I’m so lucky to have connected with the amazing authors I got to know this year through the Fresh Ink interview series. Each is uniquely talented, incredibly kind and generous with their time, and above all so down-to-earth and supportive of the writing community. It really was an honor to get to know them and see how the year of their book debuts unfolded.
Now that 2012 is just a few days away, I thought it’d be nice to check in with these authors to see what their thoughts and impressions of this year are, and what they’re looking forward to in 2012. There are a couple authors who I wasn’t able to get in touch with (who can blame them? The holidays are such a crazy time and I know that both are busy with exciting new developments!) so I made my best efforts to fill in what I could.
As for all of you, dear readers (like how I got all Brontë there?) thank you so much for being a part of this blog in its “debut” year, for sharing your thoughts with me, and letting me get to know you. I can’t wait to see what 2012 has in store for all of you!
A Look Back (& Forward) at the Debut Novelists of 2011
Fresh Ink made its own debut in April with an interview with Jael McHenry, author of The Kitchen Daughter, a delicious and beautiful book about a woman who realizes she can conjure ghosts when she cooks from dead people’s recipes. The Kitchen Daughter recently came out in paperback and the artwork is just as breathtaking as the hardcover. And earlier this month, Jael announced in a very special, intimately honest post on her site that she’s expecting her first child in April 2012. Congratulations, Jael!
2011 has been such an exciting year. My third baby boy was born (Colby, now almost one year old!), I published my first novel, The Violets of March (which was praised by Redbook, Woman’s Day, and picked as a Best Book of 2011 by Library Journal), sold my second novel, The Bungalow, (which will publish on December 27, right after Christmas!), and also sold my third and fourth novels. Whew! So, that adds up to 1 baby born, 2 books published, and 3 sold in a 12 month period. Though I have lacked sleep, it’s been a thrilling year, and I’m excited for the next. In 2012, I’m really looking forward to finishing my fourth novel, The Last Camellia, and working on the next two books I have planned (those characters and stories are already haunting me!). Most of all, I’m so grateful to be doing what I love. It’s a blessing and a joy.
Camille Noe Pagán, author of The Art of Forgetting, says about this year:
In a word, 2011 was busy! I had no idea how time-consuming putting out a novel would be … but of course it was all worth it. For 2012, I’m really excited about my paperback release; I love the new cover (which I hope I’ll be able to share soon) even more than the hardback cover. I’m also keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll sell my second novel, which I’m currently working on.
Read Camille’s Fresh Ink interview from June
July’s author, Brandi Lynn Ryder, wrote a novel that fascinated me so much I started rereading it the day I finished it. The world and characters in In Malice, Quite Close were so intricate, sophisticated, charming and intriguing (all while still being flawed) that I was sad to let go of them. So I was thrilled to learn that Brandi’s working on a “loose sequel” to her debut. The new book focuses on a completely new storyline that follows one of my favorite characters in the book. I’m very excited to revisit him.
Read Brandi’s Fresh Ink interview from July
Samuel Park, author of This Burns My Heart, wrote to me via email:
The highlight of 2011 was the publication of This Burns My Heart. Through it, I met many wonderful people: booksellers, bloggers, readers, my publisher, book clubs, other authors. I was really happy with the reception of the book, and in many ways, it’s been a dream publication experience. For 2012, it’s back on the trenches and back to writing the next book, though I’m committed to continue doing book club visits, which are always incredibly fun. Thank you Natalia for catching up with me; very happy holidays to you and your blog readers!
Read the July Fresh Ink Interview with Samuel
Keith Cronin, author of Me Again, wrote:
2011 was an exciting year for me, with the publication of my novel Me Again, which has been met by some excellent reviews and word-of-mouth evangelism. I was also thrilled to join the staff of regular contributors at Writer Unboxed, my favorite literary blog. I’m just getting started on my next book, and hope to apply the lessons I’ve learned (and continue to learn) to this new project, all while keeping a vigilant eye on the ever-changing landscape of the publishing industry.
Read the September Fresh Ink interview with Keith
Erika Marks, author of Little Gale Gumbo, shared highlights of this year and plans for the next:
2011 was exciting, seeing my debut arrive into the world and the amazing support I savored from readers and friends—so many of which I am grateful to have met through blogging and Twitter. Going into 2012, I’m looking forward to talking with more book clubs and readers about Little Gale Gumbo, but I’m also really excited that my second novel will be releasing in October. I’m doing edits now and looking forward to seeing some cover art soon! This time around, I feel very fortunate to know (somewhat) what to expect as the date nears. But, of course, the surprises are often the best part of the process!
Read the October Fresh Ink interview with Erika
In November, I interviewed Rebecca Rasmussen, who was the first Fresh Ink author to be featured on the month of her book’s paperback release, months after the initial debut of The Bird Sisters. Rebecca had some interesting insights about the expectations and surprises she experienced this year. As for upcoming plans, she’s actually working on a third novel: “I wrote my second when I was waiting for The Bird Sisters to come out – from the day I signed my contract to the hardcover publication about 18 months passed, so I had plenty of time to work on a new project. My novel is about an old country doctor whose life gets turned upside down when a woman accuses him of malpractice in Oneida, Wisconsin.”
You can read Rebecca’s interview here.
Now it’s your turn: what were the highlights of 2011 for you? What are you most looking forward to in 2012?