Cover Reveal! THE LAKE HOUSE By Debut Women’s Fiction Author Marci Nault — And Her Exciting Journey To Publication

Today is a Women’s Fiction Writers first! Debut author Marci Nault (and her editor, publisher, team, etc) are allowing US to see the gorgeous cover for THE LAKE HOUSE for the first time ever. Anywhere.  Before anyone else.  

In addition to that (as if that’s not enough), Marci has shared with us her exciting journey to publication — and like all journeys it had its detours and bumps and few forks in the road — but what matters is that Marci Nault is on her way to that final destination of publication day!

It’s an honor to know Marci (she’s a sweetheart).  Please welcome her to Women’s Fiction Writers.  And just click on that cover image to see it the way it was meant to be seen.  BIG!!!

Amy xo

Cover Reveal! THE LAKE HOUSE By Debut Women’s Fiction Author Marci Nault — And Her Exciting Journey To Publication

I have a confession to make – I have the cover of my debut novel The Lake House as my phone’s wallpaper and at times I stare at it, even touch the screen, to make certain it’s real.

The first time I saw the cover I was in a restaurant in New York City having lunch with my editor during Book Expo America. She handed me two possibilities for the front cover. They say that when you meet the love of your life, at first glance you know that it’s right. That’s how I felt about my cover.

My journey to publish was a long one. People tell me everyday that they want to write a book. Many have explained their idea for a novel and that they plan to write it within six months certain it will become a bestseller within the year. I smile and nod, knowing people don’t want the truth. I certainly didn’t when I began to write.

It took me seven years to go from concept to publishing contract, and there are so many moments I wouldn’t exchange, but it was a tough road.

The Lake House began with a dream. In the dream I had bought a lake house, but when I moved in I realized that everyone was over the age of seventy and they wanted me out because I was young. When I woke I knew I had to write the story, but I didn’t know how.

I began dictating my ideas into a tape recorder and then transcribing notes, but nothing felt right. I spent hours in front of the television afraid to begin. I can’t really explain the fear that comes before I write, but I liken it to knowing I’m going to open a door with no idea what’s on the other side, but I know it will consume me.

My character Victoria decided to enter my life at four in the morning. I had woken because of a noise outside. As I tried to go back to sleep my mind whirred with the chatter that turns into insomnia. Suddenly, my brain switched paths and I saw Victoria standing in a room with three candles – one for each woman in her life who had died. For weeks, Victoria only showed herself in the early mornings. I would wake before sunrise, filled with ideas and I would begin to work, sometimes falling back to sleep at my desk around eleven in the morning.

Eight months later the first draft was complete, and I thought I was ready to send it to agents. A friend read it and said, “I don’t think it’s ready.” My hopes dashed, I paid for a critique and waited months for a response. When I received the critique notes I didn’t know what to do with them. I couldn’t find my way through the story. I watched more television, ate ice cream, and moped about my inability to write. Then one night after a full day of television, I forced myself to sit in front of my computer. At that moment, I became a novelist.

I began to think about how I structured each sentence, adding layers of description, emotion, and action. I read books on writing and tossed out most of the first draft as I grew as a writer.

A year later I was signed with my agent Yfat Reiss Gendell of  Foundry Literary and Media. I thought I’d have a publishing contract within months, but then reality struck again. There were changes I needed to make to the novel. Enthusiastically I dove into the revisions. By the time I finished the rewrite the economy had collapsed, the publishing world had been turned upside down, and the editors weren’t interested.

I waited another year, each morning wondering if I should start a new novel, or if I should simply give up my dream of becoming a published author. Then came the word from my agent that they were ready to submit again. I asked if we could do another revision just to be certain the book was perfect. I knew that I had grown as a person and a writer over that year and I wanted to make the book better. My agent gave it to fresh readers who came back with critiques. I rewrote.

Three months later, my book sold at auction to Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.

Writing is an art that takes revisions and patience. The first draft is just a sketch, the second colors in the lines, the third bring out the details that you forgot to see because you were busy writing the big picture, and the fourth is the flow to make the story seamless and easy for the reader to follow. With each revision I learned and I became a better writer. I liken the editorial process to a coach and an athlete. No one ever told me what to write, but through other’s perspectives I could see clearer.

So when I finally saw the cover and it was the exact picture of the place I had seen for so many years as I wrote the book, I knew that I’d finally gotten the story right.

These days, with the invention of on-demand printing and e-books, people are rushing ahead, solely focused on becoming published authors forgetting that a book really is about the story and good books come from patience and persistence.

Marci Nault  is the founder of 101 Dreams Come True, a website that encourages visitors to follow their improbable dreams. She is an adult competitive figure skater and a salsa dancer. She lives in California, but still claims Boston as her home. The Lake House  is a heartwarming story of two women who discover love, healing, and friendship in a charming New England lakeside community. Published by Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, The Lake House is Marci’s debut novel due out May 7, 2013.

You can pre-order The Lake House at IndieBoundAmazon, Powell’s, Books-A-Million, and iTunes.

