Today, I am pleased to welcome Sarah Jio, author of The Violets of March which comes out this week! It is a lovely book which I strongly recommend.
Here is my review of The Violets of March.
Now that my first novel, The Violets of March, has made its debut, a lot of people ask me if there are any similarities between me and my main character, Emily Wilson. Clearly, Violets is a work of fiction, and unlike Emily, I am happily married, with three little boys. But I will admit, Emily and I share a little secret camaraderie.
As readers get to know her in Violets, they learn that she is suffering from a form of writer’s block and unable to pen her next novel. Here’s where my story meets Emily’s: I wrote a book before Violets that my first agent loved. She was eager to sell it, hopeful it would be a big hit. The process was fast-paced and fun. She sent the book out to editors, but instead of feeling 100 percent happy, I panicked a little. A book deal would be amazing, of course, so why was I worrying? I now know that nagging feeling in my heart was a signal that I felt the book wasn’t THE book I wanted to debut with. It was light, airy, fun, yes, but it didn’t come from my heart. The story didn’t grab me the way a story must grab an author for her to be truly proud of it.
When the book didn’t sell, my agent suggested sending out to a new group of editors, but I backed away and decided to regroup, to think about the kind of author I wanted to be, and the kind of book I wanted to write. Several months later, the idea for The Violets of March hit me like a lighting bolt and I couldn’t get the characters, the story, the island out of my head. I wrote the book in a period of a few months, landed a new agent (after my first agent left her agency to start a new career), and sold the book—100 percent proud of my creation.
Writing that somewhat flimsy first novel wasn’t a complete waste of time, though. It taught me an important lesson about the value of writing from my heart and writing stories of meaning. I never thought I’d say this but I am so grateful I didn’t get that book deal!
Pre-order/order link: http://www.amazon.com/Violets-March-Novel-Sarah-Jio/dp/0452297036/ref=tmm_pap_title_0
Sarah’s web site: www.sarahjio.com
What are you reading and where are you going?