I’m really excited to have long time journalist and new author (a fellow Destineer), Laura Greaves on my blog to talk about her new novel, Be My Baby, and the good and the bad of instant gratification.
Take it away, Laura.
Just a little patience
The wonderful Meryl Streep once said that instant gratification is not soon enough. As an incorrigibly impatient person, I can certainly relate.
I’m that girl who just can’t wait. The one who watches the pilot episode of a new TV series, then immediately Googles to find out what happens in the finale. If I ask my husband a question via text message and he doesn’t reply right away, I’m all, ‘WHAT CAN HE POSSIBLY BE DOING?’ And I regularly spoil my appetite with sugary treats because I simply can’t hold out until dinnertime (though, to be honest, I don’t feel particularly bad about that).
I even chose the ideal career for impatient people: I’ve been a journalist for the best part of 20 years. I started out on a daily newspaper, where the longest I had to wait between writing a story and seeing it in print was 24 hours. These days I work as a freelance magazine feature writer, and sometimes there’s a month or more between my submitting an article and it hitting newsstands. Even though that’s still no time at all, the waiting is awful.
It might seem strange, then, that I’m also an author. After all, guiding a novel from a spark of an idea to a published book requires patience. Lots and lots of patience, in my case. For various reasons (mostly my chronic procrastination), it took a whopping eleven years to finish writing my novel, Be My Baby, and see it published by Destiny Romance. Imagine the agony!
(The irony is that Destiny, being Penguin’s ‘digital-first’ imprint, is able to publish its titles within months of acquiring them; authors whose novels are published in traditional print editions often have to wait a year or more. Being published by Destiny is about as instant as literary gratification gets, but as Meryl so astutely said, it’s just not soon enough!)
But do you know what? There are advantages to having walked such a lo-o-o-o-ong road to publication. I grew and changed as a person in the years between starting and finishing Be My Baby; that meant the book changed and evolved, too. I’d like to think I made it a little better every time I returned to it with a slightly different worldview. By the time I finally wrote ‘The End’, I’d fine-tuned my concept and knew my characters so well that I was able to say exactly what I wanted to. I’m happy in the knowledge that I wrote the best book I possibly could.
And the thing is, while instant gratification is lovely, delayed gratification is so much sweeter. I love being a journalist, but seeing my name on the cover of a book – a book that I wrote! – trumps all my next-day newspaper and magazine bylines put together. I’m sure we’ve all read about some literary wunderkind who penned a bestseller in five minutes flat and felt a pang of envy, but some clever soul once said that good things come to those who wait. (Maybe that was Meryl, too.)
So has my journey to publication made me a more patient person? Absolutely. I’ve learned to appreciate having the opportunity to take the time to really do justice to my story and my characters. I’d encourage all authors, published or otherwise, to slow down and give their work the time and space it needs. The rewards, in my experience, are infinitely greater.
Now, I’m off to find out what happens in the next episode of Mad Men…
Ambitious Australian Anna Harding seems to have it all: a glamorous job as a gossip columnist, and a beautiful home in London that she shares with her gorgeous boyfriend, Finn Cassidy. Her only problem is her regular run-ins with their neighbor Luke, who is furious about Anna’s internet shopping constantly being delivered to his place by mistake.
When her flighty best friend Helena winds up pregnant, Anna agrees to be godmother – despite her aversion to children. But then Finn announces he’s moving to Belfast for a great job in television and Helena takes off to Scotland – leaving baby Ivy behind. Suddenly Anna’s perfect life is in pieces as she tries to juggle the baby, her job and a long-distance relationship.
Will Finn wake up to himself and return home or will he be swayed by the charms of his seductive producer? Will the irresponsible Helena finally sort herself out with the help of her eccentric great aunt? And will Anna’s life ever be the same, especially after Luke’s unexpected response to the chaos unleashed next door?
Nothing is certain in this entertaining and moving tale about the relationships that matter most.
Thanks for that Laura. I think the wait can be pretty special too. And thanks for guesting on my blog.
You can buy Be My Baby at:
iTunes Store: Search ‘Be My Baby’ in Books