[Editor’s Note: Readers! I’m so excited to share that Emily, a BiblioSmiles contributor and a fellow Purchase creative writing alum, has a novel coming out on October 29th from Black Rose Writing! She’s here to talk about her experience. I’ll be sharing my review of her novel closer to the release date, so keep watch!]
You never know which will be the one. The thing which takes all those whens and maybes and transforms them into something tangible. Something outside of your dear and tender imagination. Over the last nineteen years I began writing dozens of novels and completed three of them before beginning the one. The first to be published. The first to change everything.
I began writing when I was very small. I don’t know a life without stories. I wouldn’t want to really. I treated each book I wrote carefully. They were all different genres with different virtues and flaws, but the only really difference between them was the evolution in quality with the passage of time. Stories from a child. Stories from a teenager. Stories from a writer.
The book which will be published this year is called Steady is the Fall and while I may not have known at the time that it would be the one, I do remember the start of it. I wrote a majority of the first draft in a small three-person room in college with no air conditioning. It was on the first floor and bigger than most rooms, though the building itself was nothing remarkable. I had always dreamed of going somewhere with historic stone buildings and breathtaking architecture, but that never happened. Instead I attended a small, strange, beautiful college at the edge of New York state. It was there that I wrote most of this book, first in the hot first floor room and the following year in a third story paradise in one of the newest buildings. Private bathroom. Real light fixtures. Air conditioning. Beautiful view of the forest right outside my window.
It was in this room where I read The Bell Jar and Ordinary People, two books which made me realize that my own novel did have a place after all. It is hard to get people to read bleak literary fiction, let alone want to bother with the money to buy it. I’m not saying that I’m Sylvia Plath or Judith Guest. I would never dream it. Their books did, however, prove that it is possible and that devastating, beautiful tales could stand against the brutality of time. They could be heard and treasured and matter in a world which thrives on flashiness and high-octane thrill rides.
Steady is the Fall will always be important to me, not just because it will be “my first” but because it was the book which bridged childhood and adulthood for me. When I started writing it I possessed all the naivety and insecurities of a teenager. Of course those attributes haven’t just disappeared, but so much has changed. Evolved. To undergo such a transformation during the course of one novel is a unique thing and for that I will always look at this story as the one which grew me up.
You never now which will be the one and I hope, as all writers hope, that this book will be worthy of such a landmark. Such a title. Such a truth.
It is the end of one chapter, and the beginning of another.
[Add Steady is the Fall on Goodreads here!]
Emily Ruth Verona is the author of the novel Steady Is The Fall. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and Cinema Studies from The State University of New York at Purchase. She is a recipient of the Pinch Literary Award in Fiction, a Jane Austen Short Story Award Finalist, and Luke Bitmead Bursary Finalist. In 2015 she was shortlisted for the Galtelli Literary Prize. Her work has been featured in The Pinch Literary Journal, The Lost Country, The Toast, and Indigo Rising. She lives in New Jersey with a very small dog.