A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Getting Published
by Kitty Bucholtz
Just one week ago today, I got on a plane in Sydney with my husband John and moved back to California. We’d found out less than three weeks earlier that there was no more work for him in Sydney, for now anyway. (He just finished working on Happy Feet 2, and his other opportunities fell through at the last minute.) In spite of the stressful situation, we were determined to make the most of it. Above all, I didn’t want us to let the stress cause fights or arguments between us. Thanks to formally making that decision – and thanks to the grace of God – we made it through a crazy month with only one blowup and lots of laughter.
When it comes to romantic comedies, I don’t know if I loved them and so saw my life as one, or if my crazy adventures with John have spurred on a love of the same in fiction. In any case, my first novel, Little Miss Lovesick, certainly has aspects of art imitating life. The heroine Sydney (named long before I dreamed of visiting Australia) wants nothing more than a lifetime of true love. When things don’t work out, she’s determined to do whatever it takes to fix the situation, but every attempt seems to only create more problems.
Oh my gosh, that was so me! After a short but disastrous stint trying to find meaning for my life as a U.S. Marine, I went back to college and decided to forget a higher purpose. All I wanted now was a husband and a boring career. Safety. But the man I was determined to have (at age 19) was not interested in pursuing me. My roommate had his attention. My friend across the hall definitely caught his eye. But not me. No worries. I’d simply keep pursuing him until he realized what a great catch I was! And what lengths I went to!
If you’re laughing, you understand why I write romantic comedies. J Even when I’m making things up about pretend people, I can’t help but pull from experiences in my real life. I love to laugh, and John and I both tend to do whatever it takes to make each other laugh. That flows into my writing as well. If you’ve ever seen John and me together, you know I’ve got a lot of material to work with! Some of that has been written into a series of romantic comedies scheduled for 2012 and 2013 set in a little lakeside town like the area where I grew up. The first one, Love at the Fluff N Fold, will be out in the spring. They’re sweet and funny like Little Miss Lovesick.
Later in 2013, I’ll begin releasing a series of superhero romantic comedies. The first book in the Adventures of Lewis and Clarke series is called From Zero to Hero. The idea began when I got tired of John ignoring me to play video games and read comic books. (Guess who has a growing collection of graphic novels now? I had no idea they were so good!)
I love writing these kinds of stories! My books always have a young woman who is searching for something and finds she has more power in her life, yet less control, than she realized. By the end of each story, she’s not only made her own life better, but others’ as well. It took me a few years to realize I write about these women because that’s what I want in my own life.
I guess I thought most women felt the same, so it was a surprise to find editors telling me (and my agent when I had one) that romantic comedies are hard to sell. That didn’t make sense to me since rom-com movies are a staple in the film industry. After hearing more agents and editors at the Romance Writers of America conference in New York this year tell me more of the same (“We don’t know how to sell/have good luck with romantic comedies.”), I decided to go it on my own.
I knew self-publishing would be a long, hard road, but I was sure there was an audience out there who would enjoy my book. I was right on both counts. It’s been a slow and sometimes difficult process, but I’ve gotten great reviews. I’m writing from my heart and enjoying my work. And I’ve found the contentment I was looking for, knowing that I’m entertaining people. Right now, I’m working on getting Little Miss Lovesick into print. (Look for it on Amazon in a week or so!) The process is taxing my jet-lagged brain cells – LOL! – but I’m grateful to be on this path. Who knows? I might create a heroine who starts her own business despite the odds, surviving mayhem and facing disaster… Sounds fun to me!
Kitty has kindly offered an e-copy of Little Miss Lovesick for one lucky commenter. For your chance to win, tell us – do you like rom-com books or movies?
You can find the Kindle version of Little Miss Lovesick on Amazon.