Rozsa Gaston is an author who writes serious books on playful matters. She is the author of Paris Adieu, Dogsitters, Budapest Romance, Lyric, Running from Love and the soon to be released Paris Adieu sequel, Black is Not a Color Unless Worn By a Blonde.Rozsa studied European intellectual history at Yale, and then received her master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia. In between Rozsa worked as a singer/pianist all over the world. She currently lives in Connecticut with her family.
You can visit Rozsa’s website at www.parisadieu.com.
About Paris Adieu
One Ivy League degree later, she’s back for an encounter with a Frenchman that awakens her to womanhood. If only she could stay….
Five years later, Ava returns to Paris as a singer/pianist. She falls for Arnaud, whose frequent travel tortures her. While he’s away, a surprising stranger helps Ava on her journey to self-discovery. Armed with the lessons Paris has taught her, she bids adieu to Arnaud, Pierre and her very first love – the City of Light.
Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, Rozsa. Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?
Paris Adieu, which came out in December, 2011, is my first published book.
Q: When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published or self-published and why or how did you choose this route?
My agent, Sharon Belcastro of Belcastro Agency, published Paris Adieu in eBook format after shopping the manuscript for a year to traditional publishing houses and not securing a deal. She loved the story and knew female readers would respond to it, so she brought it out herself on Amazon.com for Kindle, BarnesandNoble.com for Nook, and Smashwords.com for all eBook formats. She’s now bringing it out in a print-on-demand edition for Amazon.com.
Q: How long did it take you to get published once you signed the contract?
I didn’t sign a contract with a traditional publishing house. However I signed on with my agent in November of 2010 and Paris Adieu was published thirteen months later. We made the decision to go with self-publishing in September 2011. The book came out three months later. Not bad, and much faster than traditional publishing house timelines.
Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?
I was dizzy with disbelief. After writing five novels over the past six years, I could hardly believe the day had come when my work was finally out there for the public to read and evaluate.
We celebrated by going out to dinner with my line editor, Laura Brengelman, who did an exceptional job cleaning up the Paris Adieu manuscript and making it sparkle.
She then made my soul sparkle with her excitement and enthusiasm over my publishing debut. Thank you, Laura! I might add, entirely beside the point, that we dined at a very trendy tequila bar and restaurant where they placed a silver bowl filled with dry ice on our table then poured a shot of tequila over it. Now that’s atmosphere!
Q: What was the first thing you did as for promotion when you were published for the first time?
I had five hundred bookmarks made up with the Paris Adieu cover image on them and a favorable quote on the book from New York Times bestselling author, Victoria Kann, who wrote Pinkalicious, Purplicious, Silverlicious and Goldilicious and whose musical, Pinkalicious the Musical has been playing off-Broadway in New York and Toronto for over five years.
Q: Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author?
I’ve become extremely aware of the weight of every word I disseminate on the Internet. My brand, my platform, my image is now being built on-line, word by word, phrase by phrase. It’s important to me to offer consistency to my readers in order to build their support. Readers who enjoy Paris Adieu will most likely enjoy the continuing adventures of its main character, Ava Fodor, in its sequel, Black is not a Color Unless Worn by a Blonde, coming in fall 2012; then Sense of Touch, out in 2013.
Q: What has surprised or amazed you about the publishing industry as a whole?
The publishing industry has not yet amazed me. The domain of cyberspace has. I published my first quote (“I don’t pretend to be an ordinary housewife,” by Elizabeth Taylor) on my FineWinesFineQuotes.com blog site a year ago and within seconds, an artist in San Diego responded. I ran around the house for the next quarter hour letting everyone know how excited I was to receive feedback from across the country so immediately. It was amazing.
It still is! A few months later I posted a quote by Rabindranath Tagore (“By plucking her petals, you do not gather the beauty of the flower.”) Within minutes, I’d received a comment from a man in New Delhi, India. Wow. I get ridiculously excited when I hear from like-minded people in other parts of the world.
Q: What is the most rewarding thing about being a published author?
I now have a voice, a platform. When people ask what I do, and I tell them I write, my heart no longer sinks when they follow up with the inevitable question, “Have you published?”
Now I say “Yes,” and hand them a Paris Adieu bookmark. It’s a functional, practical gift whether they might wish to read the book or not, and it gets the conversation rolling.
Before, when “No” was the answer to the “Have you published?” question, the conversation more or less died a slow death with uncomfortable follow up questions such as “How long have you been writing?” or something along the lines of “My brother-in-law is writing a book too.” He’s also fooling himself that he’s a writer always seemed to be the sub-text. Now there’s no more sub-text. I’m a published author.
Nothing succeeds like success itself. Nothing says “published” like publishing. You’re either on the map or you’re not. If you’re not on the map yet, see my answer to the question below.
Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?
Complete your projects. Don’t start a manuscript, lay it aside then start another one. Get into the habit of completing whatever writing project you begin. It’s a good discipline to follow and sooner or later one of your completed projects will be good enough to publish. If no one else thinks so, just publish it yourself. Then you’re on your way!