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07 October 2015

Genevieve Gannon & 'Chasing Chris Campbell' @gen_gannon @GoddessFish #RomCom

Today we have author Genevieve Gannon visiting. Welcome!

What would you like to tell readers about yourself?
* Genevieve Gannon is a Melbourne-based journalist and author. She wrote stories for music and fashion street press magazines while at university before moving to Canberra to do a journalism cadetship.
* In 2011 she joined the national news wire, Australian Associated Press, where she covered crime, politics and entertainment. Her work has appeared in most major Australian newspapers including The Age, The Australian and The Daily Telegraph.
* She currently lives in Melbourne where she is a court reporter. At night she writes romantic comedies.

Today Genevieve Gannon will be talking about how the process of publishing is terrifying.
* The process of creating a book is riddled with anxiety. Plot holes keep you up at night. The fear of rejection is constant. When I signed a contract to have two manuscripts turned into ebooks I thought the stress would subside. But as the launch date drew near I found myself having nightmares. The reason? Reviews.
* A recurring bad dream involves me being pulled into a small room for a review by a Melbourne newspaper (delivered orally because of dream logic). The timid woman, dressed like a high school examiner, is nervous and doesn’t want to tell me the outcome.
* “What is it?” I ask. “Is it bad? Is it two stars? They gave me two stars didn’t they? One star? Don’t tell me it’s only one.”
* The woman wraps her grey cardigan around herself and says, without meeting my eyes: “They didn’t give you any stars. They gave you a possum in the gutter.”
* “A possum in the gutter?”
* She nods grimly, eyes on the floor.
* This doesn’t make sense. But it can’t be good.
* Ebooks rarely receive newspaper reviews. This nightmare of a newspaper paying any sort of attention to my work is far more than I can hope for. But it’s precisely because newspapers won’t pay attention that I’m nervous. Any reviews the book garners will come from the internet. The amorphous, grumpy, indignant, unrestrained internet.
* To be clear, I’m not talking about bloggers. My ebooks are chick-lit and I’m yet to find a blogger in this genre who isn’t passionate and fair. I’m talking about customer reviews.
* If you’re a debut author looking to introduce a little terror into your life, scroll through the reviews on a site like GoodReads or Amazon. Whatever excitement you’re feeling about your forthcoming book will vanish faster than dignity at buck’s party. The reviewers on these websites are savage. If they do not like your book, they will hack it to pieces. Customer reviews can at times be akin to the comments section in a news article: “Crap!” readers blast in a single-word response. Then they go to the kitchen to make some ice-tea, oblivious to the eager, hopeful author scanning their Amazon book page to feedback.
* I recently read a book by a woman whose work I admire and adore and hurried to GoodReads to assign it some stars. I gave it a score of four out of five. (I reserve fives for books so compelling they force me to retreat from life until I’ve finished reading.) This book was not a five, but I thought it was funny and heart-warming and clever.
* The internet disagreed. One reviewer labelled it a “sour, muddled defensive screed against anyone who has pissed the author off in the last thirty years”. Another described it as “insecure ramblings … sugar-coated by weak, insecure meta-analysis”.
* Of course they weren’t all like this. But as a first-time author the prospect of one such review is terrifying. Particularly when you consider the critical napalm rained down on authors like Elizabeth Gilbert. As her most popular book is a memoir, her reviews are troublingly personal.
* “Get over yourself you juvenile dimwit,” one reader hissed.
* Another describes the book, East Pray Love, as “the monologue of neurotic American princess Liz” and suggests it “should have been printed on softer paper (about 3 ply would do it)”.
* It’s true that Gilbert’s supernova star power is likely to attract significantly more criticism (good and bad) than other writers. But even the most obscure of us are not immune to the anger of the internet.
* I once wrote an article the Sydney Morning Herald published online about cheaters’ website Ashley Madison. The piece opened with a line about how my future husband’s wedding ring would be soldered to his finger, to prevent infidelity. The internet did not get the joke. It did not like what I was implying and it let me know in no uncertain terms. The comments section was peppered with judgments and pointed personal comments.
* The internet, I learned firsthand, has no restraint. It insulted me and made insinuations about me because I’d written an article. I knew about trolling, of course, but hearing about something and feeling a wave of snide outrage crash into you are two quite different things. And at least with the article I could comfort myself that it wasn’t me they were reacting to but the subject I had written about.
* This is not so for a work of fiction. From the first keystroke of your novel to the final full-stop, every moment is one you created.
* About three weeks from P-day (publication day) I was on GoodReads doing research for this post. I was feeling grim.
* HarperCollins had just told me my ebook was up on NetGalley and reviews would soon start flowing through.
* Was my humble novel going to be eviscerated? Worse, would anonymous reviewers start making inferences about me because of what I told my characters to do?
* I clicked through to my GoodReads author page where a handful of users had started to add my book to their virtual shelves. There was something new. Four little yellow stars lit up next to my work. I sat up straight, surprised. Somebody had read my story, and they had liked it. My anxiety drained away. I had been so worked up about the bad reviews I’d forgotten that there was every chance I would receive good reviews. I remembered how much pleasure I’d had from the book I’d recently given four stars on GoodReads and realised someone else felt the same way about my story. I thought about this anonymous reviewer laughing at my characters, and perhaps nodding along as they recognised feelings and situations from their own lives. A warm feeling filled my chest and I remembered why I had started writing in the first place.
* I realised even though I would have to take the bad with the good, when it comes to reviews, the good is wonderful.
A look into...

