Monday, August 06, 2007

The First Time I Typed "Chapter One"

I had never planned to talk about this, thought my first book attempt should fade into oblivion with mood rings and the Bay City Rollers. But since it’s our Buzz Girls theme this week…well, here goes!

I was a senior in high school, and convinced I’d hit the jackpot in super-cool storyline and title ideas. I was thinking the big time:


Because I mean, who wouldn't want to read a totally depressing romance novel about a girl who not only doesn’t get the hero, but kills herself on the fated anniversary of their first date? Especially a book whose title that not only guarantees a miserable read, but gives away the ending:

SEVEN YEARS TO SUICIDE

(My husband, upon hearing this recollection, said, “You’re making this up, right?”)

Not only did I attempt to write this book, but I actually told people about it and was, quite frankly, disappointed in their lack of enthusiasm. However, to be fair, my mother patiently listened to my woes of the writing process, and gave me encouragement to keep at it. Even though the meet between the hero and heroine was so lackluster that I went back and edited it so that the heroine would recognize this fact--in other words, brilliant writer that I was, I meant this scene to be boring, people, okay?

This book crashed-and-burned, I am pleased to say. And disappeared when we moved a couple years later. I can say with full confidence that you’ll never find that title and my name together any place but here. But if somehow, out of the trash or the ashes, it reappears…well, I’ll either feature it on my website as a lark, or deny any knowledge of it.

Anyone care to weigh in on early artistic projects that still haunt them today?

Tina

Tina Ferraro
Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress, out now
How to Hook a Hottie, Spring, 2008
The ABC’s of Kissing Boys, Spring, 2009
www.tinaferraro.com

10 comments:

Dona Sarkar-Mishra said...

Man, Tina, your story actually sounds interesting! And while the title is predictable...I think it's catchy and clever. You always had the knack!

Wait till you hear my first book story--awful!!!

Kelly Parra said...

Sounds like an interest-catcher to me, Tina! :)
Hmm, I will never forget my very, very first attempt at romance. A Romance about a rich guy and a poor girl and how he wants to use her to get at his family and ends up falling in love, anway. I think it was forty pages long--haha!

Janie Emaus said...

Tina,
One of my first attempt was a short story and I remember my husband saying..."So? What happens besides these girls going to the mall?"
My first attempt at a Romance actually ended up finaling in some contest (I hadn't even known I had entered.) The top prize was a trip to Hawaii. The rest of the finalists received T-shirts. I loved that T-shirt!

TinaFerraro said...

Dona, you are too sweet! And can't wait to hear about yours.

Kelly, so sorry I missed critiquing your first romance. ;) Thanks for sharing!

Janie, LOL at your husband's line...and I've never heard of a writing conference that offers a trip as first prize. I wonder if anyone actually got the trip?

stephhale said...

Tina, I have such a hard time picturing you(perpetually cheerful) being sullen enough to write something like that. Hilarious!

TinaFerraro said...

LOL, Steph. What can I say? I was a moody teenager!

Diana Peterfreund said...

Ooh, ooh, I want to play!

My first attempt at writing book actually did become a book -- I did it for a school project in the fifth grade. It was about two girls on a hiking trip who got separated from the group (i can't remember how, but I'm sure it wasn't very realistic that the adults would just leave them behind) and had to fend for themselves in the wilderness for the night, as well as find stuff to eat and find their way back. They were very "opposites" types and so were always arguing about what direction to go, etc.

My next first attempt at a novel showed I was reading way too much Johanna Lindsay. I was in high school by then and it was a historical romance about a woman with a beautiful voice who was a reasonably dowared orphan being raised in her cousin's house who figured she'd never get married because she had scars on her body from the fire she'd survived that had killed her parents and sister. It was called "Songbird." That's all I can remember about it. hero? Eh.

TinaFerraro said...

Thanks, Diana! And I'm guessing you did a bang-up job on that 5th grade book!

Marley Gibson said...

Oh Tina...that's an AWESOME story! I love your husband's reaction. That's classic.

You know...with the market going for some edgier stories, that's not a total impossibility. I'm just sayin'

Marley = )

Tera Lynn Childs said...

How funny! Tina, that is sooo not like you. (Thank goodness!)
Hugs,
TLC