Backintherain, Blogging

Some trivia facts about writing a gay thriller (random post #2)

For this Sunday post, I thought I’d tell you some interesting facts about me and my experience of writing and publishing my book “Back in the rain

A tormented history

  • I started writing Back in the rain in Florence, between September and October 2015, right before graduating my Master course in Translation.
  • I dropped it at the end of November 2015 (I had written just a couple of chapters), when I moved back to my hometown after graduation.
  • I restarted working on it in February 2016, when I moved to Florence one more time to work as an event planner. I finished writing it in October 2016.
  • I spent all 2017 reviewing it, showing it to friends and family, and finally in December I had it edited for publication.
  • The book finally came out on February 18, 2018

A mammoth manuscript

When I started writing Back in the rain, I had just a few things in mind:

  1. the beginning of the story (Shallie’s death and Drew’s motivation)
  2. Dan’s backstory (I won’t say much because of HUGE spoilers)
  3. the ending

Between point 1 and 3 there was absolutely NOTHING. I literally spent a year developing the plot that would finally get me to the ending, and I wasn’t expecting the manuscript to become so big at all (it was something like 180,000 words).

When I finished it, I looked at my word count and just went, “Oh.”

In the year I spent editing I deleted a looot of things, but in the end the book turned out pretty big anyway.

Don’t get scared of the size, though! We’re talking about 175,000 words of awesomeness 😉

Is “gay thriller” even a genre?

Well, yes. That’s what Back in the rain is. Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve got a murder mystery, plot-twists, betrayals, heartbreaking flashbacks, love, angst, a depressed/badass main cast and tons of sex.

If there’s a niche for this kind of book, it’s so tiny I haven’t found it yet. Also, I am a total marketing noob.

Unpopular choices

Cover – unpopular choice I don’t regret

You’ll see it already looking at the cover; Back in the rain is different from the other books of its genre. Covers for MM romance books are usually easy to make: go for “hot naked dudes” and it’s done. But my book’s not only a MM romance, so I thought that kind of cover would be misleading.

Back in the rain

I didn’t want the readers to get my book expecting a light-hearted “yeah, let’s fuck while we solve some b-rate crime” and finding themselves dealing with “dead girlfriend, corrupted politicians and a damn massacre in a villa”.

 

 

So I wanted a dark cover that would make the reader understand this is also a thriller. I browsed hundreds of thriller covers and none of them were what I was looking for. Back in the rain is a thriller, but it wasn’t inspired by other book thrillers. It’s more the result of 15 years of reading mangas and doujinshi and playing videogames. So the cover had to be a drawing made specifically for my story. Yeah, it’s different, it’s special and I love it!

 

Marketing – a series of bad choices I regret very much

I never studied marketing, but I did read an awful amount of articles, books and tips before publishing. A few months passed and I can say that it was completely useless. All the notes I took about book marketing are perfectly logical and I’m sure they are good tips for authors who actually know what they’re doing, but when you’re a total noob like me, you won’t get it right anyway. It’s easy to write in a blog post to “find your niche audience” but doing it is a different thing, especially when you’re publishing under a pen name in a genre so “particular” not even your most intimate friends want to read what you write.

In the past six months I tried a few strategies that failed miserably, and it’s a hundred percent my fault. But you know, trial and error is a fundamental method of problem solving. I’m already thinking of new strategies and doing some research, so I’ll get there, somehow.

Maybe in 5 years I’ll be the one writing blog posts on “how to market your book in 10 steps” and things like that.


PS. If this post made you wonder what kind of book Back in the rain is, you can take a look at the free chapters on my website here  or download the free sample directly on Amazon

Lots of love,

Elen

 

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