2018: The Year in Review – All about THE LOVE FOOL and writing.
Well, 2018 was quite a year for me. The biggest achievement was the release of my debut novel, of course. My main goal was to see The Love Fool on a bookshelf in a bookstore – specifically Barnes & Noble. I achieved this goal, and much more!
January to March
I worked on final edits to the manuscript for THE LOVE FOOL and submitted to the publisher. Meanwhile, I worked with a web designer, providing content and artwork, layout ideas, and more – to get a beautiful one-page thelovefool.com website. In addition, I set up advertisements online, postcards, and in local papers. I hired a PR person to help put the word out and organize the awesome book launch event which was hosted by the incredible people at Massimino’s Cucina Italiana in the North End. I also thank all who came out to celebrate this achievement with me.
April to June
I took back full control of the pr and marketing. My first event was in April at the Author’s Night By The Sea in Portsmouth, NH – held by my new friends at New England Authors Expo. It was awesome to meet new friends and fellow independent authors. And I reconnected with popular Italian TV chef Mary Ann Esposito – giving me that nostalgia for my previous job in TV.
I was adamant to participate in Independent Bookstore Day and thank the people at Cabot Street Books in Beverly, MA for hosting me and allowing me to talk to shoppers. I also participated in a Twitter Chat at @LitChat. And I was interviewed by Stephen Lomer on his YouTube and PodCast series Tell Me About Your Damn Book.
I mentioned earlier that my ultimate goal for writing THE LOVE FOOL was to have it on the shelf in a book store – Barnes & Noble specifically. So, I pursued my local B&N shops and set up a Meet & Greet in Burlington, MA location in early June. Prior to the event, I popped in to find my book on the shelf! What a surreal moment. GOAL ACHIEVED!!
Later in June, I spoke at I AM Books – an Italian-American bookstore in Boston’s North End. It was my first actual talk about THE LOVE FOOL and about me – something I struggle to talk about but it was quite therapeutic to sort out my life and share my stories. I was super flattered that the crew at I AM Books asked me back for their book club meeting to answer reader’s questions about THE LOVE FOOL.
July to September
In mid July, I participated in the Summer Romance Author Festival at the Barnes & Noble in Framingham, MA. There I met more fellow authors and new readers excited to dive into THE LOVE FOOL. Late July, I exhibited at the New England Authors Book Expo in Danvers, MA – where I met even more local authors and talked to more readers.
During this time, THE LOVE FOOL was listed on prominent publications including Publisher’s Weekly and The New York Book Review, and got a raving review on Kirkus Reviews. THE LOVE FOOL also received three separate five-star reviews from ReadersFavorite.com and became a Finalist in Fiction for the Best Book Awards.
In August, I was featured in the THE LOVE FOOL Blog Tour which took place on multiple blogs in USA, Canada and UK. I also created a Spotify playlist with songs that I listened to while writing THE LOVE FOOL.
In September, I took a break and went to Germany for a couple of weeks, there I worked on writing my new story; which is still a work in progress. But in late September, I attended another book club meeting answering questions and getting insight from a group of awesome readers.
October to December
In October, I had booked two big events. The first, was at my Alma Mater Suffolk University in Boston. As part of the Mildred F Sawyer Library Speaker Series, I spoke to students, staff, faculty and alumni about THE LOVE FOOL and my background. In mid-October, Eataly Boston hosted an Aperitivo with Lorenzo Petruzziello, where I again spoke about my background and writing THE LOVE FOOL. This ticketed talk was accompanied by Negroni, Prosecco, appetizers and Bucatini all’Amatriciana; followed by a book signing.
Later October, I flew out to Los Angeles for a couple of initial meetings regarding THE LOVE FOOL including potential book signings and more. There is nothing to report on this front – but should anything come into fruition, I’ll be sure to keep you all posted.
In November, I stopped all marketing and PR efforts for THE LOVE FOOL. That launch was a lot of work and done in my spare time! I felt I had accomplished all I wanted and more, but I do continue looking for any situation I can include THE LOVE FOOL. Instead, I focused on celebrating my 44th birthday, then Thanksgiving.
In December, I decided to really get my new story some attention. I reorganized my writing area, reviewed all the notes I had made from the past year, and finally began the writing process. It will be a slow one folks, so please bear with me.
All in all, I’d say my debut novel was quite a success! Thank you to all who purchased and read my book. I loved hearing and reading all the feedback – it’s so cool to hear the effect my little story had on people. Such passionate readers – I love it!
And thank you to everyone who followed me on Instagram and other social media sites. Cheers to whatever 2019 may bring!