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Monica Bielanko
A chronicle since 2005 of my marriage & move to Brooklyn in my twenties; becoming a mother in my thirties; moving to Pennsylvania and learning to amicably coparent after divorce in my forties while living 3 doors down from my ex-husband in a small country town.
That's What She Said
You can also find Monica's writing here:
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Friday
May182007

It's All About The Proposal

I've not mentioned much about my book, The Girl Who. Which is ironic considering it's the reason I started this damned blog in the first place. The title of the blog comes from the title I (actually it was Serge) came up with for the book. The book came before the blog.

For the past six months I've been working with my agent (yes! I have an agent!) on the proposal.. Oh! And check this shit out. My agent? Her name is Caroline and she's from England. How funny is that? Probably not very funny if you aren't an avid reader of this blog. But the rest of you? Are you chuckling? It sure makes for interesting reactions from Serge when I dramatically announce "Caroline emailed me today." There is that priceless look of oh-my-God-please-not-this-shit-with-you-two-again before he comprehends I mean my agent, not his ex-girlfriend.

Anyway - I had written a proposal prior to hooking up with Caroline but there has been much reworking. Apparently, when it comes to non-fiction, it's all about the proposal. A proposal is an outline of the book you hope to publish.. An introduction and summary and a chapter by chapter breakdown of what the reader can expect. Apparently these publisher types want to see if you have a good idea and can actually execute it utilizing words and sentences and paragraphs and chapters before they give you money to do so. A proposal also includes several sample chapters and a comparison on the book you want to write with other books already on the market. It's no small feat - I think my final proposal is somewhere in the neighborhood of fifty or sixty pages.

I know it's rather tiresome for bloggers to blog about the books they've written, are writing or want to write and so I won't bore you too much with the yappity yap - but I figured my path to publishing (fingers crossed) may be somewhat interesting for other writers out there who wish to do the same. And it's nice to let y'all know I do more than fight with Serge or write about his ex-girlfriend.

So I wrote more than half of the book, The Girl Who, before I started this blog although much of it I eventually posted here in the "chapters" section. The book lead to the blog, not the other way around. This is not one of those fairytale Blogger-Lands-A-Huge-Book-Deal stories. Methinks those days, much like the possiblity of a band shooting to stardom on MySpace, are long over.

Last year EDW contacted me and offered to help edit my proposal. After lots of long hours refining that version (thanks lady, you are a pro) I had a completed proposal. I took a few meetings in New York City with some folks who seemed interested in publishing The Girl Who. That's when Caroline emailed with her interest in representing me. She shared some of her ideas for the book, which I found exciting and so, for the past six months, via email, we've reworked my proposal until we're both pleased with the outcome.

Now comes the interesting part. The part where we find out if anybody out there wants to publish The Girl Who.

Reader Comments (21)

Oh, I can't wait! I'm so glad good things are happening for you with this. Fun, fun, fun.

May 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterEDW

fer sher dude. no question. can't wait to order it on amazon!

May 18, 2007 | Unregistered Commentergina

I would order it in a second. Can't wait!!! This is exciting. Yay for you!!!

May 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterKDS

Do you think the fact that you've posted a lot of your book here will make a difference in book sales? Kind of bums me out that I'll be buying something that I've already read.

May 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJAY

I've always kind of seen you as an author rather than a blogger! Break a leg~

May 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

Yay for you! I want to read it! Does that count?

May 19, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterfancythis

Congrats, Monica, that's fabulous.

It doesn't bum me out that you've posted alot of the stuff here. I mean, things are always different in book form, and I am guessing that the layout will be sort of different. Pamie's first book had a lot of her original squishy posts in it and it was nice to be able to read them again, you know?

May 19, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterKy

I wanna write a book, well I don't want to write it, I just have a ton of stories to tell and someone needs to pen them down before I forget them all!
I will buy The Girl Who!

May 19, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJen

Hi Monica,
This is wonderful news. I'm really pleased to hear it. Once it's published you can come on down to Oxford, Mississippi, and do a reading and signing at Square Books. That would be so awesome.

May 19, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAlli Jo

great news.. conogratulations on getting this far!

May 19, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterleyla

Fingers crossed for you!!

May 19, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

Hard work always pays off - good luck and congrats on getting this far.

May 19, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterbloggadocio

Congrats! You've gotten farther than most "writers" get. I'm sure you'll have no problem getting the book out there. Heck, maybe even a movie made about it later on!! you never know!

May 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterShaun

great news! congrats and I would love to have one...hm? with dedication;)

May 21, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterana

I'd buy it.

May 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterStFarmer

YES Books the precede blogs are better than books the other way around! Good luck.

May 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMel

I wish you the very best in this next phase--how exciting! Enjoy every minute of it, you've worked hard for this.

May 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterS

Congratulations! I've been wanting to read The Girl Who since I found your blog last summer. I will defintely be pre-ordering it for myself and some friends.

May 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterErinS

i'm really hoping this book sees the light of day. i'm sure it will. keep at it.

May 22, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterkasey

Hi Monica!

I'm writing this post from Barcelona (Spain). On the early last year I heard of Marah and went to one of their amazing shows in my home area. Immediately, I started searching for more information about the band on the Internet, and I bumped into your fantastic weblog don't remember how,

Since then, I've been reading The Girl Who as often as possible, and although sometimes it's hard for me to understand some turn of phrases, I think I get the whole meaning of your entries.

Monica, I must tell you I think you are a very interesting, talented woman and a stimulating writer. I enjoy reading your blog very much, and sometimes I am tempted to post something but I always desist because I think I won't be able to express myself. But now I've made up my mind to post these lines to encourage you to keep on writing The Girl Who book, and tell you I would be very glad to get the chance to buy one copy someday!

Well now, thank you very much for sharing your thoughts and experiences with us (me) using this honest writing style.

Kisses,

Marta.

PS: Also love your funny and artistic pictures!

May 23, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMarta

Keep on with it, and I for one will look forwards to reading your book once it's finally out there! And let me tell you this....

There is NOTHING as amazing as seeing a book YOU wrote in someone else's hands for the first time!

That feeling you will get once its all completed and you actually hand a copy to someone, not the manuscript, but the completed book, is absolutely amazing!

How about an exchange of signed copies, mine for yours, once its finished? Although your writing is so much better than mine! I'll certainly get Serge to sign the copy I buy at a Marah show in Europe somewhere!

Stick with it, you've done the hard work. Pretty soon you'll be reaping the rewards!

(And if you could be so kind as to send me contact details for your agent, I'd really appreciate it!)

Damien

May 24, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterDamien

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