I published a book

Hello friends, I got some very exciting news to share with you! As some of you might know from my writing tips blog posts, I’m a German self-published author who writes romance and cosy crime novels. A few weeks ago I published my very first English book—and I want to share a secret with you: it is inspired by a true story! My very personal love story.

Fiction or true story?

Wait a second, did I just say true love story? Yep, I did. But that doesn’t mean that the whole book is exactly how it happened in real life, of course—that would be boring, and I also wanted to make sure that no one from my social circle feels offended. It’s still a fictional book with some drama, fun side characters and a catching love story. So what’s the story about? As readers love tropes, here are some for you:

  • Love at first sight
  • Travel romance
  • Strangers to lovers
  • Opposites attract
  • Multicultural couple
  • Unique meet-cute
  • Italian summer rom-com
  • Slow burn
  • He falls first

    Book Blurb: Just one night in Rome

    They live on opposite ends of the globe: Is one unforgettable evening enough to forever intertwine the lives of two strangers?

    When Josie books her trip to Italy, she has only one thing in mind: to escape from her ex and men in general. In Rome fate deals a curious hand as she finds herself sharing a hostel room with the globetrotter Leo. Beyond his outrageously good looks, the Chilean backpacker unsettles Josie with his persistent questions, causing her to rethink her life choices. Leo invites her on the adventure of her life: An adventurous night roaming the streets of Rome. Sparks fly intensely, however Leo lives on the other side of the world, and Josie doesn’t know if she will ever see him again. Is one magical night enough to turn her whole world upside down?

    The Background Story

    One of the questions I get asked the most as an author is: How long does it take you to write a book? To give you an honest view behind the scenes, I will share my process of writing Just one night in Rome with you.

    Friday, May 18, 2018 – Rome
    It is the last evening of my trip to Italy, and I am sitting alone in my hostel room, questioning whether it was the right decision to end my last relationship. One of my roommates returns, and from a brief small talk, unexpectedly unfolds the longest conversation of my life. Within one night, my whole life is turned upside down, and I experience my personal Just one night in Rome.

    Friday, November 1, 2019 – Santiago de Chile
    A few days ago, I moved to Chile, and it is the first day of NaNoWriMo, during which I write the first chapter of my new novel Just one night in Rome. Within two months, I complete the rough draft of the first volume and decide that it will be a duology.

    Thursday, August 13, 2020 – Hanover
    I post for the first time on Instagram about the book and a handful of beta readers offer to read the first book. Their feedback is encouraging, funny and ALL of them ask for the second part, which makes me finally finish the draft of it.

    Friday, October 9, 2020 – Paris
    The first literary agency rejects it, stating that „publishers are currently flooded with (New Adult) romance material.“ The next one wants me to change the Chilean love interest into an American. I decline, as the cultural differences are fundamental to the concept of the book 💔. I talk to other authors and they encourage me to write something else for now. I start two new manuscripts, but my passion project doesn’t let go of me.

    Tuesday, October 11, 2022 – Amsterdam
    After not being able to find a literary agency for the Opposite Worlds Duology, I submit the book directly to a publishing house for the first time. In Germany you can send your novel directly to a publishing house, but the chances are higher over a literary agency.

    Wednesday, October 26, 2022
    There it is: a response from a publishing house. The email preview says, „Thank you for your application“ and I expect a rejection. On the website it said it could take up to six months until I would get a response but surprisingly the publishing house shows interest. They ask if I can rewrite the duology into a single volume. I send two brief proposals and the waiting game begins again. Every day I check my emails. For the first time in years, the NaNoWriMo isn’t going well for me, and now that a publishing house is interested in my novel I get a big creativity blockade. Something feels off, but I can’t name it.
    I get to travel to Chile for a wedding—it’s my first time returning to my former home after the pandemic, and I fall in love with the country all over again. A country that plays a major part in the second book, which publishing houses want me to cut out.

    Tuesday, November 15, 2022 – Santiago de Chile
    The long-awaited feedback from the publisher arrives. The email preview sounds formal, and I don’t even want to read what they have to say, but I gather the courage and—WAIT, WHAT?! There it is, the acceptance of my passion project, and I laugh and cry at the same time. My boyfriend doesn’t understand what’s going on. „There is this publishing house, this really amazing publisher,“ I explain to him in English, „and they want our story.“
    Was it meant to be that I received my acceptance in Chile?

    Monday, November 21, 2022
    I begin the process of cutting down the novel, having to remove 44.000 words. I clarify questions with the publishing house and get the contract. That’s when I realize a german clause that sounds very innocent but would mean a „open-end“ contract duration. I negotiate and explain that this would mean I would give up the copyright of my own book, which is not the norm. The publisher insists on the clause. There it is my dream right in front of me, but my gut feeling isn’t pleased. Once again, I seek advice from other authors and come to the conclusion that a good collaboration cannot be based on unfair terms. I won’t give up my copyright completely, especially not for my personal love story. It’s like the wind has been taken out of my sails, and for the next few weeks, all I want to do is hide in bed. Strangely, coping with turning down a publishing offer is harder than dealing with a conventional rejection of an agency.
    Was it the right decision? Yes.
    Does it still feel like a shattered dream? Definitely.

    Thursday, February 4, 2023 – Hanover
    One of my beta readers from 2020 contacts me on Instagram and asks when the book will be released. Even after 2.5 years, the story has stayed with her. If a reader believes in my book so much, shouldn’t I believe in it too?

    March 18, 2023
    The first round of editing begins and I decide to publish the book through self-publishing.

    May 18, 2023
    Five years have passed since the night in Rome, and I am glad to have written down the experiences because, without the book, I wouldn’t remember many details anymore.

    July 1, 2023 – Amsterdam
    After five years of doubts and tears, the world can finally read our story. I get pictures, videos and so many sweet messages sent by readers and bookstore owners, who fell in love with the adventures of Josie and Leo.

    August 3, 2023
    The English version of Just one night in Rome gets published and readers all around the world review the book. Within two weeks more internationals bought the English version than German readers and I get a lot of super sweet private messages. Shortly afterwards I organize a book signing with a book stores and the german readers get three very cool illustrated character cards and I even get my very first own signing stamp.

    One summer. Two strangers. An adventure to remember …

    If I you would like to check the story out or even get your own copy (print or ebook), here is a link to the Amazon page for Just one night in Rome and the final of the duology Just one more Adventure which gets published on the 1 october is available for pre-order now.

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    1. Congratulations on the publication of your book, „Just one night in Rome“! 🎉📚 What an incredible journey you’ve shared, from the inspiration in Rome to the challenges and triumphs in the publishing process. Your dedication and perseverance are truly admirable, and it’s heartening to see how your passion for storytelling prevailed.

      The premise of your novel sounds captivating, filled with the magic of love at first sight, the allure of travel romance, and the excitement of a unique meet-cute in the enchanting city of Rome. The blend of tropes promises an engaging and heartwarming experience for readers.

      Moreover, your transparency in sharing the behind-the-scenes process of writing and publishing adds a personal touch to your success story. It’s a testament to the authenticity and sincerity that went into crafting your narrative. The decision to stay true to the cultural elements in your book, despite challenges from literary agencies, speaks volumes about your commitment to your creative vision.

      I’m delighted to hear that readers around the world have embraced „Just one night in Rome,“ and the positive feedback must be incredibly rewarding. Your journey, from contemplating the end of a relationship in Rome to the publication of your book, is not just a literary achievement but also a testament to the power of storytelling to connect people across borders.

      Wishing you continued success with your writing journey, and may „Just one night in Rome“ continue to captivate readers and create lasting memories for years to come. 🌟📖

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