everything changes september 9th.

writing a book is a funny thing, and a much longer process than i ever would have imagined. in my experience, it goes a little something like this:

  • spend 21-ish years living your life. 
  • decide that you have an idea for a story that maybe other people would want to read, possibly?
  • start writing the book! which means writing down random ideas and starting in a place that is definitely not the beginning, because why would that make any sense?
  • abandon book because no one is going to read it. also, you don't have time for this.
  • live your life for a while longer.
  • casually, wistfully, mention to people your idea for a story and hear people say, 'hey, that would be a great book!' and then feel bad about abandoning said book.
  • get back to writing a book.
  • have a baby. stop writing for a very, very long time as you attempt to keep said baby alive.
  • move, because that's always fun.
  • remember you're turning 30 and you were going to have this godforsaken book done by the time you were 28, spend a few months writing (not very good work) every moment you can prop your eyes open/husband can watch the baby.
  • have another baby, because why not?
  • have a very bizarre, ill-timed but overall simply wonderful burst of creativity and positivity when second baby is born, start brainstorming approximately one hundred creative projects, one of which is attempting to collect 20 rejection letters, because, again, that's always fun. right?
  • in an attempt to get a 'no,' you get a 'yes,' and this 'yes' is the biggest push you will ever get, and beyond explanation you are able to take advantage of this 'yes.'
  • spend a week on martha's vineyard with incredibly talented and successful writers who push you and help you and make you think and cry and finish your book.
  • cry, jump into the ocean, simultaneously if possible.
  • spend five months NOT looking at the book because even though the first draft is done you kind of hate it.
  • hire a nanny.
  • read and edit the book, which means you now have a second draft. huzzah! 
  • have people you trust explicitly read your draft and give you insightful feedback.
  • make said changes. 
  • wonder if they are enough, spend too much time doubting yourself before finally sending second draft to an editor to help.
  • bite fingernails for one month until draft is returned.
  • find an incredibly talented artist to design the cover.
  • make changes said editor suggested.
  • look at cover art and giggle at how it is exactly what you wanted.
  • spend approximately 14,354 hours formatting the book.
  • realize in this time you have no idea how to market book, so seek the help of a professional marketing genius.
  • order book proof in two different colors because you're indecisive, with two different font sizes for the interior.
  • choose the outside of one but the inside of the other, which of course is not easy to change. spend lots of days waiting for UPS person outside on front porch with a drink in hand.
  • finally have the book delivered to you, realize it is THE FINAL PROOF, drink champagne and cry lots and lots inexplicably.
  • spend three months marketing the book/planning a book launch party people besides you will actually want to attend.
  • wait for the launch, very impatiently.
  • attend launch, mingle, dance, drink, and generally celebrate because look at all these steps you had to get through to get there! 

so, here we are. the end. or, at least, the last three bullet points of this whole writing-a-book experience. and then everything changed officially launches september 9th. there will be a party. there will be booze. there will be excessive instagrams. 

it's been such a privilege to make it this far. i know so many manuscripts die in their author's desk drawer, half-written. i'm so, so grateful that this didn't happen to mine.

and while we are on this subject, lots of people have been asking me if i've found a publisher. short answer? yes. it's me. the book is going to be self published. and no that isn't exactly the author's dream. but i've been working on this book for longer than i care to admit (though i just did, but whatever) and i'm ready to hold it in my hands, to see it on my bookshelf. i'm not giving up hope that it'll find a publisher to pick it up at some point, but not right now. right now, it's not my priority. 

thank you all for reading, for your continued support and encouragement. it's been one of the biggest surprises along the way. 

