Pre-Publication Jitters – Part One

I wrote a novel which will be published in June or July 2011 and be available on The hardest part has been so far writing a synopsis of any kind for any reason, so I will launch one here. Those of you who are confused after reading it, please let me know. I try to be clear, but writing a synopsis only brings back a warning given to all his students by one of my art teachers at MSU–“Try not to discuss your work. You only sound ridiculous when you do.” By and large, he’s been correct. If I try to explain or have to explain a straight black and white photo or a non-abstract oil painting, I, too, sound pathetically obtuse. The same goes for me as a writer with the synopsis of a slightly complex story. So bear with me, please.

Grace Alice Adamson grows up in East Lansing, Michigan, but that leaves her little in common with her contemporaries. She’s pretty but her father rejects her and her mother always complains that she doesn’t look like one of the models in “Seventeen.” And that’s for starters.

At the same time, she is around very bright, well-educated people almost all the time, and reads constantly. She reads above her class level, which does not get applause from her teachers at East Lansing Junior and Senior High Schools.

She travels with her family quite a bit, and writes about the trips in her diary, which is the basis for the book. Her entries include drawings and photos, and the kind of sweetness one can expect from a bright girl who’s usually told she can’t do anything right or well. Her intellectual equals are few, and one is a nice psychiatrist to whom she is sent because her family (especially her mother) keeps trying to exert control over her for no understandable reason. The psychiatrist, on the other hand, keeps trying to make appointments with her parents, who refuse because they feel they are of sound mind and body, while the daughter is not.

Needless to say, Grace is really anxious to blow town, and eventually, she does. Having the means to do it helps a lot, and she goes to Bogotá, Colombia. Long before it became famous for drugs and kidnapping and a lot of other things.

And this is only the first part of a series. “NOVELESCO: A Woman’s Life as Fiction” starts in 1960, and Part I ends in March 1966. Part II will start there.

“NOVELESCO: A Woman’s Life as Fiction” is also an illustrated novel, because that’s what I grew up reading. I have no problem including little sketches or diagrams and some photos in the text. I think it helps the reader from time to time. Technologically, on a computer this is a piece of cake, compared to the offset processes previously required to add even one little drawing on the title page. (I even have some art books with a color plate tipped in (a person glues the image down along the top edge) on the title page.) However, the current publisher’s “design team” seems to have a problem with that, which makes me wonder about their cultural level. But since this is only one book, and since I spoke with an Argentine publisher last week, who thought the idea of illustrating the book was unique, I will try not to worry too much about the subject. There are 47 illustrations, in about 250 pages, but they’re small. Except one toward the end, which is a color photo of the Peruvian Andes I took in July 1965. That covers most of the page. You’ll have to buy the book to find out why.

I hope I’ve interested you in my book. I will keep you posted on the progress of the publication, along with an announcement of the publication.

Have a nice Mother’s Day!


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