Thursday, November 12, 2009

Wow! A book in print

I'm a geek girl. I'm comfortable around technology. So you'd think that the medium of my work wouldn't matter. But, to be honest, I felt an irrepressible sense of joy when I realised that one of my books was released in print. This week! Pity the dead trees, but still! Print!

Not that it's anyone's fault but my own that I haven't been in print till now. The truth is, up to this point, I've only written mostly novellas, and those puppies tend to run no more than 30,000 words. Not viable. So this is my first published novel, even if it isn't the first novel I've ever written.

Guarding His Body. I'll be honest with you, I've always had a hidden fascination with the Whitney Houston/Kevin Costner movie, "The Bodyguard". Okay, there was heaps of overacting in it, but the concept stayed with me. Except...what if it was the other way around? What if you had a female bodyguard guarding a male body? Wouldn't that be something? And how exactly would that work?

Suave, and slightly arrogant, Frenchman, Yves de Saint Nerin, thinks he's hired a gruff Aussie to guard him during a sojourn to Australia. Hell Collier is the bloke's name. Must be a rough'n'tough type, right? Except, "Hell Collier" turns out to be Helen Collier in her first ever solo bodyguard assignment. And each finds that the other isn't quite what was expected.

The book is set in Brisbane, Australia, a beautiful sub-tropical city on the eastern seaboard of Australia. I know that people rave about Sydney and Melbourne but, to me, Brisbane has it all -- the lovely weather, the proximity to the world-famous beaches at the Gold Coast, and a laid back atmosphere. I was happy to revisit the time I lived there through the novel.

The heroine is Australian -- a capable woman with a hint of vulnerability and an ache for a dream that she thinks will never be fulfilled. After all, what man feels comfortable in the presence of a woman who can easily physically tie him in knots with very little effort? The problem is, Helen intimidates most men and she despairs of ever finding a partner who'll appreciate her for who she is.

When thinking about the hero, I'll admit I scouted further afield. Now I realise this is a gross generalisation, but it seems to me that European men are a bit more comfortable in their own skins than most others. My hubby, J, for example, is not ashamed to say that he loves pink roses and that he thought of writing romance when in his early twenties. He's also a delightfully masculine, hot-blooded Pole who's a perfect match to my more brusque manner. A well-mannered and sensitive Klingon male, is how I think of him! I decided to pair a much tamer version of him with Helen to see what would happen.

Anyway, that's my stealth promotion of my new book, in case you didn't realise it! My publisher liked the idea so much, she commissioned a series and I'm about to start on the second book of three next month. I know I've started late, but this year has been a roller-coaster for me, as it has for most people. All I can do is hang on, keep writing, and hope people enjoy what they read. Thanks for giving me the chance to share.


Jewel Amethyst said...

Congratulations on your first novel in print. I know the feeling of accomplishment when you see and feel that novel in your hands. It sounds like an interesting read that I'd like to get my hands on. I'm assuming it's available on

Kaz Augustin said...

Thanks Jewel! :) It's not appearing on Amazon yet, but I know there's often a bit of a lag between release day and when it's listed. It *is* available at Total-E-Bound's site.

KeVin K. said...

Print will sell more. That makes no sense in the digital age, but it's true.

Simon & Schuster had an e-book only series of Star Trek novels that followed the adventures of a crew of Starfleet engineers. The people who go and clean up the messes war leaves behind or solve irrigation problems or salvage dead ships. The series ran 60 or so books, but sales were lukewarm at best and the series died.
Then some marketing wonk got the idea of publishing trade paperback compilations of the e-books. These anthologies cost more than the individual e-books purchased separately and the e-books are still available in a variety of formats, BUT the dead-tree versions outsell them in every market. I think it may have something to do with casual bookstore browsers being able to hold the book in their hands and leaf through it. I will say that holding a copy of “Grand Designs” in my hands – even though I’m one of six authors – is more satisfying than reading “Orphans” on a hand-held screen.

So congratulations on the print edition. It’s going to increase your presence and recognition in the marketplace and it’s going to mean more to you as a writer to hold it in your hands.

Jewel Amethyst said...

KeVin, it's easier to take a paperback into the bathroom than a computer lol

As digital as this world has gotten, there is still a great percentage of folks who do not subscribe to the technology. And there are still computer illiterate people and technophobes

Liane Spicer said...

Kaz, wow indeed! Congratulations! I've read and own several of your stories - but I'm really excited at the prospect of holding one in my hands.

The sap of some of those dead trees is on my hands, because until they create an e-book reader with all the attributes of the paper version, I'll continue to prefer the latter. My appreciation for books goes beyond what's inside; it's also a sensory pleasure: the textures, the smells, the way they fade and age, even the joy I take in writing my name inside or highlighting a word or sentence. It's harder to get intimate with a computer file or an image on a reader!

Feels odd when you consider I'm a soi disant conservationist - but there you have it. Contradictions, contradictions. :)

Shauna Roberts said...

Congratulations, Kaz, on your wonderful news.

Maria Zannini said...

Yay, Kaz!

Brought to you by the Yay, Kaz Society.


Kaz Augustin said...

KeVin, no matter how much I lurve tech, I think you're right on the ebook call and I hope you're right on the visibility! :) Print has a much more emotional, visceral feel to it, doesn't it? Makes me wonder how people felt when we switched from vellum? Did we have monks say, "Oh no, I'll never go for that pulped vegetable stuff. Much prefer scraped animal skin myself! Much better for illuminating, doncha know!" LOL

And thanks to everyone for your wishes. I'm really overwhelmed.

Phyllis Bourne said...

Congrats on your first print novel. And what a great cover!!!!

Marissa Monteilh said...

Great post and amazing cover! I love the idea of a female bodyguard. Congrats on the series :-)

Linda Rader said...

Congratulations on what sounds like a fascinating idea for a book. Good luck.

Kaz Augustin said...

Thanks Phyllis, Marissa and Linda! I know, the cover rocks, doesn't it? It's done by Lyn Taylor, an Australian artist. She's done quite a few of my covers and they're all utterly fabulous. In fact, as others have pointed out, I really do think the Cover Gods have smiled down on me right from my first release!