March 12, 2012

Guest Post: Author Christine Nolfi

Author Christine Nolfi is with us today to talk about her road to publication and her decision to self-publish. Her newest book, The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge, is available now. Please let’s give her a warm welcome.

Blame it on Women

With the release of my novel Treasure Me last year and my March release, The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge, I’m often asked about the road to publication. Or roads to publication, since there’s no longer simply one route. These days the entire process is on steroids. It’s rather like the day your boss made you work late, you came home to discover the laundry room needed a snow shovel to clear a path and somewhere amidst the chaos of your screaming family and your temples pounding, you drank three cans of Red Bull.
It’s like that.

Not long ago, the path to publication was straightforward enough for a schoolgirl to understand. Write a great novel. Win a few contests. Find a literary agent. If you were proficient in all three, the odds were reasonable you’d eventually reach step four—publication by a New York publisher.

Today the process has burst apart like so much confetti drifting down on your keyboard.

Women novelists are to blame. Perhaps “blame” is the wrong word. True, women have the delectable habit of strolling into a places constructed by men and revamping the architecture. They cut through cherished structures men spend years devising and repaint the tough-guy rooms. In bold reds or snappy pastels.

We’re mean that way.

Several years ago disenchanted writers—many of whom were women—took a critical look at the genre palette. Romance. Suspense. Historical. Fantasy. They began breaking the rules and mixing colors in new and surprising ways. “Romantic Suspense” was the first obvious breakout. Others followed. Vampires in Victorian England. Zombies consorting with elves. Quirky blends of women’s fiction with laugh-out-loud dialogue and mystery elements.

In the midst of this madcap creativity, ePublishing boomed. Things got really exciting.

Like many novelists, I’ve benefited from publishing’s paradigm shift. I spent years working with agents and pitching to New York editors. The number of compliments I received on my novels could stuff a kid’s lunch bag for a month. Yet the elusive prize of a publishing contract never arrived. I didn’t fit the structured genre mold.

What do I write? The short answer is, “Great stories about women, for women.” My new release, The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge combines elements from the romance, mystery and straight contemporary fiction genres. One Beta Reader commented that the book reminded her of John Irving’s Cider House Rules. It’s a fine compliment I’m glad to accept.

About the Author

Christine owned a small public relations firm in Cleveland, Ohio. Her articles and press releases have appeared regionally in Ohio. Her short story, Night Hour, appeared in Working Mother magazine. She has been writing novels fulltime since 2004.

Treasure Me is the first book of the Liberty, Ohio series, is available for worldwide distribution. You can find it on Amazon .

To find out more about Christine you can visit her website, follow her on Twitter and friend her on GoodReads and Facebook.

A savage rape on hallowed ground. Secrets buried for decades by the town’s most influential family.  
Now Ourania D’Andre will learn the Great Oak’s secrets as construction begins at the Fagan mansion. She can’t afford to turn down a job that promises to stir up the long-buried guilt—and the passion—she shares with powerful Troy Fagan. 
She’s already juggling the most important job of her career with her new responsibilities as a foster mother for young Walt and Emma Korchek. And there’s a hard, older man on the construction crew with eyes void of emotion—cold and killing. The secrets of his brutal past will pose a grave threat to the children in her care. Will she find the courage to face him?

Christine Nolfi. March 8, 2012.


  1. Many thanks for the kind invitation to visit your blog today, Brie.

    1. You're welcome! Thank you for the thoughtful post. :)

  2. I always admire authors who self-publish and make their own way in the publishing world. I hear trying to get published is a serious undertaking so when you can figure it out on your own...too cool. And doing it yourself is a lot of hard work which speaks to the dedication of the author. Lovely guest post Brie!

    1. Hi Jade! I do not envy authors, writing books is hard enough and then, on top of that, all the hard work that comes with publishing. You really have to love it!

    2. Jade, the difficulty with publishing by traditional methods (i.e. in NY or London) has everything to do with business pushing aside art. During the 1990s, many small publishing houses went under or were bought out by huge conglomerates. Art became secondary; authors began to be viewed as "products" that must produce a "brand" of fiction.

      Some of our greatest authors, like Stephen King, would have difficulty publishing a debut novel in today's traditional publishing climate. He worked quietly through countless rejections with a NY editor who saw talent. Stephen's 5th attempt at a novel--after all the TLC from that editor--became the hit, "Carrie."

      Many writers are now bucking the trend by publishing independently. I went this route because I grew tired of editors complimenting my work but never offering a contract. I didn't fit the "brand" of Romance Writer or Mystery Writer or ... whatever. And my books were more literary than most--something that several editors thought wouldn't sell to the general public.

      I'm delighted to prove them wrong.

  3. More power to you Christine! You are right, we women can't think in little squares, we are always pushing the boundaries. Great post!

    1. Marie,

      The general public isn't aware of how much of publishing's evolution came about because of the formation of groups like Romance Writers of America. I'm not a "romance writer" but that marvelous group gives out "Associate Memberships" to writers who wish to access their treasure trove of contacts.

      Many writers in the romance genre were the first to push the envelope with genre-blending books that took off like rockets. God bless their crazy, creative minds.

  4. You are an inspiration, Christine.
    Interesting that the Beta Reader compared your book to Cider House Rules. A book by a popular male author that might not have made it as a first novel.
    I think many popular authors were born from the times when editors took writers under their wings and mentored them. You cite Stephen King.
    I think Robert Heinlein was the same. ('Grumbles From the Grave')
    E-books give everyone a level playing field.
    And allow the publication of more books than trad pub could ever have processed.
    Author as product has become formulaic and boring.
    I'm exploring indie authors now.
    Please keep your posts visible on twitter, as it's a good place to remind people of new books out.

  5. Louise, Indie Publishing has certainly resulted in a blossoming of talent. Too many of the books coming out of NY are formulaic--even writers lucky enough to win those contracts are often frustrated by the demand to "write to formula." Editors chase last year's bestseller and try to purchase much of the same. They ought to spend more time discovering fresh talent.

    On the negative side, some Indie novels appear in the marketplace with thin plots and poor editing, which hurts all of us. If a reader downloads too many such books, she may stopped buying Indie novels at all.

    Many thanks for reading along.


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