Monday, September 10, 2007

Author Cheryl Snell hits home run with manuscripts—twice

Visit links noted below to learn more about Snell's work.

Most authors are glad to get a contract for one book. Cheryl Snell can celebrate getting two, and one of those contracts is a double deal, so technically, she hit three home runs.

Snell says it was hard to find a publisher for her novel ‘Shiva’s Arms.’ In an email interview, she wrote, “It took awhile. The first publisher I sent the manuscript to accepted it, but wanted me to cover half the cost of publication. It was a reputable company, as it turns out, but I thought co-publishing was the same as working with a vanity press, so I passed. The next company went belly-up before the book could even be edited. The third time was the charm however (clichĂ© or not), and Writer’s Lair Books offered me a two book deal.” The novel wasn’t her only charm. Pudding House Publications, a well-regarded publisher of poetry chapbooks, picked up Snell’s manuscript, ‘Samsara.’

Right now, Snell is planning author events, hoping to reach out to readers in different ways.

“An online campaign is one way to cast a wider net,” she says, offering other authors a tip for a good resource. “Felicia Sullivan, the editor of Small Spiral Notebook, has a good online marketing how-to at her site. She has a suggestion or two about using video. I noticed that Out of the Book Films recently sent a thirty minute video of Ian McEwan’s book around to bookstores, and caused a bit of a stir. An authorless author event could supplement the traditional readings nicely, I think. And, of course, I like the idea of a blog book tour.”

Asked what inspired her novel, Snell points to geography. “It began as an effort to record my husband’s stories about growing up in Bombay. Pardon me, Mumbai. We’d been talking about the nature of nostalgia—I swear! But as soon as I put pen to paper, my characters began to run amok, to take on a separate reality. I was dragged along in their service. Didn’t Flannery O’Connor remind us that the novel is an art form, and when you use it for anything other than art, you pervert it? The novel’s set-up—American girl marries into a traditional Brahmin family—is drawn from my life, but I am not Alice, although I know her very well.”

Her successes will bring demands aplenty, but Snell doesn’t foresee obstacles to her writing. “I’m pretty rhythmical in my work habits. I always say that if inspiration wants to find me, I’ll be at my desk from 9 a.m. to noon. Well, O’Connor might have said it first.”

Learn more about Cheryl Snell’s books and her work at these sites:
Blog for Snell’s novel, ‘Shiva’s Arms.’
Publisher site, Writer’s Lair Books, for Snell’s novel, ‘Shiva’s Arms.’
Publisher site, Pudding House Publications, for Snell’s poetry collection, ‘Samsara.’
Literary site for Alsop Review, where Snell is book reviews editor.

Please visit Covering Florida for our essay about Patriot Day, in honor of those who died at the World Trade Center September 11, 2001.


Cheryl said...

Thanks so much for this, Kay! Where do I send the flowers?

Kay Day said...

Cheryl, it was my pleasure--I've long admired your work. And you had lots of people reading about you!--best, Kay

P.S. Send me a beer at Facebook!

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