Ah, this business! You plug along for years, putting out book after book, hoping that your small group of readers will grow into a group large enough that you might actually pay the mortgage. You plod along at a steady pace, building slowly, while other authors evolve at lightning speed. Nothing happens for years, and then suddenly, out of the blue, your books start to sell well. Print runs go up. Your publisher tells you that they are going to do more to promote your books. Your agent pumps you up and tells you you’re becoming a Big Deal, and you get all excited, even though you know she says that to all her clients. They approach you about doing a tie-in novel to a soap opera. A what? you cry, but you do it, because you’re no fool.
And then one day it happens. You’re in a bookstore, talking with the bookseller whom you’ve known for years. When another customer approaches, you walk away to peruse the stacks, and you hear that customer say, “That’s Julia London? Ohmigod! Ohmigod!”
You are so glad you put on some make up and changed out of godawful linen pants you’ve worn all summer and fall. You quickly swipe your fingers under your eyes just in case there are any make up smudges, because it’s been that long since you wore make-up, and you turn.
The bookseller presents a beaming–beaming–customer. The customer says–no, squeals– “Ohmigod, you cannot believe what an honor it is to meet you!”
You give her demure smile. “Thank you. It’s a pleasure to meet you, too…”
“Mary!” she cries, still beaming. “Wow! You don’t look anything like your picture!” You are determined not to take that in the wrong way. Your hair is a different color after all. She continues, “I absolutely loved your last book! I’ve read it five times.”
You smile and nod, like this happens to you all the time, like you are being the saint of patience with this adoring fan who read your last book five times. Who wouldn’t want to read it at least once or twice? It was, you’ll admit, among your best.
“I loved the heroine. What was her name? Miranda?”
“Ava,” you kindly correct her.
Mary’s smile fades a bit. “Ava?” she repeats slowly, obviously thinking. “I am sure it was Miranda.”
Ah, the fans! They read so many romance novels they lose track of names! But she surely remembered the writing!
“It was her diary, remember?” Mary says, looking at you curiously now. “Her secret diary?”
Your heart does a funny little flip at the same time the bookseller noticeably pales. You say–or rather, stammer– “Ah…hm…I’m sorry, but you’re thinking of Julia Quinn. I’m Julia London.”
Mary’s smile fades altogether. “Ooh,” she says, clearly disappointed. “Is Julia Quinn here?”
You wish Julia Quinn was there. You wish you could crawl into the stack of books and hide behind all those lonely Julia London novels. You go home with a stack of books and grudgingly start the process of trying to get the word out: You have a new book. And as you write this blog, you hope that readers and fans will remember that said new book, THE DANGERS OF DECEIVING A VISOUNT, which happens to be the third book in the Desperate Debutantes trilogy, is written by Julia London, and not Julia Quinn. London. London. London. Not Quinn.
I have something new and fun in my bag of tricks to form an identity separate from Julia Quinn: A bulletin board! It’s designed to be a place where friends and fans can hang out, talk about books or whatever they want, and win free stuff. Who doesn’t love free stuff? As a kick off, we are hosting a contest for aspiring writers. The winner gets to put her material in front of my agent. The details are all at the new board. I hope you will stop by and join in the fun at Julia’s Bulletin Board!