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Friday, April 11, 2014

The Amazing Power Behind Writing Fiction: Notes from The Publicist by Christina George + Giveaway (International!)

The Publicist (The Publicist #1)

Behind every book, there’s always more to the story.

Can one woman change an age-old institution like publishing? Probably not, but Kate Mitchell sure wants to try. As a publicist with a large, respected New York publishing house, Kate finds herself at the mercy of a broken publishing system, books that don’t always sell (at all) and author egos that are often, well, as big as the island of Manhattan.

Enter the star Editor, MacDermott Ellis. Tall, handsome, charismatic, married, and ready to save the day. Kate wants to do the right thing but her hormones seem to be driving her decisions. Then there’s Allan Lavigne, once a revered author, now as forgotten as yesterday’s news; and his nephew Nick, who wants to sweep Kate away from New York for another coast, California.

As Kate tries to navigate the land mine of publicity, the over-the-top author expectations, and the careful dance of “I’m sorry, your book isn’t on the bestseller list this week”, she also finds authors who are painfully overlooked by a publisher wanting more sex, more celebrities, and more scandal.

Welcome the the world of publishing. The ego has landed.

The story only an insider could tell.

Publishing: An industry of out-of-control of egos, unrealistic expectations, and books with the shelf life of milk.

This is Kate’s world, but for how long?

When one of Kate Mitchell’s star authors is carted away in handcuffs, she thinks it’s only the beginning of her troubles. As her world crumbles around her, Kate desperately looks for anyone to hold onto but finds that happy endings are truly works of fiction. When her career and love affair hit their expiration date, Kate sets off on a new adventure...

Starting over in California is easy, but Kate soon learns that leaving her old life behind isn’t. Nicholas Lavigne is eager to help her forget, but two things still own her heart, the dream of discovering the next great American novel, and MacDermott Ellis.

As Kate tries to rebuild her life she finds a surprising gift that reboots her career in a new and unexpected direction. Suddenly her name becomes synonymous with one of the biggest bestsellers publishing has seen in ages and she’s welcomed back with open arms. At the height of her success the ghosts of her past come back to remind her of the world she’d been trying to forget and the man who never let go of her heart.

Behind the book, there's always more to the story.
Buy the book from: Amazon | CreateSpace

The Power and Effect of Writing Fiction

Anyone who has written fiction can attest to this: writing fiction is hard. And it's hard not for the reasons you would think. Most people think that story ideas are tough. Story ideas are the easy part, the hard part is making sure that your writing lives up to reader expectations because it is, and always will be, about the reader. You want them to not just like the book, but to love it.

When I first wrote The Publicist, the feedback on it was a bit mixed. But you know what? They were all right. Well, except for that reviewer who said I'd glorified extra-marital affairs because I haven't. I'll leave that job to Don Draper. I did, however, learn a lot. There's an art and a fine line to writing a book that people not only want to read, but also want to share. I mean, how often have you read a book that you've told a friend about? Probably not a lot, right? Writing that kind of a book is not easy. There's also the other piece of this: the characters. I found that in Book One I loved the characters but actually fell in love with them in Book Two. So now, writing the final chapter in this series I find that it's both exciting and sad. While I hate seeing them go, I love them all so much because I know them almost as well as I know myself. I want to give them all the happy ending they so richly deserve. In my head, Kate is as real as I am and maybe in a way that's because I am Kate—not all of her, but her work and her passions are my passions.

I've also healed a lot of past stuff through Kate and also used her to work things out in my head. Her life is often my life and vice verse. In a sense, she's "my person," the friend you call up when you're confused and don't know what to do. Except for me, Kate exists only on paper and in my head. Still, she's there for me as I try and muddle through my own life. Showing me through her own flawed self how I can be a better version of me.

So, while we all know it's fiction, at some point it crosses over and becomes real. Like the characters on the shows we watch. We get mad at them for making the choices they do, we live with them during their peril or sad times. They are real to us, in an odd sort of way. It's not easy creating characters like that. Not easy at all. And when a reader or viewer becomes so drawn to a character, or comments in a review about a certain aspect of the character. Well, it's like I've died and gone to heaven.

The other day I read a recent review on The Publicist. The reviewer not only got the book, but she got Kate—100%. As a writer, we live for this. Here's the review, if you're interested!

Writing fiction is one of the most rewarding and cathartic things I've ever done. Often it's a gut-wrenching, soul searching expedition into the unknown, undefined, and unexplored. Sometimes I'll sit down to start a chapter and all of a sudden the characters take this in a direction I had not anticipated. That is what I love about writing fiction. We often tap into this inner voice or untapped knowledge we have that only shows up when we write.

Writing fiction is a ridiculously delicious vacation, it's a romp through another world, another life and sometimes, another time. And it's the most humbling power trip you can ever take. I wish that my books were as fun to read as they are to write but I think that would be almost impossible to achieve. Writing brings with it a splendor that reading could never live up to. It is a gift I am wildly grateful for and I hope to never take for granted.

For many years I stopped writing fiction, actually ten years to be exact. I wrote nothing but nonfiction and while that was fine, it did not enrich me the way that this writing does. I am so glad I returned to it.

I am grateful to Kate and Mac and Nick and the voices they are in my head. I love them all and I love you, dear reader, for welcoming them into your lives.

I hope Book Three does not disappoint.

About the Author

Christina George has been working in publishing for twenty years (give or take).

Here’s what this book isn't: It’s not a slam against publishing (though it is broken) and it’s not a slam against authors (though some of them are crazy). This book is not autobiographical though many of the stories are true. No, you won’t know which ones, 'cause it’s more fun to guess, right?

George continues to work in publicity and helps authors because at the end of the day, she does love books, she loves publishing, and she loves authors. She hopes you’ll enjoy this romp through Kate’s world as much as she enjoyed creating it.


Books à la Mode is giving away a set of both The Publicist and Shelf Life—winner's choice of digital or print format! Yay!!

To enter, all you have to do is answer Christina's question:
The Publicist is set in New York. Tell me your favorite movie that was set in New York and why you loved it.

Don't forget to include your email address or Twitter username in your comment so I know who to contact when I choose a winner. Don't make me track you down!!!! No email = No entry!
Please make your comment MEANINGFUL. Comments solely consisting of stock responses or irrelevant fluff like "Thanks for the giveaway!" will not be considered for entry. Christina and I really want to hear from you guys! :)

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the author and tour publicist—a huge thank you to Christina and iRead Book Tours!
Giveaway ends April 25th at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open internationally! That means anyone in the world can enter—woohoo!
Void where prohibited.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their winnings will be forfeited.
Although I do randomly select winners, I am in no way responsible for prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤
Good luck!