Not Quite Famous

Not Quite Famous


After more than twenty years of rejection by mainstream publishers, historical fiction author Gabriele Wills makes a bold move - she'll make a go of it on her own, and release her long awaited first novel under her own imprint. In the early 1980s, as a nurturing mother yet ambitious 30 year old, she had given up her formal career as a history and literature teacher to stay at home, raise a family, and foster her dream of writing. Despite battling illness, having to care for a sickly child and ailing parents, juggling the responsibilities of the household, and running a small HTML programming business on the side, two novels were written, re-written, and constantly in the mail, seeking publication. Although she had enough rejection letters to carpet all the floors in her home, there were high praises, near misses, and close calls. It was enough motivation to continue. But after decades of waiting for her ship to come in, Gabriele decided, instead, to swim out to it. She felt she had no choice but to take matters into her own hands, invest her own money, publish, print, package and promote her work, hoping to beat the odds and prove once and for all that her books could succeed in the marketplace.

Fast forward three years, to 2006. Gabriele now has two self published books on the shelves. She has sold over 3,000 copies of the first, despite being unable to break into the large chain bookstores and instead having to settle for placing the books in the few willing independent book and gift stores within driving distance of her home in Southern Ontario. She has a large following, and receives messages from fans of all walks of life. But although she has more than recovered her costs, she has yet to generate a salary above the poverty level. Gabriele's third novel is nearing completion, and she hopes it will be "the one". With excitement, depression, inspiration, optimism, and despair, she faces the challenges of her current project and ponders what the future will hold for her latest creation.

In Gabriele's struggle for success, we see not only the life of an artist, but also the determination of the underdog and motivation of the unquenchable creative flame that lies within.

The story of the independent novelist pursuing her dreams, seeking fulfillment, and striving to earn a living is the story of Not Quite Famous. It is an insightful, uplifting yet grounding, inspirational and lovingly rendered peek into the life of a publishing maverick, with the brutal and humorous honesty that only a daughter's perspective could capture.


© 2006 Melanie Wills