Violetta Armour continues her exciting and heartwarming article on her book, I’ll Always Be with You. (Please find Part One here.)
My community’s overwhelming reception to my book gave me the confidence to participate in Pitchfest in New York City, sponsored by Author Solutions. I just returned from this extraordinary event with over 100 other authors as we pitched our story to Hollywood reps. I am awaiting their response in two weeks, but regardless of the outcome, it was a positive, valuable experience that I will cherish.
The event was further proof that iUniverse is a quality organization. It makes an impact in the field of publishing, as it provides opportunities for debut authors to discover their talents, and furthermore, every aspect of the event was professional and the event leaders showed genuine concern for our potential success.
Advice I might give to aspiring authors is to explore two qualities within that I feel are essential: Courage and discipline. I might add “believe in yourself and your ideas”. Discover what makes your story unique and have the dedication to develop it and put it out there for others to experience.
My writing style is what they call “pantster vs. plotter”. I had a vague idea of what I wanted to accomplish but did not work from an outline. I would say my plot is character-driven, as I developed the characters and placed them in challenging situations where their qualities, both strengths and flaws, could be displayed. I love to write dialogue, so I generally visualize a scene as it might play out on a stage and let the characters move the plot forward. In my re-write I try to add a sense of time and place descriptions.
Although my book is a work of fiction, I drew on some of my life experiences—more in the theme than the plot. I am a first-generation American and I cherish my Bulgarian heritage, so I wanted to convey how much my parents loved America yet maintained their homeland culture. One of my characters, Baba, believes that food solves all problems and along with delicious cuisine she doles out old-world wisdom and adds some comic relief to a sad time in their lives. I have included ten pages of her authentic recipes at the end of the book as a little bonus.
Because of so many reader requests, I am writing a sequel. I also try to keep up with my blog http://serendipity-reflections.blogspot.com/ where I post book reviews which are also published in our local paper monthly. My new website is http://www.violettaarmour.com/ and I have started a monthly newsletter which readers can subscribe to. However, I have discovered that marketing skills are so different than writing and I want to be careful that I don’t spend all my time creating my platform in place of writing the sequel.
My closing comment to aspiring writers: If you love to write, do it. Let your unique story be told and don’t be such a harsh critic of yourself. It is never too late. At age 74, I finally did it, and I am so happy to leave this legacy to my children and grandchildren. Hopefully it will inspire them to also follow their dreams, which is what I would wish for them.
As author John Irving says, “If you are lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.”