The Art of Letting GoThe Uni Files: Year One
The Art of Letting Go (The Uni Files: Year One)
Publication date: September 25th 2013
Genres: New Adult, Romance
(A Guest Post by Anna Bloom)
It’s funny, when I wrote The Art of Letting Go, the first novel in The Uni Files it never crossed my mind that it would make readers feel so many different things. That’s a crazy thing for someone like me to think but I did nonetheless. By someone like me, I mean a person of an imaginative persuasion who has been obsessed with books since they were eight years old.
I mean of course I always knew that when I read a book the way it made me feel, happy, scared or sad would not be the same as another person but it never ever occurred to me when I typed The End on the last page of my manuscript that people would find something different to me on the pages I was binding together with my tale. I mean, I’m the author right? If I say it should read one way then surely it should??
Not so much, and a big fat raspberry to me for forgetting the power that the written word has. And a second big raspberry to me for forgetting that perception is the key to everything.
Some readers have found it laugh out loud funny and have related to the fun aspects of the book. For others it has brought back happy but blurry memories of a misspent youth. Others have found it tragically sad and cried buckets at the end.
I’m going to share a little personal experience with you before I tell you how it made me feel, and that is what my most feared reader felt when she read it. My mum.
Now this is quite a sensitive subject because I was quite scared about my mum reading The Art of Letting Go, and I think she was just as worried herself. I mean, what if my mum hated it? Or what if she thought her daughter’s debut literary release was a complete pile of rubbish? That would be a bit awkward around the family dinner table next time I saw her.
Anyway, Mum refused to read it in draft form, not even the final version, she was determined to wait for it to come out so she could buy it. And she did. Then I heard nothing. Nooooothiiiing for days.
Well that’s great!
Finally my dad rang (my parents live abroad) and I answered Skype with fearful trepidation. “Your Mum has been face down crying on the bed for twenty minutes,” he told me. PANIC it was that bad I made her cry! Eventually mum shuffled into view on the computer, still sniffling. “That was so sad, but beautiful,” she said and then started to cry all over again. That was possibly one of the shortest conversations I have ever had with my mum.
My mum was definitely in the ‘Sad’ camp, and I’ll tell you a little secret, it actually made me really proud that I had managed to reduce my own mother to tears with the tale that I had to tell – and yes I know that’s a bit wrong.
So what did I feel when I wrote it? Well I felt it all. I laughed, I reminisced and I cried. I had my heart in my chest when I wrote that scene at the end, but more than all of that I felt this incredibly uplifting feeling in my soul that you can learn The Art of Letting Go and survive it.
It fills me with delight that every person who picks up my book has the ability to read it a different way. I wonder what you will feel when you read it?
Anna Bloom on The Making of The Art of Letting Go Cover
It’s a bit different isn’t it? Well for a start no one is naked on it, which makes it definitely eye catching but maybe not for the right reason.
You know they say never judge a book by its cover? Let’s be honest, we all do don’t we! It’s the first thing we see and it impacts the way we read the book. With Amazon Kindle and One-Click downloading you can download five books in two minutes and then weeks later when you are looking for a new book to read not remember a single thing they are about. So what do you do? You go for the most attractive or eye-catching cover that jumps out at you shouting “Read me now!”
And well this is where my cover problems began. For my publisher I had to fill in a Cover Art Request Form, which I dutifully completed. Twice. Or was it three times? I can’t remember. Because the thing was I knew what I wanted, but I also knew what sells books and the two were not mutually compatible.
The Art of Letting Go is written as a diary, not a necessarily sober diary and my initial idea, and the concept I had in my mind for the longest time was to have the front actually look like a diary. I wanted splashes of red wine (my main character drinks way too much of the stuff) and have doodles all over it. You know what I mean, a proper teenage diary that a twenty-five year old probably shouldn’t be writing. “Lilah loves Ben,” love hearts, that sort of thing. Think Adrian Mole but with boobs and an alcohol tolerance problem.
I was all go. THAT IS WHAT I WANT.
But then I started to look at all the New Adult books being released in their hundreds, and guess what, they all had naked sexy people on the front shagging. Not, the idle doodles of a pisshead.
Form No #2. Please may I have mega sexy people kissing. . . pretty please.
Sadly I couldn’t live with myself, and I had to write yet another grovelling email asking them to scrap another request form. I felt that despite the pressure to be sexy I had to stick to my principles.
Enter my saviour of cover art in the form of a personal friend and awesome graphic designer Ms. Burket A.K.A Life and sanity saver. She listened to me ramble on and on one morning over a coffee and then later sent me a file with my perfect cover in it. Part diary, part kissy kissy romance. For me complete perfection.
So my cover doesn’t have naked people on it. There are no abs and no underwear in sight. It’s unique and different just like the character inhabiting the pages inside.
Someone told me not so long ago that I needed to sex up my cover if I wanted to crack the NA market, do you know what I say, over my dead body. There is no other cover for that book that ever would have worked. And I thank my lucky stars that my publisher let me use it.
So let’s have a big cheer for polaroid’s, another for doodles and another for embracing being different!
About the Author
About the Author
Anna Bloom is a contemporary romance writer who writes about life as it happens. Combining a busy schedule of looking after two small children whilst working in a local school and completing The Uni Files series. Anna’s main aim in life is to create the perfect book which makes a reader laugh and cry at the same time, hopefully causing a convulsive (impossible to ignore) donkey noise. It’s a work in progress! Anna also spends a lot of time imagining kissing hot guys – all in the name of her art.