Please welcome Natalia Sylvester, debut author of Chasing the Sun. Natalia was born in Lima, Peru, and she came to the U.S. at age four. She grew up in South Florida and received a B.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Miami. A former magazine editor, Natalia now works as a freelance writer in Texas. Her articles have appeared in Latina Magazine, Writer’s Digest, The Writer, and NBCLatino.com.
Here’s what Seré Prince Halverson, author of The Underside of Joy, had to say about Natalia’s debut novel Chasing the Sun: “An intimate, unflinching portrait of a marriage, examined against the suspenseful backdrop of a terrifying kidnapping. Natalia Sylvester writes masterfully about the many ties that bind and the sacrifices that may be necessary in order to truly free ourselves. Wise, lyrical, and intriguing throughout—this book stole me away, refusing my return until I finished the last page.”[pullquote]We are all embarking on similar journeys with a myriad of paths. There’s no such thing as being ahead or behind someone; there’s only you, then & now.[/pullquote]
Of today’s post, Natalia says that she’s been reflecting a lot on the “Then & Now” of her publishing journey—“how so many things I thought would be different aren’t, and how many of the things that are different have taken me completely by surprise. When we’re on the verge of some new milestone or goal, I think it’s important to look ahead but to also look back, because we should always mine our past for lessons we missed the first time around.”
A Letter to Aspiring-Writer-Me from Debut-Novelist-Me
Dear Past Me,
You should know, first and foremost, that time spent waiting—for creativity to strike, for an agent to offer representation, for an editor to buy your book and for it to finally make its way into readers’ hands—will seem like little more than a blink once the book is out and The Dream you hoped would happen has happened, and you will wish you took time (the one thing you once wished would go faster!) to simply savor it all.
You should know things won’t turn out exactly the way you hoped they would. Some will turn out better. Others, simply differently. The book you landed your agent with won’t sell, and you’ll have to start writing a new one. (There will be tears.) Somewhere along the way you’ll change editors, or stress about cover concepts, or plans for book events will fall through, and you’ll say to yourself, I know these are problems I am lucky to have. (But there will still be anguish.) UPS will knock on your door one day and you’ll open it thinking the lotions and deodorant you ordered have arrived, only to realize it’s your book, made real. (There will be more tears.)