How to turn a life crisis into a bestselling novel
After independently releasing my debut book, Wedlocked: A Novel this past June, I never would have believed it if you told me the book would hit Amazon’s bestseller lists by November—but it did. And it’s still going strong.
Turning my biggest life crisis—impulsively marrying into a disastrous and very short-lived marriage—into a funny, engaging novel seems to be resonating with the public. It’s comforting to know I’m not the only dunce out there. And that’s the key to the whole idea. Chances are good that many others have experienced similar catastrophes to yours or know someone who has. Either way, they will want to commiserate with you and happily, that means buying your book.
It’s probably not imperative that you transform your crisis into comedy like I did, but if possible, I highly recommend it. Being able to laugh once you get some distance from the dark event is incredibly cathartic for the writer and a great way to entertain readers. Also, note that feelings of exhilaration and immense satisfaction come when you get to rewrite history, punish villains, reward good-dead-doers, and create heroes to save the day. Never underestimate the therapeutic power of the pen!
So, to turn your crisis into a bestselling novel, here’s what you have to do. First, start journaling! If possible, start while the crisis is exploding or shortly after. Journaling gets all your raw emotions down on paper. Don’t try to make sense of them. Just write. The journal will be a great source during the actual writing of the book.
Next, give yourself some time to recuperate from the catastrophe. Each person is different so only you will know when you’re ready. I knew when I stopped crying and began fantasizing innovative ways to torture my ex. That’s right. You don’t have to be completely over it, just over it enough to be functionally creative.
Then, start writing and hold nothing back. You’ll want to share every sordid detail, humiliating incident, and colorful thought that went through your head at the time (here’s where the journal comes in very handy). That’s not to say you will use all of this, but it is great raw material to pick through.
Get the whole story down, but not necessarily as it happened. You are a writer creating an alternative universe where things that actually happened can be tweaked, amplified, diminished or cut entirely to enhance the story. Now you have the luxury of saying the things you didn’t think to say then. This is your big do-over, so have fun with it! And if you’re having fun, chances are good your readers will be to—and they’ll spread the word.
Create an author website and sign up for Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads to start. Then spend every minute you can, networking and cross promoting with other authors, offering your book up for contests, and finding bloggers who will review your book, interview you, or allow you to guest blog for a day. Interact with bloggers, readers, authors and everyone who shows the slightest bit of interest in you or your book, and take advantage of every offer to promote with others that comes your way. If social networking baffles you, and finances allow for it, hire a social marketing expert to teach you the basics. I did, and it was worth every penny. Tweet and post relentlessly and provide links to all your guest posts, interviews and good reviews on your website. Combine all that with a bit of luck and poof…your calamity is on its way to bestsellerdom!
Wedlocked by Bonnie Trachtenberg
On what should be the happiest day of her life, Rebecca Ross is panic stricken. Rebecca has just wed Craig Jacobs, but she realizes she put more thought into choosing her florist than she did in choosing the man she’s just pledged to love for the rest of her life.
Before Craig, Rebecca, a talented Long Island girl, dreamed of following in her grandmother’s footsteps with an acting career. Unfortunately, she was cut down to size by years of disappointment, and by her first love—a Hollywood director. She returned to Long Island a lost and broken woman, and ended up in the last place she ever wanted: her old bedroom at her parents’ house.
But Rebecca’s mother, an overzealous convert to Judaism, has a long held dream too: marry off her three daughters to Jewish men. So no one is more thrilled than her when Rebecca meets and marries bon vivant Craig Jacobs, the man who has won over the whole family. Too bad they’re all about to discover that underneath his charismatic shell, this Prince Charming is anything but!
