I loved watching The Good Wife and Glee a few years ago. Glee was one of my favorite TV shows up to its 2nd season. After that it fell flat. The Good Wife, on the other hand, was a very engaging legal drama with themes like morality, justice, right and wrong etc. Glee was all about being your true self, acceptance, music and dance.
I knew both premises were very different but since I loved watching them both, I felt the need to create a novel, combining the main themes and ideas of both shows.
This was long ago before I discovered Kboards and the concept of Write to Market.
NB: If you’re an author, I highly recommend this book by Chris Fox. Anyway, at the time I was watching both TV shows (2011), I embarked on creating a unique crossover of Broadway and entertainment and the legal life; I didn’t care that I knew nothing about genre tropes and readers’ expectations. I was a one hundred percent artist and zero a businessman.
So, I used the old legend or myth of Faust — selling your soul to the devil or making a pact with the devil as the main theme.
I crafted a female lawyer protagonist who works in a Londoner law firm but is unsatisfied with her lot in life: she doesn’t get the salary rise she hoped for in order to buy her own apartment. Besides, the legal profession is not what her heart once desired: she’s always craved the Broadway spotlight. This way I set the cornerstones for the main character’s decision to change her life radically.
To make the protagonist’s adventure and transformation, I introduced a mysterious man who asked Alice (the main character) what she wanted. He connects with Alice in her dreams thus the whole interaction between them both is supernatural and paranormal. Alice wasn’t aware who that man was or why he was asking her what she wanted over and over again, she only knew that whatever she asked for would be fulfilled.
It’s not a surprise to say that the mysterious man was representation of the demonic nature. Thus, I waved a classical Faustian plot but with completely unique contemporary setting. Moreover, I fleshed the devil in Alice’s producer. This way, the devil had both an internal presence in the mysterious man who appeared in Alice’s dreams and an external presence in her producer who had made her a pop star.
The result: in terms of writing I am proud of the novel Alice in Sinland: A Story of Murder, Greed… Violence, Adultery and Treasure.
All the readers and reviewers have loved the novel and given me very, very positive feedback.
And what about the sales? Meh! Alice in Sinland didn’t comply with the genre tropes. Actually, the novel doesn’t have a single genre; it’s a cross-over between a few genres: legal drama, contemporary fiction, women’s fiction, magical realism and supernatural (occult) suspense. I had a lot of trouble alone picking a cover design (see it below and tell me what you think of it).
I know some readers love different books but a novel needs to have gained an initial momentum in order more open-minded, genre-bender readers to notice it. And when you’re an indie author, this holds even truer.
True, there are a lot of bestsellers which are different and weren’t written to market but they had the backup of a major traditional publisher.
In conclusion: I don’t regret having published Alice in Sinland even for a moment. On the other hand, I’m glad I finally discovered the concept of Write to Market.
PS: This is the cover:
and the book description:
Alice has a wish…
Alice Roseburg is an expatriate New Yorker, now a young attorney living in London. Her career is on the fast-track until she begins having lucid and haunting dreams after representing the wealthy buyer of a castle in Yester, a property with a dark and demonic history. A mysterious man has begun shadowing her, demanding, “What do you want?”
Some wishes need to be spoken aloud. “I want to be a star.”
Alice quits her career, cashes out her savings, and moves to New York City to follow her dreams on Broadway. But she soon discovers that finding her place in the limelight is far trickier than she ever imagined.
“What do you want?” the dark one asks.
Her rapid rise to stardom attracts the attention of Aaron Chasin, a pop-music producer, wrapped in questionable promises and sinister ambition.
“What do you want?” the Devil demands.
“More,” Alice says, “more.”
But when the limelight fades, the debt remains…
I’m curious to hear your thoughts on them.
If you’d like to read and review the book, please shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you an ARC.
Oh, by the way, Alice in Sinland is free with KU membership.
Back to you: did you publish a book? Were you happy with its sales? Are you an avid reader; how do you pick up your books and the genres you’re reading in?