Wednesday, August 31, 2011

7 WOW Wednesday: Jessica Corra on Letting Your Crazy Out

Jessica Corra, today's guest, eats, sleeps, and breathes words. Really, she's only nominally crazy. In real life, she has a degree in English/Creative Writing which qualifies her to type really fast and point out your comma splices. She lives in Philadelphia, where she is working on more books. She is represented by Suzie Townsend of FinePrint Literary, but you can find her on her blog or on Twitter.

“My Crazy, Let Me Show You It”

by Jessica Corra


When I found out my debut novel, After You, would be published by Dial in Spring 2013 (look, I got my plug out of the way in the first line, I’m efficient), I was standing in a Barnes and Noble. I began flapping my hands up and down in front of my face, squeaking, “My book’s going to be here. My book’s going to be here.”

Because no matter how excited I am about everything else related to publishing, the whole endeavor is summed up in that line: my book’s going to be here. You’re going to be able to read my book. The gravity of that astounds me at the most basic level. We often say we write because we want to share our stories with people, but until your story is going to be shared with people, it’s an abstract idea. At least, it didn’t hit me until it was going to be a reality. (This is as it should be, I think. I would never have finished a novel if I had any real sense of an audience. Your mileage may vary.)

I think it took a full day for me to realize precisely what that meant: you’re going to be able to read my book? Oh. Em. Gee. I’m a practical writer; I believe in deadlines and wordcounts and the daily unbeautiful work of it. But I also believe that books are truth, words have magic, and that good writing is a piece of our souls made manifest.

So, basically, I’m writing to show you my soul. And you’re going to see it, in all its broken, vulnerable beauty. You might not like it. I have to be okay with that. Thing is, souls are resilient. They can be shaped and molded into stories, tossed around between the writer and the reader, and when caught, still shine their truths out. They’re soft things, vulnerable but resilient. Haven’t you noticed that about the books you love? They are fierce things, and they can burn themselves out in their fierceness. They leave you hollow and aching because they took a piece of you with them. I hope my books could be like that for someone.

Writers are some of the most courageous people I know, emotionally. We’re not afraid to let our crazy out, and we get that you have your own crazy. Heck, we write because of that. We want you to see you aren’t alone. So, come Spring 2013, I hope you’ll like my crazy. I worked very hard on it.

7 comments:

  1. I agree with you that we really put ourselves out there when we write a book and it gets published. It is good not to think (and worry) about it while you're writing the story. Thanks for sharing and good luck with your book.

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  2. I think all writers want to leave readers with a piece of themselves. We are putting ourselves out there naked and showing our crazy, waiting to be loved or vilified. We don't know which it will be which is scary and exciting all at once. Huge Congrats on your book! It takes guts and perseverance to get published. Best of luck with this book and the many others to come!

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  3. Congratulations! I hope 2013 comes fast for you - it's the waiting that can make you really crazy!

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  4. This is lovely! and how fun to get the news right in a bookstore. That is poetic justice of sorts. :) Best wishes to your book as its/your soul goes public, rah!

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  5. I think this is a great point. We work so hard, for so long, and feel so vulnerable, but that does not compare to the vulnerability of putting your work out there in a global forum. Best of luck with your book, Jessica. I think many of us would love to be facing the same issue.

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  6. So Happy for you. :)

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

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