I was supposed to talk about my recent trip to Paris in this post (the second Parisian jaunt in six weeks), because that’s what I declared the last time I blogged. What I didn’t realize, was how much the actual book launch day and the weeks that followed would entail. So let’s re-live it all together!
(And I’ll definitely talk about Paris next time—especially since I found a new magical spot I can’t wait to share with you all…)
The magical book launch day
Around ten years ago, after showing up at a few Indigo bookstore events in a row, I told the Director of Events (who’d now begun to recognize me as a bookish fangirl), that one day, I would go from being a self-published author, to having my name grace the shelves of Canada’s famous Indigo and Chapters locations.
On May 10, 2022, that day arrived for myself and my rom com 24 Hours in Paris (along with the book hitting the bookshelves of libraries, Barnes & Noble stores in the US, and even some independent bookstores across North America).
It almost sounds trite to say don’t give up on your dreams, but that was the one consistent thing over the last ten years: to keep on writing in whatever form, to put in the work, to not lose the joy, to always daydream, and to always remember that amazing things could happen.
On that day of May 10th, amazing things did happen, and thank you to everyone involved.
I’m the book club pick of a hit daytime talk show!
The amazingness didn’t stop, because on launch day, I also learned that 24 Hours in Paris is the official June book club pick of Canada’s hit daytime talk show, The Social!!! Here’s a video of the live announcement on TV and the voiceover of my reaction—I basically (and naturally) freaked out.
The delightful and opinionated hosts of The Social will be sharing their thoughts on 24 Hours in Paris live on air in late June—and no, I’m not freaking out at all. You can follow my social media for more details as it gets closer, along with my eventual reaction (links: my Instagram/my Twitter/my Facebook page/my TikTok).
As a final note on this topic, I got to make a little video appearance on the show’s social media accounts this week, letting followers know they can share their thoughts on the book using #TheSocialChapter hashtag. You can do that too, and here’s the link to the Instagram video if you’d like to (I trust that you can find the Twitter and Facebook links on your own, as this blog post is giving me link fatigue *collapses onto the floor and stares blankly at the ceiling*).
Oh right: THERE’S A SEQUEL!
In all my talk about the book launch, I neglected to inform you that a week before the launch of 24 Hours in Paris, the official announcement came out: the sequel, 24 Hours in Italy is in progress, and it’ll be in bookstores across North America in August 2023!!!
The sequel will be a continuation of the saga of Mira and Jake, and if you’ve read 24 Hours in Paris, I hope you’re as excited about that as I am! If you haven’t yet read 24 Hours in Paris, I will gently remind you that it received a Publishers Weekly starred review, it was selected as the Publishers Weekly #1 Summer Romance Read pick for 2022, and it is also a goddamn freakin’ delight (a not-biased statement at all)! Here is a convenient summary of where you can buy the book: all the pertinent links.
What happens to a book after it launches?
This is a very good question, and one that I found myself wondering after my massive “book launch to-do list” disappeared into the ether once May 10th, 2022 came and went. I certainly still have full-time copywriting and sequel writing/editing to keep me extremely busy, but what becomes of my trad debut baby, 24 Hours in Paris?
(Just a casual shot of my book next to the print edition of the Publishers Weekly magazine that contains the book’s starred review—very casual and not emotional at all!)
Since launch, so many of you have been amazing when it comes to picking up a copy of the book, tagging me in your book photos (which I love and hope you’ll keep doing), reading the book, and sharing your thoughts on social media; thank you for all of that!! Your actions have certainly helped kick things off in a positive way, and the talk show book club breakdown in late June will hopefully build momentum even more.
Still, it takes a lot for a book to be successful, and even more still when the book has a POC lead, and you’re trying to succeed in an industry that up until recently, hadn’t been very welcoming to diverse books at all (whilst pretending it was only acting that way because no one wanted to buy them).
When you add all of that to my upbringing as a child of South Asian immigrants who felt a constant pressure to achieve (which is still engrained in my brain to this day), I find myself feeling extremely challenged, when it comes to accepting how little control I truly have, over how this whole thing will play out.
You might even say that I find myself feeling unhinged, but I’m thinking that’s a very relatable feeling amongst debut authors who are one month in, amirite? Furthermore, if a debut author becomes unhinged and falls, but no one’s around to hear it, did it even happen?
Tell a friend, leave a review, and next step: world domination
Yes, the next step in my plan is world domination, or iconic bestseller status, or whatever you want to call it. Hmm…does that seem outlandish? Especially after this recent article revealed that out of the over 3.2 million books that BookScan tracked in 2021, less than 1% sold over 5,000 copies?
But here’s the thing: it probably seemed outlandish when ten years ago, after over 100 literary agent rejections, I self-published and boldly declared that one day, I would wind up in bookstores anyway.
And here I am.
So onto my next outlandish dream: once 24 Hours in Paris becomes an inevitable hit (with your word of mouth and Amazon reviews—which are extremely crucial and which you can quickly write on the Amazon Canada and Amazon US book pages, depending on where you’re located—thank you in advance!), I hereby declare that my whirlwind rom com very much belongs on screen.
In fact, I see 24 Hours in Paris as a half-hour streaming series, following by a season 2 which will focus on 24 Hours in Italy. This bold and outlandish declaration is such a source of passion, that I used my screenwriting background to casually write a pilot and an episode two script in my oodles of free time (laughs sweatily). You can read them here and here.
I know, the outlandishness is getting out of control, and you can make fun of me if you want, but the way I see it, if I’m not to be bold and outlandish now, then when? Like even if reincarnation is real, what if I return in my next life as a mealworm? Mealworms can’t write books or screenplays! They might not even have eyes!!
Therefore, there is no time like the present to boldly follow your dreams, don’t ya think?
I feel vindicated. Until next time…