I like the idea of synchronicity. As in when you work toward a goal, and life treats you to a serendipitous surprise as a reward. Kind of like creating your own luck. This is the way I’ve experienced serendipity anyhow. Not that I’ve been on that roll for awhile…sadly…BUT, at novelist April Henry’s reading earlier this week, I bouyed myself up with her grandly serendipitous publishing adventure. It can happen!
Sidenote: April Henry taught a thriller-writing class last fall. I was one of her students, eager to learn more about plotting. She’s an excellent teacher and knows her stuff for sure.
Back in the day, April worked hard at her fiction (and still does, obviously). In fact, she mentioned five unpublished novels in different genres, including historical and chick-lit. Then, she hit her stride with Circles of Confusion, which sold in three days.
So, now April was a mystery writer with a series. She also wrote YA novels. As I understand it, there came a point when the adult novels weren’t doing as well, and the series petered out. She kept writing around her 9-to-5 job and plugging away. Here’s where I see serendipity: Because she’d been out there and working hard, she knew people, people knew of her, and the way I see it, up pops an opportunity that she’d never have imagined possible: “helping” (my quotes, not April’s) Lis Wiehl, legal analyst and television personality, write thrillers.
Another sidenote: It’s the James Patterson thing. The brand name with the true author mentioned in little print. Once again, my words, not April’s. (I repeat, my words, not April’s.)
You might be thinking…Well, that sounds oookay, but not like an optimal publishing experience for a talented novelist. But, here’s the thing. The first book in their series landed on the New York Times bestseller list, and they’ve signed a second multi-book deal. Meanwhile, April has continued her YA publishing track, and because of her new success with Lis Wiehl, her YA publisher is promoting the heck out of her upcoming YA novel.
On the purely practical side: April got a quit her day-job. She now writes fiction (lucratively) full-time! Isn’t that what we all want?
I felt happy for April as I walked out of the bookstore. To me, that’s a great story.