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So as it turns out, running a crowdfunding campaign is pretty much a full time job. This would be no big deal if I didn’t already have one of those. [giggles nervously; hopes none of her editors are reading this] The work as all been fun, however, especially this week, during which we passed 50% funding and celebrated with this ridiculous video.

Now we’re at 61% funding at the halfway point – 15 days to go! – so I thought it would be a fun time to tell you a little bit about how the book came to be in the first place.

One would think that after such a crazy overseas experience, any writer worth her salt would run home and immediately write all about it. Well, I wasn’t quite that salty way back in 2006, and for reasons you’ll learn about in the book, was living under a bit of a gag order with regard to the Swedish misadventure. I deleted all my pictures, emails and almost all evidence I had of the trip, focusing only on moving forward with my life.

Two years later, my life quickly and dramatically changed (again – no spoilers! It’s all in there), and I was free to share this quirky story all I wanted. Except there was a problem: I had erased all of my personal records from that time. Regardless, I called my best friend Alisa and said, “I think I’m ready to write about Sweden.”

“Oh!” she replied. “Oh. Good. It’s time.”

The girls of WC2K! don't do anything without wine in hand.

The girls of WC2K! don’t do anything without wine in hand.

Was it immediately that she showed up at my door with a binder full of the emails we’d exchanged almost daily while I’d been in Sweden? Was it the next day? All I know is she handed it to me and said, “I knew you were going to need this.” And if there’s a better litmus test for best friendship, it must involve eating boogers and drowning kittens.

They story doesn’t end there, however. Swedish Lessons was not written in isolation. “Sweden” as we called it for years, was written piece by piece and shared with a group of six women who meet regularly, beginning five years ago when the book started. We call ourselves Writers Club 2000!, or WC2K!, and while we drink far more wine than we write, we somehow worked together to make “Sweden” happen. They gave me feedback on everything from scenes to character development to the title, and we’ve laughed, cried and redacted our way through each chapter of the book, as well as our lives. (Ooo! If that isn’t an outline of a chick lit book, I don’t know what is!)

Look at us, taking a break from wine drinking to have an adventure.

Look at us, taking a break from wine drinking to have an adventure.

Though some of us barely knew each other when we started, these women are now my closest friends, and I absolutely wouldn’t have finished the book without them. We’ve gone through break-ups together, pregnancies, weddings, adoptions, job loss and a lot — I can’t emphasize this enough — a lot of wine. And now, we’re working on publishing a book together. WC2K! 4 EVA.

And that’s how Swedish Lessons happened. Now that you know all about its past, thanks again for helping to give it a future.

Now, I’m off to figure out how to raise that last 39% in the next two weeks while not totally failing at my real job in the process. But first, I’m going to publish this blog, paint my nails and call my grandma. Because, I mean, I do have priorities.

This is my favorite WC2K! adventure photo. If you were unaware that Rice Krispie Treats came in this size, I'm so sorry to be the one to break it to you.

This is my favorite WC2K! adventure photo. If you were unaware that Rice Krispie Treats came in this size, I’m so sorry to be the one to break it to you.

See the full campaign here: www.kickstarter.com/projects/natalieburg/swedish-lessons-a-memoir

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