in a small, restrictive community like the one I describe in my book. The police were aggressive and corrupt, there was political unrest, and life could be frankly dangerous. I also spent time on archaeological sites in Israel, England and France and Greece, so I also know a certain amount about artifact theft. Therefore, it was only natural to combine the things I knew and my experiences in a book. I love writing, and I particularly enjoy writing romances with all the complications and doubts of two people discovering each other. But I also love mysteries, and in The Turkish Affair, the reader can link up the clues and find the guilty party.
Is this your first book?
No, this is my eight published book, plus one photography book. I suppose I should add I have two finished non-fiction manuscripts that are looking for a publisher.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
I always publish through a publisher. I suppose I need to know that a traditional publisher finds my work good enough to be accepted. And, I usually work with small presses.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?
I have generally had good relationships with publishers. However, one editor I worked with on a non-fiction book wanted me to make so many changes — she rewrote almost every sentence — which I found unacceptable. If she didn’t like the way I used language, she shouldn’t have accepted to be my editor. I called her up and asked if we could meet for breakfast the next morning. That’s when I told her I wouldn’t be making the changes, and would prefer ending my contract. She immediately backed down. The book was published the way I wanted it, and it won a literary prize. However, I did run into two other writers who had the same problem — one of them with the same editor. They accepted all the changes instead of fighting, and since the published book was totally different from the one they had written, they hated it.
I had a similar experience a few years ago. One publisher contracted me to write a book, but when he saw how critical it was, he refused to publish it as is… it was supposed to be all sweetness and light. We decided to end our deal but we’ve remained friends.
A year later, another publisher wanted me to add chapters about modern music stars. Since I was writing a biography about a 19th century rebel poet and the political situation in Eastern Europe before WWI, I refused.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
I’ve very much enjoyed working with several publishers, and I love working with my editor for, The Turkish Affair, Eilidh MacKenzie. I’ve already worked with her on three books, and I never disagree with her.
I also like working with small presses because I can have a personal relationship with the people working there. One thing I dislike about the large publishing houses is how they choose a few writers — usually famous ones or one who are writing about “trendy” subjects — then spend an enormous amount of money promoting them. They let all their other writers sink or swim, and that usually means that the forgotten authors’ books are on the shelves for three months, then they’re ground into pulp.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Small press publishing? Definitely. But you’ll have to do an enormous amount of promotion if you want to make money. However, if you don’t care about the financial side of things and just want to write, then fine, go for it.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
The one thing all writers are faced with at one time or another, is rejection. I have no words to lighten the dismal feeling a rejection slip brings, but we just have to get on with it, send that manuscript out again. After a while, rejection doesn’t even hurt: it’s just another challenge.



 


Thursday, February 27, 2020

Book Publishing Secrets with Paul Midden, Author of 'Riley'



Name: Paul Midden
Book Title: Riley
Genre: Adult, contemporary fiction
Publisher: Wittmann Blair
Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published.  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?
Is this your first book?
Paul:  No, it is my sixth novel.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Paul: Some years ago, I set up my own publishing company. So it is an indie publication.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?
Paul: I started with a small press for my first two novels. Then I switched to various kinds of self-publishing. Finally, I set up my own company, which enabled me to plan more successfully, control costs, make editorial decisions independently, and oversee the quality of the final product.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Paul: The publishing industry is pretty much the Wild West: lots of people clamoring for your attention; On the one hand, there are the major publishers, whose bottom line requires them to be very selective, and some would say limiting, in what they accept for publication. Then there are the (largely self-appointed) experts who make lots of promises, warranted or not. Setting up Wittmann Blair enabled me to turn the volume down on a lot of that, select quality professionals, and pursue publishing the kinds of books I want to publish.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Paul: It is not for everyone. I think people need to experiment and find the methods best suited to them.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Paul: Write a lot; stick your toe in different literary ponds; take risks; enjoy the process; have a support network.

//////////////
About the book:
Riley is about the eponymous protagonist who is about thirty, a writer by trade, who lives in Washington, D.C. At the beginning of the book, she has left her husband and has undertaken a novel about separation and divorce. She lives in a small apartment in a D.C. high-rise.
The characters in Riley’s novel are also in a marriage that is teetering on the edge. It opens with Adam, her protagonist, trying to decide if he should talk to Suzanne, his wife about their relationship. He works from home, and he has decided this was the day they would talk. In the end, he loses his nerve and doesn’t say anything. But to his surprise Suzanne is the one who takes the initiative.
Riley’s life and the novel she is writing share many similarities, but there are also major differences. Suzanne turns out to be having an affair with her female boss. Riley’s best friend is a slightly older lesbian who is attracted to Riley but who values the platonic friendship they have.
As the story unfolds, unexpected things happen that challenge all of the characters. Without giving away the plot, the lines between reality and fantasy begin to blur, and each of the characters has to deal with the emotional impact of events as they unfold.