I want to be a debut novelist! Who doesn’t? I love writing, publishing, and winning competitions with all my short stories… Still when I go to sleep at night, I dream about the day my novels will be read by, you know, readers – and not just sat on my computer!
But will the reality of becoming a debut novelist actually live up to my expectations?
To find out I asked five authors – all with debut novels releasing either this year or early next year. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be featuring their answers here. So if you want to know what it’s really like to be a debut author too, read on!
Part One: Nina D’Aleo
Nina’s novel The Last City has just been released. Yay – congratulations Nina!
Novel: The Last City
Release date: 1st August 2012
Published through: Momentum Books
One-sentence description: An intoxicating blend of noir crime, science fiction and fantasy The Last City is Blade Runner meets Perdido Street Station.
Hi Nina, and thanks for taking part in this series… Now let’s get stuck in!
1. Most of the debut authors I know always look tired. What’s been the hardest part of getting your novel ready for its release?
I think the hardest bit for me has been the wondering how readers will receive the story… it’s out there for all to read – to like or to hate… and that’s been pretty intense…
2. When I hear debut authors talking about their publishing experience, they often sound relieved. Maybe you could share your timeline with us?
a. When did you first conceive the concept for your novel?
In the far-off past of 2003…
b. How long did it take you to learn the craft of novel writing?
Definitely still learning!!
c. How long from final polish to publication?
3 years I think…
3. How many other publishing options did you explore before embarking on this particular one?
I think the story was seen by two other publishers before Momentum…
4. What’s been the easiest part of the process for you?
The coffee drinking and chocolate eating…
5. Apart from editing your manuscript until your eyes bleed, what else have you needed to do towards publishing your novel? Read and sign legal contracts? Write and approve marketing materials?
Yes – all of the above
6. What promotional activities do you have planned to help launch your novel?
I have the great fortune to have the best marketing man in the world so he leads and I happily follow.
There will be a little film clip coming out soon.
7. What aspects have you found most difficult this time around, which you don’t anticipate will be so tricky next time you publish a novel?
Good question… maybe the self-doubt, but I’m not sure if that ever goes away?
8. Which leads me to ask what’s next? What will be your next writing project and how long will it be before its ready for the world?
I’ve got a few stories going at the moment – I tend to get half way and then re-start so that’s a bit of a challenge, but they’re definitely getting there!
9. Finally, if you had just one piece of advice for those of us still out here waiting to have our brilliant debut novels published, what would it be?
Never give up!!!!
Thank you, Nina!
Many thanks for having me!!!!!
Next time, I’ll be asking Susanna Freymark, a soon-to-be-debut novelist with Pan Macmillan, about her experiences. Will her answers be similar, or different to Nina’s? And what about when I ask a self-published debut novelist about their experience? Subscribe using the ‘More Please’ widget above if you don’t want to miss out, or just keep your eye on Facebook or Twitter
Meanwhile, are you a debut novelist, or do you want to be? Let me know in the comments below!