...and then everything changed.

did you know that if you write a book, the first question anyone will ask you, no matter what, is:

"what's it about?"

i did. and now you do, too.

so since i blasted all over the internet that i wrote a book, now i'm back to tell you a little bit about it and what it's called. 

the book is about that moment when you know your life isn't going the way you want it to, and what happens after that moment. do you make a change? do you continue down the same path, hoping things will turn around at some point? 

adriana finds herself at this point. she has a somewhat steady boyfriend, a job, her own apartment, and a full schedule of college courses.  but the day before her 21st birthday, her grandfather dies unexpectedly. what follows are revelations of family issues and secrets she never saw coming. within weeks, adriana finds herself questioning her life and what she wants out of it. what makes her happy? 

impulsively, adriana sets off on a journey to answer this question, ending up in prague (is this sounding familiar yet?!) to finish her studies. and it's there, in a country she's never been to, with a language she's never spoken, living with people she's never met, that she finds not only herself but something more than that.  i won't give it away but YEAH I THINK YOU KNOW WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT. 

if you've ever been faced with a major life decision, this book is for you. if you've ever found yourself questioning your life path, this book is for you. if  you like to read, this book is for you. : ) 

if you're still reading this, i'm sure your question is: so is this a true story then? 

short answer: no. it is undoubtedly BASED on a true story -- very obviously, MY story -- but liberties have been taken. characters have been fictionalized or wholly made up. so while it may feel like it's a glimpse into my life, i do want everyone out there to know that this is fiction. it's a version of the truth of my story.

and as for the title? after much, much, MUCH deliberating... 

and then everything changed.

 

the title is a play on a song that has a lot of sentimental meaning for me,  as well as a play on a line from the book -- and of course speaks to the broader themes, as well. 

and then everything changed is how i like to look at life. if you were to ask me a question on whether or not you should make a change, this is the standard advice you would receive: "yes, because if it doesn't work out, you can always [move back/quit/try something else/transfer schools]." meaning, yes. make the change. because if you don't like it, you can always change back. what's the worst that could happen -- you end up exactly where you are now? and what's the best case scenario -- that everything could change? yep. 

so, i hope you're intrigued. i hope you're excited. i hope you're also ready to wait a little bit longer -- while i don't have a firm launch date right now, it's looking to be early fall. and i could not be more excited, or ready, to wander down this path.  it's been a long journey, but i'm grateful for every step. but also grateful that it's almost done. 

 

i wrote a book.

a few days ago, i was sipping a cold brew and discussing a marketing plan for my book with a friend and marketing wiz. as we brainstormed ideas, he asked me a simple question.

"does everyone know you're writing a book?"

i started to answer, "of course!" and then the words caught in my throat. um... no. they don't. more than a dozen exchanges popped into my mind when i said something casually about working on my book and a friend/family member/acquaintance replied, "i didn't know you were writing a book!" 

well. 

so my friend, the marketing wiz, wrote in big bold letters at the top of my to do list: TELL PEOPLE YOU WROTE A BOOK. 

as a creative mind, marketing and self-promotion do not come easily to me. sitting down to write a book is no small feat, but so far i can tell you it's come easier than attempting to draft a marketing plan, since the very first thing on this list is perhaps the most obvious part of anything.

so let's backtrack.

guys, i wrote a book.

about four and a half years ago, philip got an awesome job offer and we picked up and moved to boston. i had just graduated and left my job, so i arrived with boston with a clean slate. other than find us an apartment, there was nothing on my to do list. once that first item was completed, rather than looking for a job, i found myself opening my laptop and writing. it's what's always come natural to me in times of change or turmoil. and within a few months of working, i had the beginnings of a novel. of course before too long we had a baby to occupy our time with, and it took me a while to get back to the book. and then another baby came along... and it was a while before i could pick up that book again, half completed and saved away on my laptop. but last summer, the stars aligned and magic happened. after being offered a scholarship for a weeklong writing workshop on martha's vineyard, i flew away and finished my book. last summer. 

moments after finishing my first draft

moments after finishing my first draft

since then there has been a vigorous editing process, including two full re-reads, shuffling of chapters, throwing some in the garbage for good, resurrecting others after changing my mind, beta reads and bottles of wine and one billion emails between me and my editor.  but, two drafts later, i have a final draft. and my editor sent it back to me a few days ago, which means... it's done.

to be real, i have to finish formatting the book and wait on the cover art before it's totally done. but that's minimal. the hard stuff, the big stuff, is done. 

so, there you have it. i wrote a book.

want to know what it's about? 

come back in a few days, and i'll tell you aaaaalllll about it. (pssst -- if you don't want to have to check back here, sign up for my email list, and you'll get an email with all the details).