In 2007 I boarded a plane to Phoenix, Arizona to participate in a book festival. I was promoting my first novel, “Swimming Upstream, Slowly.” It was the 6th or 7th festival I’d attended and I knew the drill now – fun parties, cool people, interesting panels. This time I was told I was speaking on a panel with someone named Maggie Marr, who was out with her first novel, “The Hollywood Girls Club.” The morning of our speaking engagement, we arrived to our tent in the blazing Arizona heat and were both surprised to find that there was no moderator – just two microphones, two bottles of water and two chairs. Both nervous, we somehow launched into an impromptu discussion like two seasoned pros – improvising questions to each other and fielding comments from the audience. Our performance was as though we were old friends, yet we’d only just met 12 hours earlier at the welcome party the night before. Maggie and I had what I like to call an “instabond.” We simply clicked. I’d met countless other wonderful people at various festivals, speaking on various panels, but those friendships began and ended with the weekend. Five years later and I count Maggie as one of my closest friends. Our instabond was not fleeting, it had legs, as they say.
It is because of Maggie that I just launched my second novel, “Imperfect” as an ebook. A novel about a girl who purrs in pleasure proved to be a hard sell to publishing houses. Many editors fought for the book in in-house meetings, but ultimately it could never get consensus. Watching Maggie prepare to launch her ebook “Can’t Buy Me Love,” as well as her backlist of “Hollywood Girls Club” really lit a fire under me. I’d always cringed at the term ‘self-publishing’ thinking it LESS THAN mainstream publishing, but Maggie was convinced that it was a privilege for authors to be able to do this, and boy was she right. How lucky to live in a time when authors can be proactive about their work, not just succumb to publishing trends. A born control-freak, I’ve never had so much control in my life – from cover design to accruing blurbs, to simply getting it out there. “Imperfect” lives because I willed it to.
Funny, after coming to terms with it, I would definitely now describe my relationship to self-publishing as an “instabond”.
I am giving away a copy of my ebook “Imperfect” as well as my first novel (book form) “Swimming Upstream, Slowly,” to someone who leaves a comment on this post about any “instabonds” you have experienced in your own life. The winner will be selected by random.org
Thank you to Maggie for hosting me on her blog and for being such a wonderful, genuine and perfect friend.
Melissa Clark is the author of “Imperfect” and “Swimming Upstream, Slowly“, as well as the creator of the animated television show, “Braceface,” which aired on the ABC Family Channel and starred the voice of Alicia Silverstone. Clark teaches writing and literature at Otis College of Art and Design and The Writing Pad in Los Angeles. You can follow her on her blog Connections Clark and look for her on Facebook, Twitter (@lilok30) and Goodreads.