Publisher: iUniverse.com (June 16, 2011)
Paperback: 272 pages
Kindle Edition: File Size: 1471 KB
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1462022677
Hardcover: 272 pages
Author Website: http://www.bonnietrachtenberg.com/
Novel Website: http://www.Wedlockedthenovel.com
Amazon US (to buy):http://amzn.to/tkOsh4
Amazon UK (to buy):http://ning.it/sEStFV
Barnes and Noble (to buy):http://ning.it/pPRGvC
Author Facebook Page: http://www.Facebook.com/BonnieTrachtenberg
Novel Facebook Page: http://ww.Facebook.com/Wedlocked
Twitter A/c @writebrainedny: https://twitter.com/#!/writebrainedny
“Wedlocked speaks to so many people…Trachtenberg’s appealing wit and ability to create characters that jump off the page and into our hearts has a lot to do with it…I highly recommend this book.”—Long Island Tribune
“Wedlocked is a wonderful, amusing escape. I really enjoyed it….you will find yourself laughing throughout the book and also being enraged along with Rebecca. Don’t miss the read….it is splendid!!! You will love it….I certainly did.” Five Stars—Silver’s Reviews
“Trachtenberg’s story is not only moving, but inspiring. Her novel is a beautiful story about friends, family, dreams and most importantly second chances in love and life…I thoroughly enjoyed reading Wedlocked and I don’t think you’ll find a more unique or ‘one of a kind’ story than Rebecca’s. I highly recommend this novel and I look forward to reading Trachtenberg’s future stories.” Five Stars—Boekie’s Book Reviews
“Bonnie Trachtenberg is T-A-L-E-N-T-E-D! WOW! LOVED this one! This is a story that will have you smiling, frowning and everything in between!…DEFINITELY highly recommend with 5 Books and two thumbs up! I can’t wait to see what Ms. Trachtenberg has in store next for her new found fans!”—ReviewsbyMolly.com
“Bonnie Trachtenberg has written a fun, likeable and very vulnerable character in Rebecca. You basically will want to adopt her, keep hugging her, and telling her things WILL work out for her because you want them to so badly…Wedlocked is a transformational novel, filled with family, friends, love, heartache, and redemption, just like real life—only much, much funnier! Enjoy!”—PopcornReads.com
“This book has everything – drama, humor, sadness and even some adventure tossed in. Wedlocked is a fast-paced book that makes you giggle and cry at the same time. Readers will be cheering for Rebecca and wanting to see things turn out right for her. For me, Rebecca is the star of the show and I didn’t want this book to end. I do hope to see more of Bonnie Trachtenberg’s work and, hopefully, another book with Rebecca. I want to make sure everything is going right for her.”—Five Stars (Kitties)—Socrates Book Reviews
“I can’t quite put my finger on what makes Wedlocked so special. Is it the strong characters, the author’s ability to get into their heads and make them jump off the pages, or is it the universal story of trying to live up to other’s expectations while staying true to your own dreams? Whatever it is, Wedlocked is a fun, emotional and intensely satisfying read that I would highly recommend.”—Hands and Home
“Wedlocked showcases an author that has grasped the importance of sinking her readers into the unfolding inner lives of her characters, particularly that of her strong central character, Rebecca, who does things that most of us would only dream about. And this is what makes this novel a worthwhile read, leaving us with a lasting impression and impact.”—American Chronicle
“I laughed out loud at this story. Got a tad teary here and there and I also loved every page I read. Ms. Trachtenberg is a hoot! If you’re looking for a gift novel, here it is – give it to yourself first!!”—Cheryl’s Book Nook
“Wedlocked is a perfect late summer escape from reality. Fast-paced, full of eclectic supporting characters…a romantic romp with both heart and a message about self-worth and not allowing oneself to be swept along by others’ expectations and hopes for us. It is a well-crafted first novel and I look forward to reading more of Trachtenberg’s work.”—Janie H. Siess, Colloquium
“Ms. Trachtenberg has written a great debut novel. I definitely recommend it. It grabbed my attention right from the beginning. It also had some great laugh out loud moments. I look forward to seeing more from her in the future.”—Kari Boardman, From the TBR Pile
“Wedlocked is a funny, warm, and engaging story about life, love, marriage and family. This page-turner is the perfect summer read!”—Wendy Walker, bestselling author of Social Lives
“Wedlocked is a delight, filled with humor and heart. You’ll surely cheer as you follow Rebecca Ross’s trials and triumphs as she navigates her way to finding her true self—and true love—at last.”—Francine LaSala, author of Rita Hayworth’s Shoes
“Trachtenberg has crafted a sweepingly readable tale with a carefully drawn protagonist who is immensely appealing, and despite dashed hopes, continues to survive in a world where complex interpersonal relationships can sometimes prove to be catastrophic.”— BookPleasures.com
About the author
Bonnie Trachtenberg is the award-winning, bestselling author of Wedlocked: A Novel. She was senior writer and copy chief at Book-of-the-Month Club and has written seven children’s book adaptations. She has also written for three newspapers and penned countless magazine articles. Trachtenberg lives on Long Island with her husband, four cats and a dog. Her second novel will be released in early 2012.