Author Guest Post
Nobody’s Damsel is the first sequel I’ve written for anything, ever. There are a lot of reasons for this. One is that in publishing there is a phenomenon known as the death spiral that I’ve always wanted to avoid. This occurs when each book you write sells fewer copies than the last, thus you make less money, your readership shrinks, and your dreams of a writing career dissipate into the ether. I’ve seen the death spiral enough times to be well and truly terrified of it, and sequel writing lends itself rather well to the pattern of each book selling less than the book before it. Another reason is that, until last year, I was still in the mode of “write a bunch of really different stuff and see what publishers are interested in.” The third reason is that sequel and series writing are skills unto themselves. While series publishing deals are almost the norm in certain genres, one would be hard pressed to find an MFA program, workshop, or other course that teaches you how to write series, or how to structure the plots so that you can keep revisiting the characters you love and have a good excuse to be there, telling their story. Given all that, why did I write a sequel?
First off, I wrote it because aside from the death spiral is another effect also well documented in publishing: the series effect. The logic is that if you have one book that sells well and you write another one with the same characters, that sequel pulls your first book up the sales rankings again. A third book pulls up the first two. A very good example of the series effect is George RR Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire books. The first book sold well. The second one sold even better and boosted the sales of the first book. The third book sold even better. The fourth debuted at #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list. The series then got picked up by HBO for a television adaptation. George now has a hard time walking down the street without being mobbed. Given I’m an indie writer, the economics of the death spiral also work a little differently for me. The death spiral really gets going if you’ve got a publisher paying you an advance. If you don’t sell a lot of books, you get a smaller advance the next time around and thus they don’t have as much financial incentive to move copies of your book, rinse and repeat. Since I sell directly to readers, I can control exactly how much effort I put into marketing and moving copies of each book. I don’t have an external publicist deciding I’m not worth the time. I’m that publicist. (And no, I don’t think I’m bound for George RR Martin kind of fame. Modest increases to where I make a living are my goal.)
Second, the mode of “write a bunch of really different stuff” is necessary when you haven’t yet found what works and nets you that first sale or publishing deal. It’s really a bad idea when you’re publishing novels, though. Readers who love one book will pick up another one by you and say, “What the heck is this? I’m not into this.” A series is the most logical way to build a fan base. Keep giving them what it is they already enjoy. Someone Else’s Fairytale is the best selling book I’ve written so far, by quite a bit, so writing a sequel to it is also an exercise in learning how to repeat what worked the first time and give readers what they want to read. This is an important exercise for me, to figure out how to make my books similar enough to retain my fan base but not so similar they’re just repeats of each other.
Third, Damsel has made me really think about plot structures and how to create a series. I did a lot of research and noted that most romance series (that I liked) used ensemble casts in which different characters take turns to step up and be the main character, so they can each fall in love in that first true love kind of way that makes the reader swoon. I can’t do that with Chloe and Jason. The heart and soul of the book is this pairing of an every-woman with a Hollywood A-lister, so unless I want all of Chloe’s friends to seduce celebrities, I need to just stick with Chloe and Jason. The prospect of figuring out, on my own, how to get a plot structure that would work for the series and make future books easier to write was exciting, fascinating, and taught me so much about writing. There’s a time in our careers to be free, and write whatever lights us up, but there also comes a time when we lay down restrictions and set challenges for ourselves. Damsel marked that right of passage for me, and it’s a right of passage I’ll continue to go through as I write more books for the series. I absolutely love the demands this places on me as I have to learn a lot of new skills.
I’m incredibly grateful to the fans of Fairytale who encouraged me to write more about these characters I love. I also love the feedback I’ve gotten. I hear a lot of people saying they want more interaction and romance from Chloe and Jason in future books, which I shall provide, and I’m most thankful for the requests. I worked hard on a plot structure that opens the door for book after book about this odd couple who are perfect for one another, and because I worked so hard on Damsel, I won’t take an entire year to write each subsequent book. A writing career, like a lot of careers, has an endless learning curve. Writing a sequel was a major leap into the unknown for me. I hope people enjoy the result!
About The Author
She currently has five novels out, Time & Eternity, Paint Me True, Someone Else's Fairytale, Castles on the Sand, and Nobody's Damsel (Fairytale 2).
