Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Book Feature: A Water Lily Blooms by Sylvia S. Mader

Inside the Book:

Title: A Water Lily Blooms
Author: Sylvia S. Mader
Genre: Coming of Age
Format: Ecopy /Paperback

An attractive young woman lies critically injured and comatose in a hospital bed far from home. Images come and go as she struggles to regain consciousness. Is that a tall, dark man beckoning her from a distance? Will she reach him? Or will her life be cut short, denying her a second chance for happiness? How did she get from being a happy, promising young pre-med student to here? And like this?
This coming of age tale follows the struggles of a driven but naive high school graduate. Andrea Bradford leaves her peaceful Martha’s Vineyard home for college, wanting to be a physician — a true professional, just like so many boys in her class. But once at college, she begins suffering the anxieties of homesickness, a blistering schedule, constant disagreements with her mother, and the uncertainty of a possible stage career. Meanwhile, several romances awaken her pent-up sexuality and introduce her to inter-racial realities and even the lure of New York high society.
Episodes of confusion, disappointment, elation, tragedy, and reconciliation all shape Andie, as she grows to become a mature, competent woman by the end of this truly “American” story.


10 Things You Didn’t Know About Becoming a Published Author

Just to let you know, I wrote Biology texts before writing my recent novel, A Water Lily Blooms.  Novel publishing is a completely different ball of wax compared to publishing a text. True, I did my first Biology text years ago (don’t ask how many) but the first text is now in its 16th edition! To get my first biology text published, it required only minimal effort to find a publisher and after working like the dickens to get the text done and in good shape, it was immediately published.  The publisher did all the marketing, of course.

So, what 10 things didn’t I know about publishing a novel?

First, I didn’t know that writing the novel would be so much fun. It’s a chance to really be yourself —to be your characters and to feel it like they do and have your reader feel it too. It’s a shared experience between you and your readers —what better way to communicate with man-woman kind than to have shared feelings? True, the private lives of your characters are exposed and therefore the author is exposed but the communicative act is worth it.

Second, I learned that a manuscript has to be polished. I don’t mean making sure words are spelled correctly and grammar and punctuation are correct.  Those tasks can be turned over to editors. Instead, I am referring to making sure the book is a proper length and you have said what you meant to say.

Third, I didn’t know it was customary to get an “agent” and I was amazed to find there are hundreds of “agents”. If an agent decides to take you on, they will assist you in getting a publisher. Selecting prospective agents can take a while before you even begin sending them your manuscript.  And the agents take their time in getting back to you.

Fourth, I don’t know if anyone has tried to estimate the number of budding novelists but I soon got the impression it has to be at least in the thousands. I was absolutely floored by how many competitors I had all trying to get their novel published.

Fifth, I didn’t know the process would require computer literacy.  Since agents are apparently overwhelmed, they are able to dictate how, when, and where they will condescend to review your novel. Even the manuscript has to be available as an electronic file.

Sixth, I found out about the world of “self-publishers”. Just as with agents, there is a myriad of self-publishers and selecting one can be an arduous process. You have to be prepared to do some homework in order to select one for a proper fit. Virtual Bookworm turned out to be a good fit for me and I have enjoyed working with them.

Seventh, I learned if I self-publish, I would have to be assist my publisher in the marketing process and it would be a good idea to do some marketing on my own. There are plenty of sources on the web that offer advice but it’s hard to judge the quality of the advice —they might just want to sell you something.

Eighth, I didn’t appreciate that writing a novel would give me a good reason to connect with members of my extended family and friends both new and old.  It’s a very rewarding experience because everyone cheers you on while you’re writing the novel and wants to help get the word out when you are marketing your novel.

Ninth, I had no idea how much it would cost to self-publish. I am willing to estimate that the entire process of getting a novel self-published and marketed will cost at least a few thousand dollars. However, the royalty rate is generally higher than that offered by a trade publisher.

Tenth, I didn’t realize that after I learned the mechanics of writing a novel and getting it published I would be willing to start again. After all, you don’t want to waste all the knowledge you gained from the first experience.


Sylvia Mader is the author of “Inquiry Into Life, 16th edition;” “Biology, 13th edition” and “Human Biology, 16th edition,” making her one of America’s most successful college textbook authors of the last twenty-five years. She is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College, who taught community college students and wrote most of her textbooks while raising two beautiful children. She lived on Martha’s Vineyard for nearly twenty years, and is now a grandmother, living in Hollywood, Florida. This is her debut novel. She is currently working on a second one.