Now that “The Wingmen” has been out in the world for all of three days, I can breathe and address the questions you’ve asked. It’s been more than a little draining receiving the same set of stock inquiries, so next time anyone wants to ask me something I’ve heard a million times, I’ll direct them to this blog post. Here goes!
What’s “The Wingmen” about?
17-year-old Molly Doyle enters her senior year of high school believing the next nine months will be all about prom, graduation buzz, fun with friends, and college planning. Then her boyfriend goes off to Harvard, severs ties with her in an abrupt manner, and ignores all her attempts at contact. Because he’s the first person she’s ever loved, she can’t stop thinking about him, even when she learns on Thanksgiving that her adoring father has stage four cancer. It’s then that she realizes her senior year is going to be much different than the standard experience, and “The Wingmen” follows her struggle to experience the joys and milestones of youth while facing something she did not expect to face for many, many years. And beeteedubs, it’s semi-autobiographical. 😀
Why did you choose to self-publish?
As I’ve said before, a couple of agents initially expressed an interest in representing my book and pitching it to publishing houses. I spent almost a year hunting for and dealing with agents, and after three of them ultimately bailed, I decided to ake matters into my own hands and pull this off on my own. Some people advised against this, urging me to wait a little longer for the right opportunity. What these folks didn’t realize was that I’d had this book in the pipe for six years. I absolutely needed to be done with it in order to move forward with my life and onto my next project, so whether I had an agent or not, I had to publish “The Wingmen” by 2013 at the latest. The story, which is based on my final year of high school, was holding me back and keeping me in an awful state of arrested development. Do you want to think about the person you were at 17 forever? I didn’t think so, but that’s what I had to do several times a day, 365 days a year, until I finally put the book to bed. I was constantly trying to get back into the mindset of 17-year-old me, a girl I don’t know or understand anymore. Luckily for me, I kept several diaries in high school, so I used those to get back into the head of a broken-hearted, bright-eyed, tenacious high school student.
Will it sell?
That’s the hope, right? 😉 I need ALL your help with this, of course!
How are you planning on marketing your book?
I know a lot of people in media and have quite a few invaluable contacts. I’m not bombarding all my friends or work connections at once, but I’m slowly but surely reaching out to everyone I know to help spread the word on “The Wingmen.” I have a four-page marketing plan as well, so I’m going to revisit that shortly.
Who is your favorite character?
It’s a tie between main character Molly (who is based off 17-year-old me, but I assure you that has nothing to do with it! There’s just a lot of meat and vulnerability to her because she communicates in the first person) and Carrie, a crude but insightful popular high school girl who unexpectedly becomes a good friend to Molly.
What kind of feedback have you gotten so far?
So far, so good, but it’s still too early to tell. I’d love to hear all your thoughts once you finish it. Whether you love “The Wingmen” or hate it, I’m eager to hear your thoughts.
“Middlesex” is my favorite novel of all time, so yeah, it’s pretty amazing to see Jeffrey Eugenide’s novel in the same category as my own, albeit in the most insignificant manner possible!
What’s next for you?
I’m not sure what I want to do in the near future, but I do know I’d like to eventually publish a Sedaris-esque book of essays on my adventures and misadventures growing up. I have an idea for a fiction series but can’t say for certain whether pursuing it would be worth my time.
How do you feel now that the process is over?
Better than I’ve ever felt in my entire life. I’m finally totally living in the present, and I don’t have to think about the guy who shredded and stomped on my heart nearly a decade ago ever again! I promise I’m not still upset about it, I’m really not, but it was pretty unhealthy to continue thinking about the tumultuous, complicated romantic relationship I had in high school for the sake of my book. I’m so relieved this creative venture is no longer requiring me to keep him in my brain.