Guest Post by Alina Adams, author of When a Man Loves a Woman
In 1998, I wrote a non-fiction coffee-table book, “Inside Figure Skating,” where I interviewed ABC-TV’s multi-Emmy award winning director, Doug Wilson.
Doug told me about directing Brian Boitano’s Long Program during the 1988 Olympics. He’d been all set to open with a shot of the skater from across the arena. But, at the last second, that camera malfunctioned, and Doug had to improvise on the fly, going, instead, for a tight shot of Brian’s dramatic head-turn on the first beat of music – which became, ultimately, the iconic image of that routine.
“Which just goes to show you,” Doug advised me. “If you work hard and plan, there’s just no telling… how lucky you can get.”
I’ve followed Doug’s counsel ever since.
It’s not that I haven’t worked and planned when it came to my chosen career. But, I’m the first to admit that I owe a majority of my success to luck.
In December of 2001, I wrote a book for Berkley on figure skater Sarah Hughes – my editor and I thought she had a decent shot of winning the Bronze at the Salt Lake City Olympics.
In February 2002 (after barely squeaking onto the US Team in a real nail-biting – for me, anyway; don’t know about her – National Championships), Sarah won the Gold.
The book went into a second, and then a third printing.
I told everyone it was the luckiest thing that would ever happen to me.
I was wrong.
In 2005, while working for Procter & Gamble Production and their two soap operas, As the World Turns and Guiding Light, I pitched the idea of writing a tie-in novel that would be sold on the show – and in real life.
“Oakdale Confidential” was published in conjunction with ATWT’s 50th Anniversary in April of 2006. And debuted at #3 on “The New York Times” best-seller list.
That, surely, was the luckiest thing that ever happened to me… so far.
Because, while luck is an awesome, wonderful, terrific thing, I can’t just sit around waiting for it to strike again. (Especially in case I’ve already used up my designated lifetime quota.)
I also need to, like Doug said, work hard and plan (chance does favor a prepared mind, after all, according to Louis Pasteur)… and I need to think, too.
I need to think about what I can do to make my own luck.
As far as I’ve been able to figure out so far, the key thing my success with the Sarah Hughes and the As the World Turns books had in common was my anticipating the curve and creating a product before there was an understood need for it.
In 2001, Sarah Hughes was not expected to win the Olympics. In 2005, a novel to tie in with a show’s anniversary was a unique thing.
In 2012, I’m talking a similar creative leap without a net. In 2012, I have regained the rights to all of my previously published works, and I am turning them into enhanced e-books. At a time when a majority of readers aren’t even sure what those are, exactly.
For my Figure Skating Mystery series, “Murder on Ice,” “On Thin Ice,” “Axel of Evil,” “Death Drop,” and “Skate Crime,” I have partnered with The Ice Theatre of New York and am using their video library to demonstrate what my character look like actually skating. Each of the enhanced multimedia editions features all the text of the original paperback release, along with professional skating footage embedded as part of the plot.
For my romance novel, “When a Man Loves a Woman” (recently voted one of the Top 1000 romances of all time by RomanceNovels.me), I have added a musical score, so that you can read the story, then click a link to listen to songs that either comment on or compliment what’s happening.
Finally, based on another project I developed for Procter & Gamble Productions, http://www.AnotherWorldToday.com, I am launching something particularly risky, with the potential to more or less derail my entire writing career.
“Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga” is a book I plan to write along with my readers. Volume One is out now on Amazon. At the end, there is a link to where readers can go to offer their opinions on what should happen next. I will take their input, weigh it, and then incorporate it into Volume Two. And so on. And so on. And so on.
In a nutshell, you tell me what to write, and I will do my best to please all of the people all of the time (which, from my many years of working in soap operas, I can already tell you, going in, is an impossible task).
Even more seemingly impossible is the task I’ve set for myself of writing a book a month.
Yes, I’m a fast writer. I produced “Oakdale Confidential” in about six weeks, “Sarah Hughes: Skating to the Stars” in four, and with www.AnotherWorldToday.com I’ve been writing about 7000 words a week, non-stop for three years now.
But, a book is something different. Readers expect a certain amount of quality in a book, that I hope I can deliver on this insane schedule I’ve set for myself.
Make sure you e-mail me at AlinaAdams@gmail.com let me know how I’m doing.
And wish me luck!
Bio: Alina Adams is the New York Times’ best selling author of soap opera tie-ins, figure skating mysteries, and romances, including Annie's Wild Ride and When a Man Loves a Woman. Her latest project is Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga. In addition to turning her own backlist into enhanced e-books, she has produced enhanced e-books for others, including Dan Elish, whose middle-grade fantasy novel, The Worldwide Dessert Contest, now includes its own original musical score. Learn more at http://www.AlinaAdamsMedia.com