~ Blurb ~
* Violet is saving money: living on rice and beans and denying herself chocolate eclairs all in the name of saving for a home deposit. Once they save enough, she and Michael can buy a house, settle down and live happily ever after. But when Michael does the unthinkable, Violet is forced to rethink her life choices.
* A chance encounter with Chris Campbell (first love, boy-next-door, The One That Got Away) spurs her into
travelling to exotic locations she never dreamed she'd explore - Hong Kong, Vietnam, Varanasi - on a quest to catch up with Chris and lead a life of adventure. Armed with hand sanitiser and the encouraging texts of her twin sister Cassandra, will Violet find true love before it's too late? Or will the nerve-wracking experience of travelling send her back to Melbourne in search of safety and stability? Can she work out what she really wants before she is left with nothing?
~ Excerpt ~
* When I first moved in after the motorcycle fiasco, I only planned to stay at Mum and Dad’s for a few nights to cool off. But after the big bust-up at the Tanner house party the weeks had passed in a blur of bars and hangovers. Soon I was several weeks into the new year with nowhere else to go.
* One Saturday night, when I couldn’t face going out again, my fourteen-year-old brother, Zach, came into the room and lay on the end of my bed.
* ‘Cass, why is Vy sad?’ he asked my sister who was watching me from my bedroom door.
* ‘It’s nothing Zachman,’ I said. ‘I’m just sleepy.’
* Cass joined Zach on the end of my bed.
* ‘Cass, what am I going to do? For the past few years my plan has been to start a life with him.’
* ‘Make new plans,’ she said gently.
* ‘My whole life I’ve been waiting get married. To have children. It’s all been a waste.’
* Cass didn’t say anything.
* The past weeks had been stereo chaos. In between late night parties, I’d somehow managed to unshackle my life from Michael’s. In a haze of hangovers and tears I’d divided our books, our CDs, our crockery and finally our finances. Now, all that was left of my white-picket future was my couch, half a cutlery set, and $22,000.
* ‘You should take a trip,’ said Cass. ‘You’ve never even left Australia. There’s plenty of time for buying a house and having children later. This is an opportunity to get out on your own. Figure out who you are.’ She opened her laptop. ‘What about a European adventure? Or Poland, Vy? You could visit Nan’s old town.’
* I took the computer from her. ‘Maybe. I’d want to go somewhere hot.’
* ‘But we’ve got family in Poland. They’d take care of you.’
* ‘No,’ I shook my head. ‘I don’t know.’
* After Cass had gone to bed, I went to my laptop and sifted through some of the travel pages she’d bookmarked. My room was dark and silent. The only sign of life was the glow of the laptop screen and the tap of my fingers on the keys. Pictures of spotless beaches flickered before my eyes. I imagined how the fine sand would feel against my skin. She had flagged pages and pages of suggestions. Next came tiny mountain villages full of houses with thatched roofs. Then the grandeur of Egypt’s Valley of the Kings, its yellow plains pocked with the entrance of tombs. I put my face close to the computer screen, trying to see what lay beyond the tombs’ shadowy entrances. I looked around at my childhood bedroom. I was twenty-seven and it was one of only two homes I’d ever known. The dolls I’d nursed as a child still sat on top of my bookshelf.
* A bell heralding a new email rang out, making me jump. When I looked at it my breath caught in my throat. It was from I quickly clicked on it. The connection stalled.
* ‘Come on, come on,’ I whispered.
* The email opened up on the screen:
* Hey Vy,
* Great to see you the other night, albeit briefly! Where did you run off to?
* Shame we couldn’t catch up. I’m back in Hong Kong now. Working short term contracts while I try to find a real job. I do some hospitality shifts to make a little extra travel money – the Shangri-La and a few others places. Wherever they’ll have me. The night life is amazing here. You should visit some time.
* You’d love Asia. Come to Asia!
* Catcha.
* CC
* My hands were shaking. Chris Campbell had written to me. He had wanted to spend more time with me. I read it twice. I thought about what he’d said to me and the opportunities I’d missed. I thought about Michael and his need to control everything, his jealousy and bloody-mindedness. I replayed in my head the way Chris had perfectly articulated the way I felt about him. He was the one that got away. But it wasn’t too late. I read the email again. Come to Asia.
* Cass’s voice echoed in my head. Figure out who you are. I licked my lips.
* Then I booked a plane ticket to Hong Kong.
* One way.
Buy Chasing Chris Campbell here...
Find Genevieve Gannon here...
Facebook | Twitter | Website
Thank you for joining us here today, Genevieve Gannon! It was a pleasure getting to know you and your story.

ANNOUNCEMENT! Genevieve Gannon will be awarding an eCopy of Chasing Chris Campbell to 3 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour! So be sure to leave a comment AND use the Rafflecopter below. Also, visit the other tour stops for a greater chance of winning!

a Rafflecopter giveaway