Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Everybody's Baby, an Original E-Novella about Love, Motherhood, and Kickstarter

Last fall, I had a crazy idea for a story.

What if a young, tech-forward couple funded their in vitro fertilization on Kickstarter, and then sold perks to donors -- perks like naming the baby and cutting the cord? Technology, love, parenthood -- in a weird way the idea was right in my literary lane. I got excited.

I was deep in another novel, but I decided to try writing this Kickstarter story, to see where it went. Twenty-thousand words later, I was in love with the characters, their heir love story, and the story of how they became parents. I brought it to my agent and then to my editor.

They thought it was a great idea! We came up with a title: Everybody's Baby. We worked in some plot twists, some new scenes, new characters, and started planning how we could best deliver this book to readers.

The most interesting thing about the project is that it is so very now, a snapshot of life on the internet the way it is right this very moment -- it's about Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Pinterest, even Get Off My Internets and Jezebel, and of course Kickstarter. Putting this book on the schedule for publication in 2016 or even 2015 meant that it would be less current, and possibly even completely irrelevant, by the time it came out -- a dilemma unique to our high tech world, and as it happens one that could be solved by technology as well. The wonderful people at St. Martin's Press came up with the idea to release this story as a novella, direct to e-readers, which would allow us to bring it out before my second book, which is due out in July.

I am thrilled to announce that my original e-novella, Everybody's Baby, will be published by St. Martin's Press on June 3, 2014 (in two months!) and that it will be available in every format imaginable! There are links below to pre-order. I hope you do!

Here is the catalog copy, to tell you a bit more about the plot:

Jenna and Billy are in love.  He's an app developer, a hyper-plugged-in citizen of the internet, with a big Scottish family and winning smile.  She is a yoga teacher, tuned in to the vibes of the spiritual universe, who was abandoned by her mother as an infant and orphaned by her father's recent death.  When they meet, it's electric, and it is no time before they are married and eager to start their own family.  But when they can't get pregnant, Billy devises a plan:  they would raise funds for their in vitro fertilization on Kickstarter, offering donor perks like cutting the cord, naming the baby, and catching the baby when it takes its first steps.

The good news is that they make their fundraising goal, get pregnant and have a baby! The bad news is that their marriage begins to fall apart when they have to deliver on all those perks. It’s hard enough to survive delivering a baby without a performance artist making a documentary of the cord cutting. It’s difficult enough to get baby to sit up and smile for a six month portrait without a local politician taking up half the lens. What does it mean to be owned by the internet? Everybody's Baby explores how relationships grow and fail in public and private life, the hazards of living “in the cloud,” and the nature of love online and off. 

I'm so excited about this story you might even convince me to come and tell it to you in interpretive dance, but for all of us it might be easier to if you pre-order it at one of the following retail links:

The great news is that due to the wonder of apps, you can buy this book for your Android, iPhone, or whatever, and even support local bookstores like Fountain Bookstore in Richmond or Prince Books in Norfolk by using their links to buy via Kobo. Got your own favorite indie? Use their domain.com/ebook/9781466867840 and see what that does for you.

I hope you enjoy this new story. I can't wait for you to read it.