Clinging to Every Writer’s Dream It may be every writer’s dream to write a spellbinding story, to be discovered by a literary agent and have your breakout novel be the object of a bidding war by powerful publishing houses followed by a national book tour and all the celebrity that comes with newfound fame and fortune. For ElenaMartina, a native of Peru, that may still be the case but she is also pragmatic and knows that this scenario happens all too rarely in the real world of publishing. Instead of waiting for fame to find her she has set out to create her own success. It is a road traveled by many an entrepreneur here in Silicon Valley and the similarities are there- she has created a product (her novel) and now she must get it out to market. ElenaMartina (as she is known by her literary name, both first and middle names conjoined) has been a writer since 1998. She began as a columnist for a newspaper in North Carolina and wrote a weekly bilingual column there. Her successful column was picked up by other newspapers and she also co-founded a Spanish language paper before arriving in California in 2010. It was while she was still in North Carolina though, where she lived for 16 years, that she first started her novel: Clinging to Deceit. There is a saying that writers should write what they know. For ElenaMartina that meant recalling an episode in her own life when at age 16 her mother confessed that she and ElenaMartina’s baptismal godmother had schemed to see if they could match their respective children into a romantic relationship. But the young ElenaMartina would have no part of it and thus originated the genesis of her novel. Clinging to Deceit tells the story of two families who have arranged the marriage of their children. The girl accepts the idea of an arranged marriage but the young boy is reluctant as he is already in love with someone else. Theirs is a story of romance, violence, deceit and murder. Being a first time novelist the writing process did not come easily for ElenaMartina but she utilized her background as a reporter and experience in the court system to bring realism to her story. But writing a novel proved more challenging than a weekly column and for ElenaMartina the whole process from concept to publishing took 2 ½ years. “The pain of writing a book” (as it pertained to the grueling agony of writing and editing a book that took 2 1/2 yrs to come out) “was worse than having a baby”, she joked,. but like a pregnancy she was glad when her self-published book was finally done in April of this year. But, like an entrepreneur, having published her first novel was just the beginning. Now she had to market her novel and create her own book tour and promote it through popular online sites like Amazon or social media sites like Facebook. ELenaMartina has utilized her author’s page (facebook/author.elenamartina), her book page (facebook/ClingingToDeceit) and her own website (ElenaMartina.com) to promote her novel. In addition she also maintains a blog page (facebook/HappyLivingOneDayatATime). And now with her first novel under her belt she can offer advice to other unpublished authors. “Concentrate on writing one book at a time”, she says, “and go at your own pace but focus your writing on just that one story so that you can finish it and then publish it.” She also recommends networking with other writers, asking them lots of questions on the writing process and self-publishing, attending weekend writer retreats and letting close friends and family review your novel so that you can get honest reviews and feedback on your story. For ElenaMartina her next project may include teaching others how to navigate the world of self-publishing as well as working on her second novel that will continue the theme of deceit but with a whole new plot and characters. Clinging to Deceit can be purchased as a soft cover for $15.95 or as an E-book for $4.99 through AuthorHouse, Amazon, Barnes & Noble Books, Books-a-Million and Indigo websites. An autographed copy of her novel is also available for $20.00 (includes shipping) by contacting ElenaMartina at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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