Nobody's Damsel by E.M. Tippetts ~ Virtual Book Tour Page: Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours
Nobody's Damsel by E.M. Tippetts
Book 2: Someone Else's Fairytale series
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing
Publication Date: January 1, 2013
Format: Paperback - 230 pages / Kindle - 726 KB / Nook - 2 MB
Genre: Chick Lit / Contemporary Romance / Mystery - Suspense / Women's Fiction
BUY THE BOOK: Nobody's Damsel
BUY THE SERIES: Someone Else's Fairytale
Book 1: Someone Else's Fairytale
Book 2: Nobody's Damsel
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.
Now that she sees the case from an adult's perspective, she realizes it's much harder than she ever dreamed. It's even worse for Jason, who is two steps removed from the crime. He must watch and try to support his wife as she battles with past demons and tries to keep up with a nameless suspect who evades identification and capture. Never has Jason been more frustrated with his job, its frivolities, and its lack of connection to the real world. When he storms off the set of his latest movie, the press goes wild with conjecture. Perhaps he never was anything more than a pretty face after all.
Together, Chloe and Jason must find their way past all the popping flashbulbs and through the dark maze of the criminal investigation to discover whether they can balance their professional goals with the demands of a celebrity marriage. The odds are entirely against them.
My Book Review:
In Nobody's Damsel, the sequel to Someone Else's Fairytale, author E.M. Tippetts continues the story of Chloe and Jason after they get married. Written in the first person narrative, this book delves deeper into their relationship as a newly married couple and how they transition into married life with different careers: Jason as an A-List Hollywood actor and Chloe as a forensic scientist with the Albuquerque Police Department. The transition is anything but easy when they have the paparazzi constantly trailing them, causing drama and spreading rumors about Jason cheating on Chloe with his ex-girlfriend/current co-star. And if that isn't enough, Chloe's first case brings up a traumatic experience from her past. Chloe was abducted and almost killed as a child, now her first case is almost identical to what happened to her, and she is now thrust into a situation where she has to relive horrible memories from the past.
Where the first novel focused on the romantic relationship between Chloe and Jason, the sequel focuses more on Chloe's job as a forensic scientist. That's not to say that there isn't romance, it's still there just not the sole focus of the story. I think the author does a great job of interweaving the mystery of the case with the continuation of delving into Chloe and Jason's evolving relationship and their struggles to balance their careers and overcome issues that arose in their marriage. I thought that the storyline was intriguing and well researched, it has enough twists and turns that keeps the reader engaged. I also appreciated that the author made Chloe and Jason's marriage realistic as they not only had romance but also had to deal with issues and demands from their careers.
Nobody's Damsel has everything that a reader could wish for in a book: an intriguing mystery with a touch of CSI forensic science, a handsome Hollywood actor, love, romance, drama, relationship issues and inner battles with the past. It is a riveting action packed story that is thoroughly engrossing, it leaves the reader wanting more. Chloe and Jason's story will be continued in a third installment in the series.
RATING: 4 STARS ****
Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway
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Contest Dates: April 29 - May 20, 2013
Everyone who leaves a comment on Nobody's Damsel by E.M. Tippetts ~ Virtual Book Tour Page: Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours will be entered to win a $20 Amazon gift card! Anyone who purchases their copy of Nobody's Damsel before May 20 and sends their receipt to Samantha@ChickLitPlus.com, will get five bonus entries.
Virtual Book Tour Schedule
April 30 – For the Love of Film and Novels – Novel Spotlight & Excerpt
May 1 – Well Shut the Front Door – Guest Post & Q&A
May 2 – Laura’s Review Bookshelf – Guest Post & Excerpt
May 3 – The Book Bag – Review & Excerpt
May 3 – Well Shut the Front Door – Excerpt
May 7 – The Book Fetish Blog – Review
May 8 – A Blue Million Books – Guest Post, Q&A & Excerpt
May 11 – Storm Goddess Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt
May 13 – Change the Word – Review
May 13 - Change the Word - Excerpt
May 14 – Change the Word – Q&A
May 15 – Samantha March – Q&A & Excerpt
May 17 – Michelle’s Book Nook – Review
May 20 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post & Excerpt