For years before I retired, I knew I wanted to write novels later in life, and every time a storyline idea would come to mind, I wrote it down on a scrap of paper. It didn’t matter when or where. I could be walking down the street, observe an incident, and think that would make an interesting scene in a novel. Or I could be at work and hear someone say something provocative that would spark an idea. Another idea, another scrap of paper. Over the years I collected hundreds of these scraps of paper and stored them in a shoe box. When I was ready to start writing, I pulled them all out, categorized them, and put them into piles. As I was going through this painstaking process, a story emerged, and that was how “The Coach House” was born. Its sequel “Daughters” soon followed. “Red Clover” was released the following year, and I am currently working on “Regarding Anna.” I’m not sure what I’ll do for my next book—the shoe box is empty.
When I was ready to publish my first book in 2011, self-publishing wasn’t nearly as popular and accepted as it is today. Back then, like many others, I thought the stigma associated with self-published authors was not worth the potential consequences. Fortunately, that’s changed now. Back then I sent query letters to hundreds of agents trying to get representation. After receiving one rejection letter after another, I took a closer look at self-publishing and decided that was the way to go.
Understanding the ins and outs of how to successfully publish a novel takes time, and because this is an evolving industry, it’s a never-ending process. I had to learn (in some cases the hard way) how to establish an author platform, the importance of editors, the elements of good cover design, where to price my books, promotion and marketing strategies, and how to build a website.
Has it been worth it? You bet it has!
When I’m not writing, I love rummaging around antique stores, going to movies and live theater, and walking along Chicago’s amazing lakefront.
I also love helping new and aspiring authors. To that end, I developed a website where I share things I wish I had known before I started to write my first book.
The Coach House (released April 2012)
May, 1948. Marie Marchetti flees Chicago and her devoted husband when she realizes he is immersed in local corruption, only to discover itʾs the identity of her real father and his ethnicity that unexpectedly change her life more than her husband ever could.
Daughters (released February 2013)
1949 Chicago. Twenty-four-old Marie Marchetti has just experienced two life-altering revelations—who her father is and her newfound ethnicity. As a result, she quickly learns how disparate lives can converge and interact in profound and surprising ways.
Red Clover (released February 2014)
The troubled son of a callous father and socialite mother determines his own meaning of success after learning shocking family secrets that cause him to rethink who he is and where he’s going.
Regarding Anna (release date later this year)
After recovering from the shock of her parents perishing in a tragic house fire, seventeen-year-old Grace Lindroth discovers clues in their attic—a place that had been off limits to her for as long as she can remember—that cause her to believe the people she called Mom and Dad may not have been her real parents. Unexpected people and circumstances hinder Grace from uncovering the truth at first, and when she finally does, the lies and secrets she exposes are both shocking and life-changing for herself and others.
Thank you Chris for this wonderful opportunity to introduce myself!