04 May 2011

Cut Me, Mick

I started to write my book because I had finished a few Jennifer Crusie novels, and they were so wonderfully crafted, rendered with such seemingly effortless style, that I wanted to author the next one. I actually said, "I am going to write the next Jennifer Crusie novel, under the pseudonym Megan Coakley." Obviously, I didn't comprehend how much work is required for an "effortless" read. But I had an idea-a movie, really-in my mind, and I thought, "I should write that."

Shortly thereafter, I got invited to a U2 concert.  I wanted something to commemorate the event because I don't get to many concerts. And it's U2! (I love you, Larry Mullen, Jr.!) I bought a t-shirt with a picture of cherubs entwined under the arcing phrase, "The future deserves a big kiss." While standing in line, waiting to pay a ridiculous amount of money for my flimsy t-shirt, I imagined an entire love scene based on that quote. And that's what convinced me to begin my novel.

I keep writing because I have great friends. June and Janet are my support system, my beta readers, my agent, and my editor. I gave them my first attempts, even before I let the Captain read them. If Janet had told me, ever so politely, to take my life in a different direction, my "work in progress" would have progressed no further. When June sent me that first email, explaining how she missed her subway stop because she was so engrossed in reading what I had sent her, it gave me the courage to continue.

I shared that story with Ellen and Sarah, two lovely women I met in Salem. Ellen was relating how she called Sarah to say she had registered for the conference, and, without hesitation, Sarah agreed to go with her. Together, they fantasized about how they would submit their manuscripts to the agents and editors, who would be so impressed by their brilliance, a bidding war would erupt over the rights to publish. We all laughed, but I remarked how important it is to have somone who believes in your potential, who goes in, whole hog, for the fantasy.

After June read my first chapters, she called to say she couldn't wait to plan my book signing. It was an outlandish statement, but it made me want to succeed, if for no other reason than to prove that my friend's faith in me wasn't misplaced.

I am blessed to have a family that encourages me. I would not be sitting here, typing on this beautiful laptop, if it weren't for the Captain's unwavering support. I have sisters who read for me all across the nation, and keep asking for more. But it was Janet who helped shape those first pages, and June who coaxed me online, which led me to the Betties, my blog, and you! They helped put me on a path toward my future.

When the Captain and I realized the conference was the same weekend as his hockey tournament in Montreal, Janet and June said they would watch the boys. You may have heard I have five of them. But they signed up anyway. They are always in my corner, rooting for my success. They are the Mick to my Rocky, and I want to write a knock-out novel for them. I hope you have someone cheering you on, someone who sees your greatness even when you can't. It's inspiring.

13 comments:

  1. That was a beautiful post Megan! We are lucky you have this support team too.
    Julie

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  2. Great post! You've inspired me to go write a thank-you post on my blog. :-) Right now it's my brother who's my best beta reader and #1 encourager. He's interested in script reading so he listens to all the Popcorn Dialogues, so the next time he reads me, I'm really gonna be in for it.

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  3. They're your A-Team! June and Janet sound like fantastic friends to have, we all need people like that in our corner, backing us up and motivating us.

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  4. Your writing is stunningly vivid and excellent, Megan. I can't wait to read your book.

    And I'd like to take a moment to hail Janet and June who are true goddesses.

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  5. A teacher I used to work with would say "No one can fly without wind." And that sounds like a more philosophical version of Bette Midler until we caught on that he was usually passing gas right before that.

    Bodily functions aside, it's a wonderful sentiment. So hurray for your zephyrs! And I can't wait to read the book!

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  6. Hooray for Janet and June! Seriously, because I need to read that novel. (Although, I now have a rather unpleasant image of someone slicing into a giant, bloody bruise over your eye.) I'm glad Janet missed her train stop. I'm also glad you remembered Ellen's name, because I couldn't think of it for the life of me.

    Now, back to writing, you! I want that book!

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  7. Me, too! Me, too! I want to read it, too!

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  8. Okay, now I am all misty-eyed. Thank you for such a sweet post.

    I maintain that my support is pure selfishness. You have me hooked and now I want to read the rest. Also, I am hoping that you will become as prolific as Nora Roberts and provide me with three or four new releases each year to read. I jest, of course. We'll go one day at a time and one novel at a time. However, I retain dibs on the first book signing in New York. The rest of your global fanbase may negotiate for the other cities. :)

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  9. Heya Megan! It was great meeting you at the conference, and hanging out with you and Delia. Looking forward to maybe hooking up (no--not that way!) at RWA.

    It is an amazing thing to have such support. I would never have gotten this far without mine.

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  10. What a lovely post, Megan! Thanks for the shout out. It made me smile.

    I have to say that you make it easy to be supportive of your writing, since you are a wonderful writer. It's a pleasure to read your stuff and I am ridiculously proud of your progress. I tell people all of the time about my friend's fantastic upcoming book.

    If you had been mediocre or amateurish, I would have worked to find something to encourage, since I love you, but it was never an issue. Instead of struggling to find the positives, I get to be an early reader of a wonderful book. Which means that I am a very lucky woman. I'm looking forward to seeing in in print!

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  11. You played Heroscape!? Nice! That game is very complicated.

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  12. @Janet: We have created a very simple version that allows you to win or lose in about twenty minutes. Ahhh.

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  13. @Deborah:the Betties were the best part of the conference! I'll be in touch about National!

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