Sunday, January 27, 2013

Guest Blog by Roberta Gately, author of "The Bracelet"

By R"oberta Gately,
Author of The Bracelet
I am an accidental author. Though I've been reading since forever, and writing since I was seven years old, I'd never thought of myself as a writer. It wasn't until I began writing articles chronicling the stories of my aid work for a nursing journal that I began to wonder if maybe I could do more. When I was in Iraq shortly after the U.S. invasion there, a freelance reporter with the New York Times told me that I should write a book, and, thoroughly besotted with the very idea, I began to scribble out notes. Later, while I was in Darfur, I was lucky enough to be tapped to write a series of stories for the BBC News Online ( about the situation there, and I knew a book was in my future.
I tackled first a non-fiction book, and then abandoned that to write a novel. A novel gave me the freedom to use my imagination to make a story richer than the reality of it might be. But writing a book, as so many will tell you, does not guarantee that it will be published. I'd been told that less than 0.001% of aspiring writers are published, although these days, with the glut of self-published books, that statistic has likely changed. Still, writing is only the first step in a long road to publication. Finding an agent is as daunting a task as anything I've ever done, but dogged persistence pays off, and today, I am represented by the two best agents in the business.
Aahh, so finally -- a publisher wants you, news that is at once both exciting and fearful. Lipstick in Afghanistan, my first novel (even that phrase sends a tiny thrill through my veins!) was published by Simon & Schuster in 2010, but the real work of being a writer was just beginning. And the worries piled on. Will people read my book? Will Oprah call? (If you're wondering, she hasn't, at least not yet. But ever the optimist, I still believe that anything is possible.) My second novel, The Bracelet, was released by Simon & Schuster in November 2012, and so for me the cycle has begun again. Will people read my book? Will Oprah call? But these days, I have little time to ponder those questions -- I'm busy promoting my books, and working on my next, and the thrill of it all hasn't worn off. And, thanks to readers, I can't imagine it ever will.
So the next time you curl up with a fabulous book that keeps your eyes glued to the pages, I hope you'll pat yourself on the back, and know that somewhere an author is whispering thank you.
© 2013 Roberta Gately, author of The Bracelet
Author Bio
Roberta Gately
, author of The Bracelet, has served as a nurse and humanitarian aid worker in war zones ranging from Afghanistan to Africa, about which she wrote a series of articles for the BBC World News Online. She is also the author of the novel Lipstick in Afghanistan.
For more information please visit, and follow the author on Facebook and Twitter

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