Our guest today is Emilia Rutigliano, author of the women's fiction, Napoleon. Napoleon is part of a continuing series called Layers of Veronica. Other books in the series include Fairytales and Petals with a fourth on the way.
Thank you for this interview, Emilia. Can you tell us a little about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?
I am a happy New Yorker who is happily married to the same man I fell in love with 20 years ago. I have three adorable teenagers… aha. Yes. And I am a trial lawyer because I love it and it pays the bills. I also love traveling… it’s a passion, actually, and my husband and I try to discover new and fun adventures on this earth (with kids in tow). Everything is a learning adventure… I hope it never stops! I began writing when I was forty. It was on a dare. It was a matter of telling a story (which I always loved doing) in written form.
Although the adorable excuse of “I really don’t have the time” was readily available, I simply picked up a computer and started jotting paragraphs… and then chapters. I never sat down behind a desk with a neat cup of coffee. I wrote whenever I could sit down … usually waiting in court or in a car while the kids were dancing. The stories plotted in my head, I just wrote them down.
Can you tell us briefly what your book is about?
Layers of Veronica is a book series about a 35-year-old divorcee who begins a new chapter in her life without attempting to get back to the tried-and-true. Along the way she meets people who introduce her to the very many layers of life, love, experience, wealth, travel and parenthood. The irony is that the more Veronica gets away from the traditional, the more it is enveloping and welcoming her.
Why did you choose your particular genre?
It chose me! LOL. Actually that’s a bit of a problem. I was telling a fictional story about the personas and type of characters that I know. The story appealed, primarily, to women with life experience. Thus it became a Women’s Contemporary. I was advised (strongly) to place it into the erotica genre because Veronica has many lovers, rather than choose a man and live with him happily ever after. But that is the wrong genre for this book. So… the book found its own genre. I didn’t quite choose it.
What was your greatest challenge writing this book?
Because I am not part of the literary or publishing community, it seems that people continually advise what I ought and ought not do. “Do not make the characters too Russian”; “Don’t put in so much sex”; “You need to give her a happily ever after because that is what sells books”; “No one is going to want to read a book where the main character is taking up with married men.”… and so on. I like the story as it is, although I understand that it does not go with the main stream. When I articulate that I don’t write the story for purposes of selling to the popular market, I am told that I am an idiot. It’s darned if you do and damned if you don’t.
Are you published by a traditional house, small press or are you self-published?
I published through KINDLE (self-published). My main goal was to get the books into the hands of anyone who wanted it. I did not want to market it to any particular niche, and it wouldn’t appeal to any one specific market, so I could not go the traditional niche. I didn’t even try.
Was it the right choice for you?
I wouldn’t have made a different choice… except that I wouldn’t have put it out in Blog form first. That was just a waste of time. People prefer it in Kindle form, and it is significantly easier to publish it to KINDLE than to upload each chapter onto a Blog. But no, I wouldn’t go the traditional route. Being a published author and celebrity was never an interest to me.
How are you promoting your book thus far?
I am promoting mostly through Facebook. That and word-of-mouth is the best way that I found for Veronica’s audience.
How is that going for you?
It is going incredible since I have nothing to compare it to. LOL. I’m not a NYT bestseller, but since I published the books, hundreds of people whom I don’t know all over the world have discovered Veronica and enjoyed her. Each of them bought the book, read it and recommended it to their friends. That makes me incredibly happy.
Can you tell us one thing you have done that actually resulted in one or more sales?
I promoted particular posts on FB with the links to the books on Amazon to specific audience. If I targeted the ad in the UK, then UK bought the books. It worked for me.
Do you have another job besides writing?
Yes. I’m a trial attorney. Writing is something I do on the side.
If you could give one book promotion tip to new authors, what would that be?
DON’T listen to everyone who advises you. You should know who your audience is, and you can target them through facebook.
What’s next for you?
I’d like to finish the series that I am writing now, and maybe promote Layers of Veronica into a different medium.
Visit Emilia Rutigliano’s website at www.layersofveronica.com.
Pick up your copy of Napoleon at Amazon.