33 thoughts on “Cover Reveal! THE LAKE HOUSE By Debut Women’s Fiction Author Marci Nault — And Her Exciting Journey To Publication

  1. What a great story about the journey to publishing. It’s so true – everything – the stops and starts; the character getting you up early in the morning (5:30 a.m. for me); the many, many revisions. That first novel is such an amazing learning curve… the emotional timeline, the conflict resolution timeline, setting atmosphere… so much to learn! But, what a thrill! That cover is absolutely splendid!! Congratulations Marci! Looking forward to reading your debut!

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    • Thank you, Mary. It’s so nice when someone understands what writers go through. I’m taking in every moment of this experience knowing that I’ll only have my debut this one time. Everything is so thrilling and new.

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  2. Wonderful post, Marci. And that cover! Wow!
    I know the early morning story wake up all too well. My current WIP came in a dream and the three following ideas for books all connect to it. We have to listen to our dreams.

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    • That’s so true, Zan. I think writers have a deep connection to their imaginations so therefor our dreams are vivid. Sometimes we just need to get out of our own ways and hear the stories, and I think for me, my brain is quiet enough when I sleep to allow this to happen.

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  3. Congratulations, Marci. Your journey resonantes and inspires. I have a lot of writer friends screaming about self-publishing, but I’m determined to pursue the traditional route. Thanks for underscoring the joy of patience and persistence. Best wishes as you move forward.

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    • Jocosa, everyone kept asking why I didn’t just self-publish. It would’ve been an easier route to get my story into book format, but what people don’t realize is that it becomes a much harder journey after that. Editorial advice is such a gift and having a team behind you that knows what they’re doing is so important. Don’t give up on your dream. Hard work, persistence, and patience will pay off!

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  4. Congratulations, Marci, on your gorgeous cover and your wonderful journey to publication! It is so important to share these stories so that we can all appreciate it is a VERY tough and long road and that we must expect the bumps as well as the moments of revelation. Your story sounds so lovely–I’ll be adding it to my pile right away! Wishing you all the best!

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    • Thank you, Erika. I definitely shared this story because it was one that I would’ve loved to have heard years ago when I was frustrated and feeling alone. Go after your dream, you will get there.

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    • Thank you, Chris. It’s so nice to hear when someone is inspired to keep going because of something I wrote. Wonderful stories, by hard-working writers, are needed in this world. Keep going, you will get there.

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    • You’re not alone! It feels that way, but everyone goes through this. So many stories focus on the quick rise to publishing, but for many authors it takes forever. Hannah Christensen and Jodi Picoult never made it to the New York Times Bestseller list until after they’d written and published six books. And where would women’s fiction be without these incredible writers.

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  5. What a wonderful story of perseverance. Your last words are so true: “Good books come from patience and persistence.” Like you, Marci, I thought my first novel was done (and queried it) far too soon. Some decent responses from agents, but now I cringe to think I thought it was “done.” The current WIP, however, I am polishing and polishing.

    Your cover is beautiful and the tidbit you’ve provided about the book itself was just enough to make me want more! Checking it out on Goodreads right now!

    Thanks, Amy, for another fabulous interview.

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    • Thanks Melissa. Keep polishing over and over. Read as much as you can. We’ve all done the too early query. I went to Backspace Writer’s conference in New York long before I should’ve thinking that the book was done.

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      • Yes, that bit about needing to be patient and willing to revise was the most important part of your post for me, too. Since I indie published my first novel and am publishing my second with Penguin–just after yours, in July 2013!–I have felt that same pressure to produce, produce, produce! In fact, it really does take a lot of time to make a book work on many levels–plot, characters, and setting all have to come together. It’s like writing a symphony where the whole must be greater than the parts, but you can’t screw up the parts, either!

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      • Marci, my book is Grace Grows, published by St. Martin’s Press, and it comes out October 30. The Random House audio book will come out that day, too. It’s a fun love story that has a soundtrack of amazing songs written and performed by my husband, Lee Morgan, who is an actor and singer-songwriter. (If you’d like to check them out, you can hear the songs on my website at http://www.shellesumners.com ).

        By the way, Amy Sue and I have the same amazing editor, Brenda Copeland.

        Congrats again! I look forward to reading The Lake House. 🙂

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  6. One can’t help but to hate this woman! Just kidding, of course. Marci has talent in so many areas it’s positively amazing. Not only is she beautiful (inside and out), she’s focused, dedicated, disciplined and wildly successful. I cannot wait to read the book and think the cover is wonderful. I’m so proud of you for making your dream come true, Marci!

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  7. Late chiming in. i think everyone has said everything I wanted to say, but congrats. Lovely. inviting cover. Perseverance is an essential quality in a successful writer—one which you clearly possess! When people ask me how many drafts I have of my novel (unpublished), I’m always surprised by the question. Who knows? I’ve made so many revisions and edits as I go along and, even now, as things occur to me, it would be impossible to put a number to it. But, you obviously had just the right amount! Again, congrats!

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    • Densie, it’s strange how non-writers think about writers. They just assume that it’s an easy craft and once a person puts there mind to it, the book should just get written in a few drafts. If only that were true. Actually, I’m happy it isn’t. The layering is what I love the most. Keep at it. It will happen.

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  8. Congratulations, Marci. You’ve realized a dream, one of many I’m sure, but quite an accomplishment. So proud of you and all you have done, and continue to do!

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  9. Great story – I’m so glad your perserverence paid off! Your book sounds fabulous! I love your “four-layer” description of writing – that is definately the truth and a great was of explaining it.

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