Thursday, July 28, 2011


I'm almost there. I'm at the end of a very, very long marathon, but I am not at the finish line yet. I see it, but I can't cross the line until I jump through a few more hoops. Levent is reading my MS (manuscript) once more, and I can't publish until he finishes because he is the chief editor. Or maybe that's me. Whatever, he is the other chief editor. He catches the things I have not and cannot catch. Writers cannot be the sole editors of their work because we KNOW what we mean. Whether or not we get our message across is the important thing, though, so we need others to read our writing, to tell us what's good and also where we've failed. A good editor tells you the truth. You don't have to listen to the truth, but at least they point it out to you...

Meanwhile, I've been thinking about my next book. I have some ideas laid out, but I am very drawn to the idea of writing a comic novel. That said, I am not a great artist. I know some great artists, but they're all to busy. So I think and think and think about how I could maybe do it. Kaan, my oldest son, sits looking at comic strips for hours. He can't read yet, but the pictures tell him the story. Or maybe they don't, but he sure has fun trying to figure out what it's about...

I think I am starting to see the finish line...

Sunday, July 24, 2011


I'm now on Twitter. I haven't written anything yet, as I have no idea how it all works. But if you want to follow me, my Twitter name is SaskiaEAkyil. It's not going to be used as a personal twitter account, but as a professional account :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Back Cover

Here's the back-cover text, so far. It's really hard to summarize a book in a paragraph or two - you want to entice readers, but not give too much away. It is MUCH harder to briefly summarize a book than it is to write a book (but it doesn't take quite as much time).


Can coffee grounds tell your future?
Will fate bring you to your soul mate thousands of miles from home?
How will you know if it's him?
Would the evil eye dare stop two souls on their paths to each other?

A last-minute opportunity to spend a month with a Turkish family on the Aegean coast drastically changes the course of seventeen-year-old Rachel Guo’s summer. This intercultural coming-of-age novel is full of exotic tastes, summer heat, promises kept and broken, and love. In a summer village on the western coast of Turkey, you’ll meet Rachel, who doesn’t know what she wants; Aylin, who doesn’t know if she wants the one who wants her; and Leyla, who knows who she wants, but doesn’t know if she’ll get him. Love and romance are secret pleasures in the summer village, which only make them more exciting.

Travel with Rachel on her journey far from the comforts of home, to a place that will captivate her and leave her changed forever.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Promoting Secrets of a Summer Village

I will not have the luxury of having any help from a publishing house to help me promote my novel. I will have to rely on my friends, family, and social/professional network. So far, here's who I will contact. Do you have any additional suggestions?

  1. Facebook Friends
  2. Friends and family via e-mail announcements
  3. TACAWA and other Turkish-American associations... and maybe also the Turkish associations in Canada, Australia, Great Britain, Ireland, South Africa...
  4. My high school and universities
  5. My brothers' high school
  6. CIEE, EF and similar study-abroad programs and organizations
  7. The Olympian and Seattle Times newspapers (the main character in the book is from Olympia), The Gazette Telegraph of Colorado Springs (because my mother lives there), The Denver Post (because my father lives there)
  8. My EFL contacts at Turkish Universities - perhaps the book could be good reading material for students studying English?

To-Do List

I suppose if your book is picked up by a publisher, they still expect you to do lots of editing, but they take care of the rest - the cover, the formatting, the electronic formatting, the publicity, the book review requests. But that's all up to me, and I'm learning. I've got an almost-perfect (as perfect as it's gonna get) version of my book. Levent just needs to read over it one more time to catch the things that I didn't catch, before I upload it electronically to,, and iBooks. I have to change the formatting before converting it to a format that they accept, too - the formatting doesn't work the same way on Word as it does on EPUB.

Here's what else I am working on:
  • my cover art
  • a letter to send to newspapers, etc... for publicity purposes
  • a list of places who will receive my publicity letter
  • creating a blog for myself where friends, family, and unknown readers can contact me
  • a one-paragraph summary of my book - like the kind of thing you'd find on the back cover of a book

Monday, July 18, 2011

Welcome to me

Welcome to my author blog! I already have a personal blog, but Writing in my Head is a blog I am keeping strictly with regards to my writing and publishing.

In 2008-2009, I wrote a novel. When I was finished, I started querying it - for those of you who are not in the writing industry, it means sending letters to agents, in the hopes that they will want to represent you. If they take you on as a client, they try to get you a contract with publishers. If they can do that, your book gets published by a publisher and may end up in bookstores. The publishers may help you publicize your book, though some of that will still be in your own hands. It depends how much of a big seller they think your book is going to be.

Quite a few agents were interested enough in the premise of my novel (which was originally called Silent Night, Unholy Night, then Some Things are Universal, now Secrets of a Summer Village), and asked to see the entire manuscript. None of them offered representation. So I decided to take a break from my novel, think about it, and edit it. 2010 wasn't such a great year for me, and I couldn't even think about looking at my novel, but once 2011 rolled around, I was ready to revisit it.

So, I read it again. And I really liked it. "Wow, I wrote some pretty good stuff!" I thought. So I edited it from start to finish and started querying again. In the nearly two years since I had queried the first time, the industry had already changed a lot. For one thing, lots of agents now ask for up to 3 chapters of your book along with the query letter, so you don't have the immediate satisfaction of the quick requests for writing samples. After receiving a few rejections, I decided to re-investigate self-publishing.

I hadn't been too interested in self-publishing electronically in the past because I'm old enough to still want paper books. Electronic books are not enough for me. Maybe I'll own a Kindle or a Nook or something one day, but I don't yet. I think they're great, but I don't particularly want one. And for me, if my book is only electronic, it's not published. I need a paper copy. That said, there's more earning potential (for authors) from the electronic version.... Still, even print-on-demand self-published books have come a long way in two years, both in quality and in price.

So I'm going to go for it. Self-publishing requires the author to wear a lot of hats - writer, editor, cover designer, publicist, etc..., but I think it's worth a try. Here I go...

I'll post about self-publishing as I get further along in the process, and will share my book cover and so forth with you. I'll also let you know when my book is available, and from where!