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Author Tales: Kathryn Williams

Kathryn Williams is the guest author for this Thursday's Author Tales! Kathryn is the author of The Debutante, which was released this May. I haven't had a chance to read The Debutante yet, but I've been hearing great things about it around the blogosphere! Don't forget to leave a comment answering Kathryn's question about times you've felt fate has played a part in your life, to be entered in the Monthly Contest!

Every time someone asks me about the trials and tribulations of getting a book published, expecting an epic war story, I feel like I should begin with a disclaimer: I was EXTREMELY lucky. I’m not saying that to be modest (although I do find modesty an alluring quality in a person). It’s just true.

There are hundreds of hard-working, talented writers in this world who never get the satisfaction of seeing their words on the bound and printed page. Which is what makes the circumstances surrounding my first book, The Debutante, all the more flabbergasting and miraculous to me.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t attribute it all to luck or fate. There was A LOT of hard work prior to my book contract and following it. I’m talking blood, sweat and tears, people. Six drafts -- maybe a baker’s dozen of the first chapter. Of course, this is nothing compared to the painstaking (borderline obsessive) efforts of some authors -- that’s probably why their books are classics and they died young. But I did pay my dues before the word “book” ever tumbled hopefully from my lips.

I had been living in New York for about two years after college and a short stint in D.C. I was in a fourth floor walk-up apartment on St. Mark’s Place in the East Village. Our front door was situated between Khan’s Gift Shop and the not-so-creatively-named Body Piercing. I lived in a “room” with no walls and shared a bathroom between three girls… three girls with a lot of products. It was cozy but pretty cool too. (Yes, I am trying to up my street cred here.)

When an editor at a big newspaper (its circulation isn’t huge, but it’s read by a lot of people in publishing -- the literary cool kids) gave me the chance to write a personal essay for their section, “New Yorker’s Diary,” I just about peed my pants. I wrote about an idea that had been running circles in my mind, like a hamster that’s escaped its cage, since I arrived in the city -- what it was like to be Southern in New York.

That’s when Fate (or whatever you want to call her -- she’s not picky) stepped in. One of my friends forwarded the article to her friend, who worked at a big publishing house. She, my future editor, had already read the essay. In fact, she had tried to email me at the address printed at the end of the article. She thought I would be the perfect writer for a book idea they had. Rude Me had not emailed her back! she said. WTF?

Enter Fate a second (maybe one-thousandth) time. After a series of emails between my friend, my roommate, and the editor, it was figured out that the newspaper had printed a fake email address. I wasn’t just blowing her off. My roommate gave my friend, who gave the editor, the correct email… and that's how babies are made. Kidding. But a book deal was born.

What’s the moral of this story? Uh, I don’t have one. I just think it’s a cool story. I don’t think it requires the sunshiny smile of Fate for someone to get a book published. I’m just saying, when you’re down on your luck, and your manuscript has got a quarter inch of dust on it and one hundred rejection slips beside it, don’t give up. Someone might just be looking for your right email address.

Feel free to comment and tell me about times you feel like fate has played a part in your life!

Holla (I can't even write that with a straight face),


Thanks Kathryn for that awesome guest post!! I am really enjoying the authors that have been stopping by they have all been more than stellar!! Fate must be on my side! For more information on Kathryn check out the following links:


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Author Tales: Kathryn Williams + space