Ever wondered what it would be like to go from being a book blogger to an actual writer? Well , here’s what Aimee felt about the change and a little bit about the book that starts her career as an author .
Genre : Chick-lit
Source : Review copy
My Rating : ★★★★
Emi Harrison has avoided her ex-fiance, Jack Cabot, for nearly two years. Her twin brother Evan’s wedding is about to end that streak.
From bad bridesmaid’s dresses, a hyperactive sister-in-law, a mean girl with even meaner secrets, and too much to drink, nothing seems to go right for Emi, except when she’s wearing her little gray dress.
When she speed-walks into Liam Jaxon’s bar, things get more complicated. He’s gorgeous, southern, and has no past with Emi. He may be exactly what she needs to prove for the last time that she doesn’t need or want Jack!
Her favorite little gray dress has made an appearance at nearly every major event in Emi’s adult life. Will it make another grand appearance when she least expects it?
Little Gray Dress is an easy-flowing book that follows the life of a very young lady who’s having a lot of troubles turning her fantasy wedding into a real thing . And the story is basically about how she solves a misunderstanding between her ex-fiancé and herself .
Now that sounds a little boring , right ? Yeah..well , not so much . The story was simple yet so elegantly penned down and I can’t help but think it would be amazing to see more from Aimee .
What did I like ?
Tough question . Like , there were so many things that I liked and this is one of those books where you can’t really point to what you liked . For starters , I loved Jack . He did seem to be villain-ish but as the cloud cleared , he became adorable again .
Then there’s the thing about the story being well thought out and put into place too properly . I mean , yes , everything in this book falls into place PERFECTLY . Cool , right ? And the consistency of the book was flawless as well .
Here’s the bad thing
It was a bit too hard to get into this book . The book starts with Emi and her friend shopping Emi’s wedding gown and god , I was bored as hell . I don’t think I wanted ‘adventure ‘ in a chick-lit , but certainly not a dress fitting with Emi whining about how she needed corsets .
Might be a spoiler..but I hated the arch enemy . The drama was already over-board and here we went with a substitute villain because Jack was no longer villain-ish . What’s it with romances that women always have to hate other women who are more beautiful than they ?
I really enjoyed reading Little Grey Dress and as I said , I’d love to read more from the author . I recommend it to anyone who’s looking for quickie romantic and dramatic summer chick-lits 😛
What it was like to write my first novel -Aimee Brown
Writing and finishing my first novel has been a ride of emotions I never expected. There have been milestones that have been more memorable than I thought they would be. Let me play it out for you in real time.
The 35k word point of the first draft – I’ve started and deleted a lot of partial manuscripts. When Little Gray Dress finally topped that 35k word mountain… I felt like I could breath. I’d finally broken the halfway mark and started down the journey to completion. I felt accomplished and really, damn right proud of myself for pushing through. Right up until the last chapter. I didn’t know how to end it! I’d been confused about who the ‘man of the hour’ would be for some time and I wasn’t any closer to figuring out how to make it all make sense now.
Finishing the first draft – I’ll admit that last chapter took me just about as long to write as all the rest of the chapters combined. I knew it wasn’t perfect but I kind of knew where I was going with it now. I was so excited and relieved to have this part behind me. FINALLY a finished first draft!!
Deciding to do a complete rewrite for the second draft – Then… things went downhill. I printed out the first draft copy and hated most everything. I didn’t love the way random things were sporadically thrown in. I needed to structure things so it was readable. One day I came up with chapter ‘ideas’ and I jotted down each chapter summary on a sticky note and pasted all of them above my computer screen. I was doing a rewrite. Considering I’m a panster I knew I needed to fix the things I decided on a whim previously and as I wrote the chapter titles an idea of the double inverse storyline came to me. I loved it and on sticky notes it seemed to work. I got excited thinking of the outcome and gave myself a goal of one month.
Sending the book to beta readers – I’d done it! I did the rewrite in a month and managed to finish even adding 10k words that I didn’t have before. Everything flowed nicely now but I knew the flashbacks were a risk. I didn’t tell my beta readers in advance I only advised them to pay attention to the chapter titles. I have 4 beta readers and I was a nervous wreck once I sent it. I was convinced they would hate it. But… they didn’t! And they had great ideas to fix the ending that I’d completely screwed up. I took their advice and was able to finally get the ending that I loved.
Querying agents – I’m a patient person. I can wait for something without a second thought. Until this moment. Sweet Jesus, is there anything worse than waiting WEEKS, even MONTHS for someone to say that your initial email query was enough to intrigue them into requesting more chapters. I’d requested roughly a dozen agents. I got some great feedback from some agents but ultimately they all passed. I kind of expected that considering this is my first novel but I had to at least try.
Querying publishers – In all honesty, the agent querying process pissed me off a tad. How can one tell if they will love or hate a writer with only a chapter? I just didn’t get it. I decided to query publishers. I had my list and sent the book off for another long wait. To my susprise I had a couple small publishers get back to me within a couple weeks. One with a request for more chapters and a couple weeks later one emailed me with an offer. I got great feedback and now struggled with the decision to send a notice of contract to the publishers yet to decide.
Getting the email I’ve waited 10 years for – I immediately called my husband and squealed that I had an offer of contract sitting in my inbox. HOLY HELL! I truly didn’t expect it to happen on my first novel. I did expect to be rejected and ultimately figure out how to self-publish (not that self-publishing is any kind of failure – it was just my dream to have a publisher). It took me a few weeks to officially decide that I wanted to sign with this particular publisher but when I did, it felt… relieving! My first book was well on it’s way into the world.
The ‘official’ editing process – The only other time I’ve been so excited to start on something was when I gave birth to my children. I couldn’t wait to be a mom as much as I couldn’t wait to start editing. Really the process was much less painful than I’d dreamed of, thankfully, and it only took about a month to complete.
Seeing the cover – This was the moment things became real for me. I had a completed, edited manuscript and now I had a gorgeous cover. I was ecstatic. That may not even be a strong enough word. My beautiful book baby was almost here! Since the cover reveal things have moved quickly!
Sending the book to other authors for endorsements – This was easily the most nerve-wracking moment for me. Sending the eBook to a dozen authors that I highly respected and loved. Will they say I’m total shit and suggest I not quit my day job? I seriously didn’t sleep for a week. When the endorsements started coming in I was amazed. I never imagined in a million years thought that they would have such great things to say about my book.
Hearing from readers – Every review, email, and praise, catches me off guard. I wanted people to LOVE the book as much as I did but I never expected them to truly love it as much as I do. The requests to hurry and write my next are beyond exciting and I just can’t get enough. Hearing people compare me to authors I’ve adored for years is truly unbelievable and a little bit overwhelming. I hope they’re right but then again that’s a lot of pressure! Lol
It’s been a surreal and exciting time in my life and though I knew it would be, it’s even more thrilling than I’d ever dreamed. But then again, isn’t your dreams coming true always a more than magical moment?
Are you an aspiring author ? What’s the genre you want to write on ?