When I decided to put my first novel “out there,” my husband said to me, “So, what do you hope will happen with this book?”
“What do you mean?” I said.
“I mean, what do you want to happen with it? What will make you happy when it goes out into the universe?”
“I want people to read it,” I said.
“How many? Do you have a number?”
(What is it with men? They always want numbers…How many days has the teriyaki chicken been in the fridge? How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were? How many calls did you make before the carpenter returned your call? How many purses and pairs of shoes do you actually need?)
Anyway, back to how many books…I wasn’t sure I had an answer, so I didn’t answer.
He continued. “Will you be happy if 100 people read your book?”
“Sure,” I said, shrugging one shoulder.
“Ah…that’s not enough for you, I see.”
“Well, it’s just…”
“You want more readers.”
“Yes,” I said. “Writers always want more readers.”
“Yes,” he said. “But how many?”
* * *
Last night I got a call from a former student, now a friend, named Ashley. I was grading papers at Barnes & Noble, as I’ve been inundated with final projects rolling in during this last week of classes, and was trying to make a big dent in the stack.
“I loved your book,” she said excitedly. I knew she meant it, and I got a warm and fuzzy feeling inside.
“I’m so glad!” I responded.
We then discussed what she liked about it, and that she read it rather quickly. She very nicely said she couldn’t put it down.
That left me in a pretty darn good mood for the rest of the night.
* * *
So to answer his question of how many?
One at a time will do.
* * *
Side Note: Thanks to many of my friends who have kindly spread the word about “Beneath the Mimosa Tree,” I am happy to report that I need not shrug that one shoulder any longer. I have sold more than that initial 100 books my husband asked me about, and so the counting begins, to steal Anne Lamott’s phrase, Bird by Bird.
With appreciation…thank you.
The Latest Reviews…
My new favorite novel! April 17, 2012
By Christine, Format: Paperback|Amazon
What a beautiful, captivating story! I was drawn in from the first sentence, and couldn’t put this book down! I felt as if I was right there with the characters. It takes a special author to be able to do that to their audience, and I believe that Stephanie Verni is much more than a special author. I laughed, I cried, I felt connected to the book in every way. I can’t say enough positive things about “Beneath the Mimosa Tree.” This is a book that you will cherish and pass along to everyone you know!
The Perfect Beach Read, By Anonymous Posted April 23, 2012
Ok, so I didn’t read it on the beach, but I couldn’t help but think that it would be the perfect book to enjoy on a relaxing day at the shore. Once I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down. The main characters are well-developed and it’s easy to feel connected to them; I genuinely cared what happened to them, and was eager to find out what became of their relationship. Even the secondary characters seemed familiar, and I saw pieces of people I knew in them. When the characters are so relateable, it really draws you into the story. The story itself is engaging, and the plot moves at just the right pace, not too fast, not too slow. The descriptions, especially of London and Annapolis, are detailed enough that you can feel like you’re there, but they’re not overpowering and don’t take away from the plot. Beautifully crafted book – you won’t be disappointed in this story of forgiveness and true love.
Exceptional Writing April 21, 2012
By Rachel, Format: Kindle Edition
Wow, this book couldn’t have been published at a better time. Being recently engaged, it reflects the emotions I feel towards my fiancé. I felt like these characters were real people and I could feel their emotions the entire time. I’m not a reader, it’s just not a top priority but I do enjoy it. This book I finished in 2 sittings. I was captivated with the writing style, the language and how easy it was to keep up with the different characters and time changes. I couldn’t be more proud of Stephanie and her accomplishments. You did it! An ‘A’ in my book for sure!
I LOVED this book!! April 21, 2012
By Chrysti Format: Paperback
A beautifully written story about life, love, regret and forgiveness. I brought this book on vacation and was hooked from the beginning. I loved the way the author developed the characters — I felt like I knew them and could relate to what they were feeling. My daughter read it after me and loved it so much she is reading it again! I was so sorry to see the book end and I hope we see more from Stephanie Verni in the future. Great for summer. Great for a book club. Just plain great in every way.