Monday, March 7, 2011

Before & After: Gwendolyn Heasley

Gwendolyn Heasley is a graduate of Davidson College and the University of Missouri-Columbia where she earned her master’s degree in journalism. When she was a little girl, she desperately wanted to be the next Ann M. Martin- the author of the beloved The Baby-Sitter’s Club series. She’s incredibly grateful that the recession rendered her unemployed and made her chase her nearly forgotten dream. She lives in New York City, teaches college and eats entirely too much mac and cheese for an adult. She’s also currently at work on a second novel for Harper Collins. Learn more at

Recently, I have been thinking that publishing a book is a bit like bringing a boy (or girl) home to meet your parents. Especially if it’s someone who you really like. You experience a lot of nerves going into that day- and also excitement because it means something to introduce someone to your family. But there’s also this feeling of “Omg- what if no one likes him like I like him?” or “What if no one gets his jokes like I do?” or “What if this is a total colossal failure?” Those are all totally natural feelings for the “meet the parents” scenario, and I think they are completely applicable to publishing a book. Just because I “get” and love and cherish my own novel doesn’t mean that I am not hesitant to share it with the world and invite their criticism. That said, just like with significant others, I understand that not everyone is going to see and love the novel in the same way I do- but I hope at least a few people do!

(Written 2/14/11) My book has been out for a six days now! I'll admit that it's been one of the MOST exciting weeks of my entire life. After working on WHERE I BELONG for about 18 months, it is now a real, live book out in the world for both friends and strangers to read!

The best part is how my friends and family have rallied to support me and my creative project. I have received emails (and photos) of my friends (close and distant) enjoying my book. The fact that I have 20-something male friends and 60-year-old relatives reading my teen book is pretty cool. I am not only very lucky to have a book, but I am also extremely lucky to have such great people in my life.

I have had two events last week (a library reading and a bookstore reading), and I have two more this week. Each event gives me a bit of nerves, but I am really enjoying this part of being a writer. I am a bit shy, so this challenges me as a person- but I think it's good to continually be challenged.

Overall, my after experience is that I feel extremely blessed!

Reviews of Where I Belong
Princess Bookie
YA Bliss
Reading Vacation


Teril said...

There has been some great talk on this book online, and thank you for reminding me about it. My daughters have been waiting to read this, and now I am also.

Anonymous said...

I want to read this book sooo bad! :D

Jennifer said...

I love the comment about her 20 year old male friends and 60 year old relatives reading the book!

Life's Simple Pleasures said...

sounds great! lovely feature. she is so funny, like Jennifer said above, about the "20 year old male friends and 60 year old relatives reading the book! part!!"

RivkaBelle said...

this is so fun! i love thinking about writing in the same way as thinking about a relationship...makes so much sense! :o)

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