We are positively thrilled to welcome another ShoreIndie Round 1 winner's book into the world! What We Know Now by Mo Parisian went live on Amazon on November 17th, 2017, and Mo was kind enough to do a brief interview with us about her book and her experience with the ShoreIndie Contest. Read on to learn why Mo decided to self-publish What We Know Now, what it took to get it publish-ready, and Mo's advice to emerging indies.
MJP: Thank you! I am so excited to finally be able to share this book with everyone. The idea for What We Know Now started in Frankfort, a small beach town in northern Michigan. We were vacationing over Labor Day weekend and checking out some of the lighthouses. There is a row of beautiful beach homes located on the beach in Frankfort, and one in particular caught my eye. I knew immediately this was the setting for my book, and it was just a matter of figuring out who lived in that house and what the conflict would be! Obviously, it isn’t that easy, but the setting never changed for me. I can still see it so clearly.
SI: Tell us a little about why you decided to self-publish this novel.
MJP: I have always found the writing part of a project to be easier than getting published part. I went the route of trying to acquire an agent with no success and felt pretty defeated by that part of it. I didn’t know enough about self-publishing to make that leap either, so I did absolutely nothing for about a year. When I read about ShoreIndie and started to get involved, I realized that self-publishing (or indie) is a huge outlet, and while I had/still have a lot to learn, I never would’ve done any of this without that contest.
SI: What had your writing and revision process entailed at the time you entered the 2017 ShoreIndie Contest? How many drafts had you written before you entered, and from whom had you received feedback?
MJP: I had probably written two drafts - the main part of the story has never changed - but I spent a great deal of time cleaning things up or adjusting scenes I had found cringe-worthy. I had sent [the book] to about five different friends (avid readers, but no writers) and received very positive feedback from them. More than anything, it gave me confidence in my story.
SI: What were the highlights of working with your ShoreIndie editor, Katie McCoach? (For example: What did you find most valuable about the process?; what did you learn about storytelling and/or your writing process?; do you feel your book is better as a result?; etc.)
MJP: Oh wow, how much time do we have? I have said that I used to write before I met Katie, but now I’m a writer. She taught me to see the story and ask different questions. Questions to help the reader know more without telling them everything. She taught me what was important in the story and what could be cut. I learned to leave myself out of the story and to make sure to see the story from the main character's perspective. I realized during the whole process that I do love to edit. I never knew that before. Is it perfect? Probably not, but it’s so much better than before. The most important thing I learned from her is that I am so eager to learn no matter how challenging it feels at the time. I am so excited about writing now, and I hadn’t felt that in years. THANK YOU, KATIE!!!
SI: Now that you've got your first book out there, what advice would you give authors who are at the beginning of their self-publishing journey?
MJP: First and foremost, get on Twitter (or whatever social media interests you) and meet people. Be a part of a discussion. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or put yourself out there. Before ShoreIndie, I don’t think I ever responded to a tweet. It forced me so far out of my comfort zone and I learned so much from each editor and writers who were in the chats. It was the boost I needed to move forward in the contest. I felt more comfortable submitting my work, knowing I had asked so many questions. Ask and be open to learning new things. If you had told me at the beginning of the year that I would have a book published, I would’ve thought you were crazy. It was a lot of hard work, but I wouldn’t change anything.
SI: What can we look forward to seeing from you next?
MJP: Currently working on another ms in the WWKN family. Same characters, different MC. More challenging story topic for me, but loving how it’s evolving. My goal is for an early summer release.
About What We Know Now
What would you do if your husband had a double life you knew nothing about?
According to her five-year plan, Grace Foster’s life is right on schedule. After marrying her college sweetheart, she has fought to earn her dream job of evening news producer at WKND. When a story breaks, and her husband is suddenly arrested, she flees for the last place she thought she’d ever find solace: Her mother’s home. The picturesque cottage on the shore of Lake Michigan appears to be the perfect hideout, or is it the battleground she left ten years ago?
Being the daughter of Julia Dunham, best-selling self-help author, has always made Grace cynical. But watching her mother go through her own personal crisis, Grace experiences compassion she’s never felt before. With support from her family and friends, Grace begins to follow the steps in her mom’s latest best-seller to rebuild her own life. Will what she learns give her the courage to let go of the past and move forward, or will Julia push Grace out of her life for good?
Check out What We Know Now on Amazon!
About the author
thenovelway.com. If she’s not writing, you can find her reading or baking. What We Know Now is Mo’s first novel.