Tag Archives: debut novel

My Book Is Available for Pre-Order!!

Holy wow! This is happening! I found out yesterday that my debut novel, When Reason Breaks (Bloomsbury 2/10/2015), is available for pre-order on Amazon.com. The listing isn’t complete yet because the cover art and description need to be finalized, but it’s there and you can order it! Here’s the brief description:

Elizabeth Davis and Emily Delgado seem to have little in common except for Ms. Diaz’s English class and the solace they find in the words of Emily Dickinson, but both are struggling to cope with monumental secrets and tumultuous emotions that will lead one to attempt suicide.

Click here for the longer description. And, look, here’s a screen shot of the Amazon page:

Amazon screen shot

I know I have five sales for sure: my mom and dad bought four and my sister bought one. I’m on a roll!! LOL!

Seriously, I appreciate every single sale, and if you want to wait to borrow it from a local library, that’s cool, too. I’m a big fan and supporter of libraries.

Also, if you’re anti-Amazon because of its fight with Hachette, then you can wait until its available at other outlets.

But, if you are interested in buying my book, then pre-ordering it would be great! I’ve learned that pre-sales greatly influence promotions and a writer’s future career. I’d like a future career. Just saying.

Here is a post by author Natalie Whipple I bookmarked a while ago titled: “5 Easy Things You Can Do to Support Debut Authors.” In the section about pre-orders, she writes this:

Publishers look at pre-order sales. If they are good, on track, or behind expectations. It impacts their view of the book and their likelihood to push the title. Having good pre-orders could help your favorite debut continue their career. Besides, pre-ordering often costs less than buying at a store or after debut.

So…here’s the link: When Reason Breaks on Amazon. Check it out!

 

 

My Novel Has a Title and Description!!!

What an awesome day! My editor sent me an email with two great pieces of information: my novel has a new official title and an official description that will go into Bloomsbury’s catalog!

So, here’s the title…….

WHEN REASON BREAKS

Changing a title after working on project for so long can be nerve-wracking. This title is perfect, as it fits the story and it’s from one of Emily Dickinson’s poems that’s quoted in the book. The line is from Poem #340: “I felt a Funeral, in my Brain.” Here’s the stanza with the reference:

And then a Plank in Reason, broke,
And I dropped down, and down –
And hit a World, at every plunge,
And Finished knowing – then –

Okay, so I didn’t write a light-hearted romantic comedy. Maybe next time. For now, though, this is what will be available in less than a year:

13 Reasons Why meets the poetry of Emily Dickinson in this gripping debut novel perfect for fans of Sara Zarr or Jennifer Brown.

Meet Elizabeth Davis and Emily Delgado. A Goth girl with an attitude problem, Elizabeth must learn to control her anger before it destroys her. Emily appears to be a smart, sweet girl, with a normal life, but as depression clutches at her, she struggles to feel normal. Both girls are in Ms. Diaz’s English class, where they connect to the words of Emily Dickinson. Both are hovering on the edge of an emotional precipice. One of them will attempt suicide. And with Dickinson’s poetry as their guide, both girls must conquer their personal demons to ever be happy.

In an emotionally taut novel that is equal parts literary and commercial, with a richly diverse cast of characters, readers will relish in the poetry of Emily Dickinson and be completely swept up in the turmoil of two girls fighting for their lives.

Cindy L. Rodriguez is a former newspaper reporter turned public school teacher. She now teaches as a reading specialist at a Connecticut middle school but previously worked for the Hartford Courant and the Boston Globe.  She and her young daughter live in Connecticut. When Reason Breaks is her debut novel.

GAHHHH!! Even though I know the general process of publishing and what to expect next, whenever something happens, I’m surprised and excited. I guess that’s a good thing. For those of you who were at SCBWI in New York, I’m taking Kate Messner’s advice and celebrating every step. For those of you who weren’t there, remember to savor small victorious moments, and it never hurts to celebrate with Aretha Frnaklin, so here’s the Queen of Soul!

My Novel in Word Art

This is a quick post to show off my novel in word art form. In the past, I have had my students run projects through Wordle to create a “word cloud.” The actual size of each word in the cloud is based on the number of times it is used. It’s a great way to have students analyze key words and phrases that may have been overlooked during a first read.

I wasn’t surprised by the results for the characters’ names. Emily and Elizabeth are the main characters, and Ms. Diaz, Kevin, Tommy, Sarah, and Abby are supporting characters. I was surprised at how small “Dickinson” was (to the right of Elizabeth) considering Emily Dickinson’s life and poetry heavily influence the story. I also have a thing for body parts, it seems: face, eyes, hands, head. Hmmm.

Anyway, I’m a visual person, so I thought this was fun and cool. Try it! If you do, take a screen shot and share it in the comments.

Wordle

One Step Closer to Publication!

First of all, Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! I hope your day is filled with lots of kisses, hugs, and chocolate!

So, this past week, I received the major news from my editor that my novel is out of the revision process and in a copy editor’s hands. I received lots of congratulations (thank you!) followed by the question, “What does that mean?” The short answer is that it is one major step closer to publication. Here’s more of an explanation…

The writing process is not linear, but it tends to have steps we all go through from idea to finished product. Here they are:

writing_process

As a journalist, I lived this process daily. Get an assignment, do the research and interviews, draft the article, an editor reads it and makes corrections or offers suggestions, I revise it, it gets read again and, when ready, moves on to the copy desk, where editors take a super close look at it for errors, and then prepare it to be published in the newspaper.

The book publication process is similar, but while the newspaper business runs through these steps daily, months pass between each step when creating a book. Prewriting and drafting could take a year (seriously). In the middle of drafting, you may need to stop and return to the planning phase because something isn’t working and you have to think it through.

When you share it with others for revision suggestions, the revising and redrafting and revising and redrafting and….you get the picture…could go on for months. And in the middle of this process, you may leap back to prewriting/planning if you need to move chapters around and think through the structure and events. At one point, I stopped everything and used post-it notes on my wall to figure out how to tackle a major revision.

I’m not complaining. All of the revisions were worth it. The story I started drafting years ago is SOOOOO much better today thanks to suggestions from my family and friends, and later, my agent and editor. All of the drafting and revising has resulted in a story I’m proud of and excited to share soon with the world.

So, after looping through drafting and revising for months, to be told the manuscript has moved on to copy editing is a big deal, like jump-up-and-down-and-fist-bump-someone kind of excitement. Because this means the manuscript is out of the writing phase and into the production phase. Because if you refer to the chart (yes, I’m a teacher), the story is one pie shape closer to “Publish.” AGHHHHHH!!! Crazy, right?

It's Happening Hi Res

I’m as excited as he is to see what happens through the editing phase! Any comments or advice from people who have been through it?

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