You might be surprised by how little control an author usually has over what happens to her book after she hands it over*. The cover, the formatting, and a book's distribution, for starters. Just this past week, I've had several author friends discover something completely unexpected about their books. One of them was Christine Fonseca. So I decided to sit down with her and have a little chat about her experience.
Me: Hi Christine! So happy to have you visit! I spruced up the place just for you. What do you think of my new sculpture?
Christine: Um…well…you did this for…ME????
Well...um, sure. Yeah, sure. I totally brought in a giant butter sculpture of a half naked Jared Leto in just for you.
Eh hmm. So a little birdie told me something unexpected happened to you yesterday. Wanna tell me about it?
DUDE! You won’t believe it. There I was, in the thralls of some seriously intense work ( no really – it was INTENSE) when I received an email from a teacher friend telling me she got an email from Amazon that my book was shipping. Which book, you may ask (I know I did), 101 Success Secrets for Gifted Kids! The one that was due out in May. Of course, I didn’t believe her. But when I checked…YEP. My book is out. EVERYWHERE. EEEKKKK!!!!!!
Gasp! Who knew that could even happen? Without the author even knowing about it?? Dang.
It must be the work of aliens.
OR your book is so awesome they just had to release it early. What is your book about and who would be the ideal reader for it?
101 Success Secrets is a guidebook for gifted kids ages 8 – 12 (though my Teen thinks it’s good for teens too). It covers all of the advice I would ever want to give kids in one, easy-to-read and understand book.
Oh man, I LOVE it already. Can't wait to get my own copy. It sounds perfect for me and my kiddos. I can see this being an ideal book for educators to have in their classrooms as well.
So, what made you decide to write this book?
The idea was originally from my agent. She suggested an advice book of some kind. After pitching it to my editor and tossing ideas around…POOF! 101 Success Secrets was born. As I wrote it, however, I realized this was more than just some little advice about school and friends – this was something special. I interviewed more than 1000 kids and parents for this book. I am so pleased with the result.
Holy cannelloni, that must have been a lot of work. And on top of all that, you’re also a fiction writer, right? Does your work with kids influence your fiction?
I am a fiction writer, YA to be exact. Working with teens for the last decade or so has definitely influenced my novels. I get to hang out with them, hear about their world. The result – books that hopefully capture the life of Teens. I will admit, I write stories that are intense. I can’t help it; that is definitely an influence from my work with kids!
Seems to me that writing for teens must be a really natural path for you. I can't wait to read your fiction.
Alright, it’s time for some invasive questions.
London or Fiji? Fiji, no question
Beans or filet mignon? Filet Mignon all the way (did I mention I cook…like I REALLY REALLY cook?)
Croissant and cappuccino or biscuits and gravy? Croissant and cappuccino, hands down!
Chocolate or Jared Leto? Dude…unfair question!!!
Dude, it’s been so AWEsome to have you here, I want to capture this moment forever with a picture. Smile.
Aw, you're so cute! Look at you and your pretty smile. But...wait. What's that in your purse.? THAT. Sticking out right...GOT IT! HA! *waves picture around*
Oh dang…that is me in a former, teen life, dressed up for a jungled themed party with my BFF…Don’t judge!
Me? Judge? Never. Jungle is so in again.
Thanks so much for chatting with me, Christine! Congratulations on the release of your new book! Now I have to run. I've got a book to buy...
Christine Fonseca is a School Psychologist by day and YA and nonfiction author by night. Her books include Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students (2010) and 101 Success Secrets for Gifted Kids (2011). She can be found hanging out on her blog, facebook and twitter - or sipping skinny vanilla lattes at her fav coffee house.
Be sure to go wish Christine a happy book birthday today!
101 Success Secrets for Gifted Kids: Pssst! Want to know a secret? 101 Success Secrets for Gifted Kids: The Ultimate Handbook is a must-read for gifted kids ages 8 to 12 who want to find success in school and life. If you know gifted kids, they will love the 101 awesome secrets, tips, and tricks included in this book!
Chock full of fun suggestions and practical strategies, 101 Success Secrets for Gifted Kids covers topics including bullying, school performance, perfectionism, friendships, and sibling rivalries. Fun quizzes, tip sheets, and practical Q & A sections from other gifted kids and preteens make this book fun to read and give gifted kids insight into everything they've ever wanted to know about being gifted. Proven strategies for dealing with stress management, parents' and teachers' expectations, anxiety, cyber-bullying, friendship troubles, and more make this the must-have guide for every gifted kid!
101 Success Secrets can be found:
For the record, Christine is probably the fifth author friend I've had this week who found out her book was either releasing early or was unexpectedly out in the wild already.
Lesson one in publishing? Be prepared for any eventuality.
*Often, publishers have teams of people who help determine a book's demographic and will base a lot of their marketing and distribution decisions off of that. While authors might want to have a say in these decisions, they may not actually know what's best. That's some of the reasoning, anyway.