For all intents, I’ve finished writing my second book. Let’s allow that to sink in for a moment. I, Steven Parlato, an unassuming college professor, from an average family, in a working class Connecticut town, am on my way (hopefully) to publishing Book Two.
While this hardly makes me prolific as Patterson, I’m sort of impressed. I mean, it took ELEVEN YEARS for my first novel, THE NAMESAKE (Merit Press, 2013) to go from initial scribblings in a college notebook to finished hardcover. By comparison, Book Two, THE PRECIOUS DREADFUL, was crafted with lightning speed: roughly two years start to finish—Start being a literal whisper in my head, sharing details of story at 5:00 AM on July 8, 2013. Finish meaning a solid revision recently submitted to my agent at last August’s end.
My newfound speediness—yes, other authors are quicker at churning out manuscripts—mostly has to do with expectations. See, as I labored over that debut novel, I did so in a blissful state of ignorant anonymity. Not only did I have little idea what I was doing, no one in publishing, save a senior executive editor who’d seen my early pages, was eager for me to complete a book. Sure, supportive friends and family cheered me on, but there was no reading public to consider. Or at least, no reading public impatient for a follow-up from, according to Publishers Weekly, “a name to watch.”
I won’t pretend obscurity was entirely idyllic. There were plenty of frustrating disappointments on the way to the release of THE NAMESAKE. False starts, agent misfires, rejections. And it’s a given THE PRECIOUS DREADFUL will be turned down before eventually hitting bookshelves. But with this novel, I’m a known quantity; while that in itself caused some sophomore trepidation, it also inspired me.
If THE NAMESAKE was a thrilling leap into the unknown, with THE PRECIOUS DREADFUL, I at least have a slightly better sense of what I’m jumping into. Writing Book Two has been a bit more purposeful, and I’m feeling uncharacteristically confident. But I promise you, no less thrilled.
Steven Parlato’s debut, THE NAMESAKE, Merit Press, 2013 was praised by Kirkus Reviews as “a memorable, disturbing story, carefully wrought.”
Read the Publishers Weekly review here.
Dayla F.M. at Book Addict 24/7 chose THE NAMESAKE as one of her top ten reads of 2013, calling the book “heartbreakingly real.”
One Goodreads reviewer called THE NAMESAKE “Heartbreaking. Hard to deal with. But fantastic. You won’t regret reading this book.” Another described her experience, saying, “I found myself crying, laughing, praying, thinking & wanting to read more.”
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Purchase THE NAMESAKE on Barnes & Noble.com or find it on Indiebound