Hello again to you all! A big thanks to Lee for inviting me here to talk about a term you've probably heard before--"book of the heart."
You've no doubt known some authors who've written a book of the heart. These are novels that inspire great pride and love in a writer, a story that has poked at you for years but, alas, it may not have found a home in traditional markets. Most books of the heart are different from the mainstream, and that's the reason it might not have found an easy place to shine.
But not these days. With indie publishing, the marketplace is full of books of the heart, and I'm happy to say that THE SHE CODE is mine!
A little background: I wrote this story, about a recent college graduate who was trying to find her way in the world, years and years ago. You see, my main character Mandy Halsey wanted more than anything to be a comic book penciler, but besides her attempt to secure her dream job, she was dealing with the trials and tribulations of finding the perfect guy out in the world. There were a couple reasons this book never quite found a home, although it did come close...
#1: Before I put THE SHE CODE under the bed, only to realize that now is the perfect time for publishing it, the pop culture landscape was revolving around stories about women and their close female friendships. But I wanted to explore what happens when you have a long-time friend who suddenly changes, just when your life is undergoing so many alterations during your early 20s. I wanted to tell the story of a girl who gets her heart broken not only by men, but by the childhood best friend who doesn't seem to fit into Mandy's life anymore. This book's main theme was about the *breakup* of a friendship, and that was soooo not SEX IN THE CITY. But I really believe that this kind of breakup is something we've all gone through in our lives. However, even as we see the breakup happening, we cling to those friends; we even have our own ways of staying ultra-loyal to them. That's why I invented a set of rules--Mandy's "She Code"--to describe the lengths females will go to in order to strengthen and preserve our friendships. (By the way, I'll be releasing a short story along with THE SHE CODE next month that revolves around a new She Code "rule," then two more novellas by the end of the year with their own central "rules." There are just so many!)
#2: Mandy was a comic book penciler. It wasn't a glamorous job like fashion design or a travel writer, just more of a quirky, niche career. But more important, because of Mandy's career, I wanted to tell the story in a way that you don't normally see in mainstream books--I wanted to use sketches and actual comic panels to 1) illustrate each She Code rule and 2) tell a subplot story as if Mandy were the one drawing the art. That was a lot of extra work for a publishing house, and I have to say that everyone who has put THE SHE CODE together now has had a few headaches! The end product is so very cool, though, and when I saw it, I couldn't stop glowing. Talk about a dream come true!
Of course, the fictional Mandy Halsey didn't do the artwork. I didn't even do it.
An extremely talented artist named
Billy Martinez of NekoPressComics.com brought Mandy's art to life, and I was
very lucky to hire him!
As luck would have it, THE SHE CODE isn't out quite yet--since this is an indie project, the scheduling is inexact, but we're aiming for August. If you'd like to know the exact date, please come over to my Facebook She Code page at https//:www.facebook.com/TheSheCode for the release announcement. I would also love for you to join me on my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ChrisMarieGreen) or Twitter (@ChrisMarieGreen) just so we can chat!
Speaking of chatting, I'm giving away a signed copy of NIGHT RISING, Vampire Babylon, Book One, to someone who leaves a comment on this blog about your own friendships. Have you ever had one that went sour like Mandy's?
THE SHE CODE (New Adult Single Girl)
Featuring sketches and comic panels by Billy Martinez of Neko Press Comics!
“I suspected my friendship with Sheila was doomed on the night she blew my boyfriend....”
Meet Mandy Halsey, fresh out of college and determined to go from being a receptionist at the assembly line comic book house where she works to being a real-live penciler by the end of the year. That’s the plan, anyway.
But life isn’t cooperating. First, her job feels like a dead end. Second, her personal life isn’t exactly on fire, either, especially since her best friend seems to be moving in on every guy who catches Mandy’s eye. Is it just Mandy’s imagination or has Sheila totally changed since graduation, becoming someone who’s almost a stranger?
No way, because the BFFs grew up with The She Code. See, girls have rules with each other, so surely the friend Mandy grew up with wouldn’t ever break the Code—and break Mandy’s heart at the same time...
THE SHE CODE, a new adult/single girl/geek lit hybrid, is all about the bright side of angst—because there definitely is one!
Chris Marie Green is the author of the urban fantasy Vampire Babylon series from Ace Books and the upcoming Ghost for Hire series from Roc (Feb. 2014, Only the Good Die Young), which features a fun-loving spirit from the 80s.
She tries her best to avoid international incidents whenever she takes a break from her first love, writing, and cheats on it with her other true love—traveling. Like Mandy, she has an alter ego, but Chris’ Luka is named Christine Cody, who wrote the dark fantasy Bloodlands trilogy.
You can find her at www.chrismariegreen.com or hang out with her online at https://twitter.com/ChrisMarieGreen andhttp://www.facebook.com/chrismarie.green.