Thursday, July 18, 2013

Guest post & review: Like You Read About by Mela Remington

Please welcome author Mela Remington, who is promoting her new book, Like You Read About. Her guest post today is about her NaNoWriMo/40th birthday challenge.

Giveaway details:  Want to win an e-copy?  Leave comment with a valid e-mail to enter.  The winner will be chosen on July 25.

Publisher: Smashwords
Date of publication: April 2013
What if your soul mate has been sitting across from you at a conference room table for the last two years?

Cora O'Malley is a shy accountant for a small pharmaceutical company in the Boston area. After years of being single, struggling with her self image and self confidence she finds out that the IT guy she's been crushing on is single and also looking for possibilities.

Cora decides to take life by the email and see if she and Daniel Santagata, the IT man have anything in common, if there really are sparks between them...
My thoughts:

Like You Read about is the debut offering by author Mela Remington.  It was a pretty cute story about two lonely people who find each other in the least likely place, work.  Cora has had a crush on Daniel for a long time.  The past 2 years, she has worked hard to lose weight and build up her confidence.  When she finally gets up the guts to talk to Dan, she realizes there is a mutual interest.

I enjoyed the journey these two took together.  The e-mails that they exchanged were fun and flirty.  They say that the best way to get to know someone if through letters.  I really felt like Cora and Dan got to know each other pretty well.  Their HEA was very sweet.  I liked that Cora had problems with her body image and self confidence.  That made her more real to me and I felt like I could really relate to her.  

The book is a pretty quick read and worth giving a try.
Hi all, thanks so much for having me here at From the TBR Pile.  As an avid reader my own TBR pile is insane and it always comforts me to know that there are others like me out there in the world.  

My 40th birthday loomed large, I’d been working on my review blog for a few months, and had been reading voraciously, but something was missing, I had so much stuff rolling around in my head and really didn’t know what to do.  As November approached a number of my friends were posting all over Facebook about getting ready for NaNoWriMo, in years past I’d laughed at their insanity… write a book in a month, ok crazypants, you go ahead and do that.

Then I really thought about it and thought, well I have this story in my head, about how I met my husband, maybe this challenge would force me to spew it out in a way I could share it with others.  As my birthday is in early November my wonderful husband decided to buy me a laptop.  It was a wonderful gift, it’s a trusty Lenovo, and I’ve made it all pretty with stickers from Vera Bradley.  Anyhow, on November 1 I created a word document, and I had the title already.  Let’s keep in mind I haven’t written a word of fiction since I was in high school, so it’d been about 25 years, I thought I was out of my ever loving mind.

‘Like you read about’ is a phrase my husband uses all the time, and I knew it was the perfect title.  I started writing, and kept writing and didn’t stop.  I kept entering my word count into the NaNoWriMo and watching the graph rise and getting my projected finish date.  Every time I saw the projected finish date I laughed, thinking ‘There’s no way in hell I’ll finish by X date.’  Well I did finish, much sooner than I thought I would and by November 21 I had 56k words and a story I was pretty happy with, although I tinkered a little here and there.  Then I walked away from it for at least a month.  I wanted to let it set and settle before I did some additional editing.

I had talked to some friends and they were interested and supportive.  I had some friends, and some strangers Beta read for me, and asked them to give me honest feedback and not worry about hurting my feelings.  The responses were a mixed bag of goodies and I spent a lot of time going through them and editing my book even more.  Then I bit the bullet and hired a professional editor.  She and I worked together for about a month to get the book ready, and in the end we had the final product that you can read today… with one small exception.  Even though it was finished I felt like I missed something.

In the last few weeks before publishing I had been dreaming about my friend dear Kaelyn, she died six years earlier from metastatic breast cancer, but she was in my dreams, almost nightly nagging me about something that I still can’t remember.  One morning I woke up, opened the Word doc of the edited book and did a global find and replace, initially the best friend character was called Amy, but I knew that wasn’t really her name.  Once I fixed the odd words that contained “amy” that ended up with Kaelyn stuck in the middle I knew the book was done and I was ready to publish.  

What started out as a fun way to tell the story of how my husband and I met turned into a life altering experience.  Being 40 isn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be, and NaNoWriMo and this book have sparked my creative side and fed my soul.  I hope you enjoy reading the book half as much as I enjoyed writing it, and thank you so much for having me on your blog!  

About the author:

Mela lives in Rhode Island with her husband, her daughter and two cats, one who is still trying to kill her even after 8 years and one who thinks she’s just too damn fancy for everyone else in the house. By day you’ll find her protecting the humans, by night you’ll find her living vicariously through her favorite characters, while sitting next to her husband on the sofa. A voracious reader (396 books in 2012!), her debut novel, Like You Read About was started as a NaNoWriMo/40th birthday challenge, her wonderful supportive husband bought her a laptop and told her to go for it. It’s been more than 25 years since she’d written any fiction and now she has the bug and is hard at work on her next book, the first in a series called Dominion.  

twitter username: mela_remington

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