Monday, December 14, 2009

An Introduction

My name is Stephanie Blackburn and I am the author of Summer At Nineteen (which is available on I didn't always want to be a writer. Up until I was 18 I wanted to be a popstar. But stagefright sort of stole that dream away and when I went off to college I had to pick something a bit more realistic. So I went with English. Except there wasn't enough essay writing to make me happy. So then I switched over to a major in Expository Writing with a minor in English. There I was content.

The summer after my first year at Ithaca College I read the entire work of romantic great Nicholas Sparks. At that time he only had 5 or so published books and I devoured them in a matter of days. Then I grew bored. I missed my family's beach house, which had been sold a few years before when I was fourteen. So I began to daydream. And that led to my creation of Summer At Nineteen. Where boredom might have gotten others in trouble, in my case it created a salvation in which I could experience the beach without actually being there.

A lot of things (and mostly my own procrastination) got in the way of completion and it wasn't until Fall 2006 that I finally typed the last word of Summer At Nineteen. I was so sick of Kaylee and Adam at that point that I couldn't wait to get away from them and start something new. In my naivete (which friends will tell you extends to most aspects of my life) I thought that writing would be the hardest part in getting a book from mind to physical novel. Silly me. I spent nearly the next two years trying to get a literary agent to take a chance on me. I know I am by no means a salesman but I tried my very best to get people's attention. One agent, in the Spring of 2008, asked to read the first 50 pages of my manuscript, but she later passed saying it wasn't what she was looking for. I was heartbroken and stopped sending out queries and focused instead on starting a new novel.

It was then that a coworker suggest self-publishing. I hadn't even entertained the idea but at this point I was beginning to feel desperate. I knew, if given the chance, people would enjoy reading Summer At Nineteen as the few friends I had let read the rough manuscript came back with glowing reviews. So I plucked up the courage, maxed out a credit card and self-published my first book. I am a "glass is half full" kind of girl and once again thought for sure that the moment my book hit Amazon's site it would garner me a book deal. I mean, how hard can that possibly be? Nicholas Sparks was offered a million dollars for his first solo work, which some of you might have heard of (The Notebook). But alas, the literary agents and the publishing companies have not come calling... yet.

I am days away from completing my second novel (currently untitled) and am hoping for the best. But regardless, I remain positive. As long as I continue to dream there will be characters and situations to write about. Regardless of a book deal, there is and always will be imagination running rampant through my veins. I can't fathom not writing. It's just who I am.

So I hope you enjoy this blog. It will be a combination of things. Part bookshelf (as I love to recommend good reads to friends), part journal as I navigate the ways of the publishing world. Feel free to comment at the bottom of each post as I love feedback. And enjoy!


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