The First-Ever by A.J. McCarthy

I’m a newbie. This is my first-ever blog. But, since this seems to be a period of many first-evers for me, I think I’m probably up for it. After all, I had my first-ever phone conversation with a book publisher a few months ago. It was followed by my first-ever offer of publication, with two more following quickly on its heels. This, of course, led to a few other very pleasant first-evers, and I can hardly wait for the rest.

However, for now, I am dealing with the blog. How should I approach it? Throw in my first chapter? No, it’s too soon for that. Should I try to portray myself as a scholarly, experienced author, quoting Shakespeare or Hemingway? No, I don’t think I would be able to pull that off.

The truth is, I have never referred to myself as an author even though I have been writing for years. Until I had an actual contract in hand from a real publisher I couldn’t bring myself to associate my name with that elite group. I felt like a pretender to the throne. Even now, with only a contract and a book waiting to be published, I’m not shouting to the hills that I am an author. I still don’t have a copy in hand to use as proof.

Since I came on board with Second Wind Publishing I have been regularly checking out the website, the blog and the authors. And, even though I have never met any of them in person and only a few by e-mail, for some reason, I feel an affinity with the group. I feel like I will be joining a family. As in any family, each one of us will have our different techniques, our different way of approaching challenges, our unique personalities, but that doesn’t mean we can’t live harmoniously and learn from each other.

The last part of that statement is currently my biggest challenge. I have a lot of learning to do. I have to learn the processes involved in publishing a book, from the editing to the cover art. I have to learn to think like an author. But, perhaps most of all, I have to learn how to market my novel, or at least do as much as I can to help. I have to become a more diligent Facebook person. I need to learn to tweet, post, like, and share on a regular basis.

For now, I am learning to blog. I have read many blogs in the past, but have never been an active participant. For my first-ever I feel it’s premature to offer my first chapter, and my other experiences as an author are too limited to speak of as yet. So I will begin by telling you a little about myself.

I am a married mother of two beautiful girls, Rachel and Brianna, aged 21 and 17 respectively. Since they are the bright point of my life I’m sure I will be writing about them frequently in future posts. I live just north of Quebec City, Canada, and I work as the vice-president of finance for a manufacturing company. My name is followed by the initials CPA CMA which identify me as an accountant with a specialty in management accounting. My husband, Steve, works in computers and donates a large amount of his time as a volunteer fire chief in the small municipality where we live. I consider this to be my real life.

My fantasy life has only just begun to bear fruit. It began about 10 years ago, when I decided to try my hand at writing, and I discovered a new activity which was surprisingly enjoyable. Over the years, I built a small inventory of books that live communally and passively on my computer. I sent out submissions, mostly to agents, to no avail. Last summer, I pulled out ‘Betrayal’, a manuscript I had written years ago, dusted it off, and reached out to a different segment of the publishing community, the small publishers.

To my great delight, I received three offers for Betrayal. A decision had to be made, and I have to say, a lot of my deliberation was based on my gut-feeling. And that is where Second Wind Publishing comes in.

I have a feeling I will be joining a new, exciting, and accepting family. So far, I have been very fortunate with my families, both immediate and extended. My hope is that this new group of people, most of whom I will never meet in person, will become a different type of family. Some will inspire me to write better, some will help me to focus my energies where they should be focused, some will point out my mistakes, and some will applaud my successes, however large or small they may be.

Another decision to make (heavy sigh). What will my next blog be about? Will it be time for the first chapter? Should I post a picture of my dog and rant about how cute he is? Maybe I’ll think about it a bit longer and I’ll send out a tweet to let you know what’s coming next.


A.J. McCarthy is the author of Betrayal, a suspense thriller published by Second Wind Publishing.


Filed under books, fiction, marketing, writing

9 responses to “The First-Ever by A.J. McCarthy

  1. As a Second Wind newbie, I can so identify with your blog. Every time I say “my publisher,” it feels very weird. Promoting myself online comes pretty naturally to me, but doing it in real life is a different story. Yesterday, at Bradley Airport, my husband went into a bookstore and convinced the manager to order my novel, which was just launched on Friday. I felt like cringing, but I also felt pretty proud. There IS a family feel to Second Wind and that’s why I chose to go with them, too. So glad we can grow up there together!

  2. Oh, please post a picture of your dog. All the best families have to have pets! And I’m proud to be part of the Second Wind family with you.

  3. A.J., I’ve been in the Second Wind family since 2011 and I send you a hearty WELCOME! Furthermore, your first blog was excellent! We authors here ARE a family and we do our best to support and encourage one another, so relax and enjoy your journey, You should be immensely proud of your accomplishment in having completed the task of writing a book and for seeing it through to a publisher. Congratulations! Good for you.
    I agree with Sheila, I’d love to see a photo of your dog. 🙂
    P.S. To the first commenter, I wish you had given us your name, so we could welcome you, too.

  4. Welcome! Wishing you many more pleasant first evers.

  5. Sarah

    Well done Anita with your first ever blog….I look forward to many more and will be reading your book once it comes out. I will spread the word and maybe tweet Oprah about your new book (o: Sarah Wolff (avid book reader)

  6. Nice blog entry. Hope I do as well when I get going.

  7. I am a newbie, too. So far, I can say that everyone I have encountered at 2W has been wonderful. I am in a group called Weathered Oak. I initiated a contact to my assigned group, and a couple of them have responded. I think it is very difficult for some people to “open up” to strangers. However, I would like to think we are friends and will be there for each other.

  8. Oh, and I really enjoyed your first blog 🙂

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