Saturday, March 24, 2007

Weekly update

The stories are coming along very well and I think that The Braced Experience will be a fun collection. But with some of them I feel it's a shame not to write "the full story" - the way I did in Love and Braces and Retainer Girl. It's tough letting a lot of these characters go after only ten or twenty pages, and in almost every case there's so much more to say about each of their "braced experiences" and what having braces is like for each of them. But I hope readers like the variety - the different stories and experiences that are described.

I'm also writing something else which I'm having a lot of fun with, but that's going to be a surprise!

I'm still disappointed with the sales of Love and Braces so far, but maybe when there's a third book available too there will be enough available that readers will come across one book and then want to try the others and the books will start reaching more people. And I really hope it catches on among the teen or college readers, because I think that is the target audience who would like these books best.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Reality and fiction

Back from taking the girls to the orthodontist. I'm working on The Braced Experience right now, which is a collection of stories, and it's the first of the Dr.Samantha Wrighting books being written while I'm also seeing first-hand what the whole orthodontic experience is like again. What my girls are going through is different from what I went through - both the technological improvements and the office-visits themselves, and I guess my stories are more "old fashioned" (and exagerrated), but I think that works. So far, it's in the smaller details that what the girls are going through has really influenced what I'm writing. Like I'll catch them looking in the mirror sometimes, and I want to try to capture that look and the way it's different from the way they looked in the mirror a few months ago. Or the small things where the expander or the braces get in the way which I'd forgotten about.

I decided to use one more personal family experience in some of the stories - "the precaution" as we call it - though the daughter in question would be mortified. But I think it fits with the whole Dr.Wrighting experience, and I think it is probably more common than most people think.

I'm amazed how much I still have to write. I think The Braced Experience will have 10 or 11 stories (I want it to be around 200 pages long), but that's only half the stories I have outlines for! And I have another idea for a novel now too.

Right now I'm not thinking too much about finding readers and all that, though I porbably should be. I'm not sure the books will ever really catch on but I have so much to write that at the moment I almost don't care. But I guess I am a bit disappointed and surprised that there hasn't been more interest in Love and Braces yet. I really think there is an audience for it and for Retainer Girl - girls who really would get something out of them and feel better.

I'm really bad trying to do the publicity things, but I did add the press release for Love and Braces at the Intraoral Press MySpace page!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Love and Braces at Barnes & Noble

Now Love and Braces is also available at Barnes & Noble (just like it is at all the Amazons). So at least everyone who wants to should be able to get it pretty easily - but no one has bought it at any of the online stores yet, I think. Just at Lulu. (I hope some who bought it at Lulu also review it there, so others can see whether or not they like the book!)

I have to start trying to get the word out, I guess, but I'm not very good at that. (Haven't updated the myspace page in months ....)

I am a bit surprised that more people aren't interested yet, but I think it's also because not enough know about it (and Retainer Girl ....)

Sunday, March 04, 2007


Lulu now uses the uniform retail price that you pay at Amazon and everywhere else too. So now the books are no longer cheaper if you buy them at Lulu than if you buy them from Amazon or elsewhere. (So the couple of lucky people who bought Love and Braces from Lulu before it became available at Amazon are the only ones who saved a lot of money!). I'm sorry that readers can't get it cheaper, but I hope they think it's worthwhile. (And Love and Braces does have 280 pages, so you are getting a lot for you $21.95.)

The only inconvenience with the pricing change was that the Lulu pages about the books were inaccessible for a few hours. (And I just checked and now the whole site is inaccessible because of "site maintenance" - frustrating!) Even if you don't buy from Lulu you can read longer excerpts from the books, so the site is useful - when it's accessible! (which it usually is...)

Friday, March 02, 2007

About Love and Braces

Now that Love and Braces is available (at Lulu and Amazon and I hope soon everywhere else) I want to write more about why you might want to read it.

Love and Braces is about a woman in her mid-twenties dealing with braces. She makes a good friend who is going through the same thing, but finding love is more difficult. I guess it is a sort of chick-lit novel, describing Sylvia's struggles with her career, friendships, family and personal life - with braces on top of it all! Her time in braces is the main part of the story, but it's the rest that makes it a good read, I think.

I only realized when I had written a lot of it that even though Sylvia is an adult her story is more like that of a teen going through having braces. I didn't think I wrote that much from my own experiences, but being a braced teenager is "what I know", and you always hear that you should write what you know, and apparently I have a difficult time writing anything else. Even though Sylvia is an adult her parents play a big role in her getting braces, which I think makes her different from most adults who get braces. And looking back on it some of her reactions to wearing braces may be more childish than a grownup's would be. But I'm not unhappy with how it worked out. I think having her be an adult also gives a different feel to the book, and might make it more appealing to older teens dealing with similar issues. Showing that she is independent - living on her own, with a job - and still struggles with so many things a thirteen-year-old does makes it a universal story.

I think having it be the story of a grownup might also make it more appealing to adult readers, reminding them of their experiences with braces when they were younger (or now) but also providing more adult subject matter. So when Sylvia worries about a sleep-over her worries are about very different things than Lauren's were in Retainer Girl. Even though one of the things I think is so great is how similar all those concerns turn out to be, regardless of what age they are!

It feels weird trying to tell people You should read this book! I'm not sure who should, or who would like it. What I can tell you is that I had braces when I was in my teens and it made being a teenager even harder than it had to be and I would have loved to have had books like Love and Braces and Retainer Girl to help me get through it. Even afterwards - even now! - I think they're helpful. Writing them has helped me, and maybe there are readers who need books like this too.