“Ok, now what?”
This was Sashi Kaufman’s first thought after she handed her debut novel, The Other Way Around off to an editor for the first time.
“When you’re a first time author the whole process is so new. There’s only so much you can learn online because the process will be different depending on your editor.”
Despite her concerns, Kaufman is excited for her book to hit shelves in two months.
“I feel a bit like a bull about to charge through the gate and enter the streets of Seville or Pamplona. I’ve had some reviews already – from Publisher’s Weekly and Kirkus – and they’ve been very strong.”
While the first draft of her book took her roughly ten months to write, Kaufman admits that finding an agent was not the hard part.
“I was lucky in that I had offers from multiple agents and was able to choose someone who felt right to me. Unfortunately, two months later that person left the agency. Thankfully I was passed along to a new agent at the time: the amazing Lauren MacLeod. It’s a good reminder that so much in publishing is out of your control. You need to write the best books you can, make the best decisions about those books with the information you have, and then try and let go and trust the decisions you’ve made,” she explained.
The Other Way Around focuses on Andrew West, who decides to run away after his Thanksgiving break goes tragically awry – though his life was far from perfect, even before then. His journey leads him to a car full of strangers and a journey across the country.
If Kaufman could travel the country with a car full of strangers, she knows exactly where she would want to go. “I love the Northern California coast so I think I’d go there. Then maybe New Mexico for the incredible canyon hiking and I’d wind up in New Orleans –because I’ve never been there.”
Like many of the 2014 debut authors, Kaufman was relieved to have the support of the OneFour KitLit group.
“I was aware of groups like this from previous debut years. I saw their tweets and blogs. So when I had a release date, I went online and found the OneFours. The group is most helpful in that it’s a group of people who are thinking, seriously and passionately, about a lot of the same things that I am right now. Everything from book swag and launch parties to reviews and blurbs. It’s great to have a community to bounce ideas off and to get quick answers to things that would have taken me hours to research on my own,” said Kaufman.
When she needs a break from writing, she reads. With all the books releasing in 2014, she has plenty to be excited for.
“I really love Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Boys series –so I’m looking forward to the third in that series. As far as debuts there are so many awesome ones to choose from! I’m excited to read The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare by MG Buehrlen.”Author Sashi Kaufman.
Through her experiences so far, Kaufman has come up with some advice for the 2015 debut authors.
“Keep writing. Write something new so that you don’t spend all your time fretting about publishing and marketing. Remember that this is supposed to be fun!”
Takoing her own advice, Kaufman is currently working on some new projects.
“I’m on submission right now with a book about a girl whose parents are Doomsday Preppers and what happens when there’s a hostile takeover of her school. It’s very different from The Other Way Around and I had a blast writing it!”