Today’s a huge day for my friend and fellow author, Barbara Brutt. Her new contemporary romance novel, Teal Paisley Tights, leaps into the writing world, making Barbara a first-time published author! Like Forgetting My Way Back to You, it takes place in Pennsylvania, and though it’s just been released, it’s been in the making for the better part of a decade.
The 8-Year Journey of Teal Paisley Tights
Books have always been a love of mine. And though I read a lot as a child and teenager, becoming a writer was never on my radar. In fact, I planned to be a teacher. But then, halfway through college, I had a bit of a crisis: I loved kids but I LOVED English. So I switched my major—easiest and best decision of my life.
And with that switch, I started a writing concentration. My writing professor, Kim Peterson, asked me if I wanted to work on a novel.
*cue brakes squealing*
Me? Write a novel? I read those. I didn’t write them.
But even as those practicalities ping-ponged through my head, my heart leapt forth, “Yes! Yes!”
The Creation of a Character
Jadyn, originally named Janette, slid into my life in a flurry of teal paisley, random shoes, and messiness. And I liked her immediately. Sure, Jadyn was annoying with her people-pleasing tendencies and her over-packed schedule. But I loved her anyway.
And so I let her story come forth in a bunch of really bad writing. Because let’s be super honest, first drafts are pretty crappy.
Rewriting and Rewriting and Rewriting
By the time I graduated college, I had a novel-length work, and I knew I wanted to see it published. I also knew that I still needed instruction and guidance. One day I was creeping on a favorite author of mine (Hello, Sandra Byrd), and I discovered that she did novel writing coaching.
I signed up so fast (and got a job at Dunkin Donuts to fuel the dream).
And this novel writing coaching with Sandra Byrd was like a 6-month boot camp for Jadyn and her teal paisley tights. I wanted someone to show me my weaknesses (and strengths) as a writer, and Sandra Byrd definitely did. My favorite weakness is having no idea how to create tension (I don’t like tension in my life so I don’t know how to write it).
My final question to Sandra Byrd when we closed out our last coaching session was, “Do you think I have what it takes?”
I’ll never forget her words. She told me, “I don’t know if you have what it takes, but I know your story does.”
And you know what? I love that. I love that it was about the story and not me.
A Trail of Rejection
That first rejection was a hard one. Why? Well, because I actually never heard back. And that’s normal (apparently for the industry). But nothing is worse than that silence, right??
When I received an actual email rejection letter, I did a happy dance. I know, weird, right?
But here’s the thing. I loved KNOWING. And I saw that tangible rejection as a badge of I’m-actually-a-writer-trying-to-do-this-book-thing. I’ve kept them all. Each rejection felt like another confirmation that I am a writer. Sometimes I was sad, though, like when one of my favorite agents turned me down (does anyone else dance out sad emotions?).
The Publishing Dream Comes Alive
In November 2017, almost seven years after I met the main character of Teal Paisley Tights, I received word that Vinspire Publishing wanted to publish my novel. And now, today, on November 15th, Teal Paisley Tights will be released to the world.
If you’d like to keep up with my book news updates, you can follow me on Instagram at @CordiallyBarbara. I can be cute sometimes.
About Teal Paisley Tights
After graduation, Jadyn Simon expected to launch her art career. Instead, this Pittsburgh native finds herself locked into a low-paying marketing position with an impossible boss.
Evicted from her apartment because of a small spending problem, she is forced to move in with her know-it-all sister. While everyone else plans a neat, buttoned-up life for her, Jadyn longs to paint professionally. Stretched like canvas between responsibility and dreams, she must choose.
Will practicality always win?
Buy it today on Amazon or another retailer listed on VinspirePublishing.com
About Barbara Brutt
Barbara Brutt, a born and raised Pittsburgher, spent her growing-up years with her nose in a book. After claiming her bachelor’s degree in English, she plunked down hard into a smattering of jobs from shop girl to communications director with a healthy dose of nanny and house-cleaner. Flying to new adventures is her favorite, especially on an airplane or aerial silk. Barbara adores ice cream and only buys purses that provide room for a book or two.
Barbara talks books, aerial silks, faith, and travel on her blog.
Find Barbara on her website: www.BarbaraBrutt.com