Being in Paris this last month has inspired me beyond words. I have been to all of my favorite spots and also been to some new places that make me sad I have just discovered them now. Every time I come to Paris, I fall in love. The art, the history, the architecture, the smell of fresh-baked bread, the small cobblestone streets, the metro, the fashionable pedestrians…how could one resist. Paris is an enchanting and captivating lover who never disappoints and will always leave you surprised. The inspiration in which Paris floods my soul is part of the reason why I want to buy a property in France.
One of my big dreams is to write my book. I feel like I have had an interesting life so far, with the type 1 diabetes, working in HIV prevention, getting arrested, deported, being a flight attendant, etc. I would like to use some or all of these interesting stories to produce a book. Now, I know that I am not a professional writer by any means. My sister Kamara is the one who is the official Author in our family. (Not to be confused with the Arthur of our family, Kristina, she has closed more open bars than Dorothy Parker. Love you Kris!). So obviously once I do get my manuscript together, poor Kamara is going to be the lucky one who gets to proof-read it for me.
My favorite author of all time is Alexandre Dumas. The Count of Monte-Cristo and La Reign Margot have to be two of my favorite books. I can read them both over and over and always enjoy them. In La Reine Margot, I actually cry near the end when two of the characters are walking towards the galleys. The emotions that Dumas was able to create in just a few pages is overwhelming. Another favorite author of mine is Jacqueline Susann, author of Valley of the Dolls. I know that this is quite different from Dumas, but the way that Susann created a story about the hidden lives and troubles of the celebrity class of the 1940’s through the 1960’s leaves the reader unable to put their book down. I have also read Valley of the Dolls multiple times as well, and I cry also when Jennifer finds out that she has to have her breast removed because of breast cancer and instead commits suicide because her fiancée is obsessed with her breast. The way that these authors can make you identify and care for their characters always amazes me.
Now, I know that I do not have the talent and skills of great literary figures. I do want to tell my story though. The challenge that I face now and probably the most difficult part is deciding how to filter my experiences into a concise story that others will be entertained with and also want to read. I have thought about something similar to Susann’s Valley of the Dolls, a Roman à clef. Basically I take my real life stories from working in HIV Prevention, Education and Testing all of those years, and add a fictitious overlay to it. This seems the most interesting to me, because I can incorporate other stories as well, not specifically based on my job. Another option I have thought about was writing a series of shorter novels: “Kevin gets deported,” “Kevin defends himself in court,” “Kevin becomes a flight attendant,” and although each occurrence has plenty of fun and excitement, I don’t really like the whole “series” theme. Another idea of mine is a “How-to guide for type 1 diabetics. ‘Not letting diabetes control your life.'” That could be fun looking at all of my adventures from a diabetic standpoint, although I don’t know if it would appeal to a larger audience outside of Diabetics. The next idea is to write the book as a journal of my life, which basically is what my blog is all about. Taking the events that have happened and place them in a chronological order from a first person perspective.
I have a few other hundred ideas on how to write my book….but these are a few at the top of the index. So while I am busy looking at properties all over the French countryside and inside of Paris, these questions are always looming in my mind. After I decide how to proceed then I have to figure out the hassle of finding a Literary Agent, who, apparently make 15% of all royalties if your book sells. Seriously?! So, some random person who doesn’t know me or my work is going to get 15% of my royalties because they sent my manuscript to a publisher instead of me. Most publishers won’t accept submission unless it’s from a Literary Agent, bastards. So now, on top of planning, writing, editing the book, I’ll have to shop for a Literary Agent and hope that they will be good enough to sell my book. (This is all in hopes that I can write a decent book).
So, there it is. A glimpse of the thought process that goes on in my head (I’m sorry). Wish me luck as I maneuver apartment hunting, book writing and future plans that have no reason to be in my mindset at this point. If you have any suggestions, tips, or know someone who can publish my work, don’t hesitate to contact me.
Au Revoir mes amies!