It has been a long road to say the least. While hardly a serious tome, 24 Karat Etiquette, was a labor of love many years in the making. Apparently, I was supposed to labor through many different concepts and meet with a number of talented collaborators to discover that ultimately I wanted this to be a project of my own. Truly it was my passion for manners that was the driving force, and after many years, pitches, and passes from publishers, we are finally celebrating my debut book release.
It was summer of 2012, when I bumped into an old friend at my tennis club who had started a new gig as a book agent. She asked me if I’d ever thought of writing a book. “Had I?” “YES!” I shouted emphatically. Within a couple of weeks we met for lunch to hash through some ideas, she connected me to an amazing editor who helped put my tips into witty prose, and I never looked back!
With this book, I wanted to embrace what was right under my nose – Beverly Hills. Growing up in 90210 with Hollywood at my fingertips, it made the most sense to write about my little neck of the woods inhabited by the rich and famous to offer an insider’s peek into how this privileged set operates, what makes them tick, and what irks them (or us). What I quickly discovered during the process was that while the lens was tightly focused on this unique world, the tools were applicable and beneficial to anyone, anywhere.
Hallelujah, I had found my niche and now we were ready to pitch it. The proposal and one sample chapter were submitted to a number of publishers in November. Thankfully, two New York publishers responded positively, and I decided to go with Skyhorse Publishing. The serious writing began in January, and it was a race to the finish to turn the final pass of the completed manuscript in by the end of June.
Meanwhile, there was great discussion over what the book cover would look like. My editor friend came up with the idea to recreate a famous Jackie O photograph of her lighting candles on a dining table set for dinner. Using this photo as our inspiration was significant. Not only was Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis an icon in American culture, she was the epitome of elegance, grace and style forever associated with all that was correct and appropriate. This was something I certainly wanted to emulate, however, with a modern twist paying homage to the old—but acknowledging that we live in a new normal. We took the Jackie O shot as inspiration, and added a new twist. Lighting a candle with a sparkler (instead of a match), represents the idea of igniting a new conversation about manners—one that would dispel the misperception that they are formal, tedious and only for the chosen few.
In the end, all of the elements came together as planned and I was thrilled to learn that the photo would be used in full on the back cover. To complement the photo, the publisher used an image of a chandelier for the front cover tying the two themes together and also satisfying the need to find a singular image that encapsulated manners. I think we did it justice.
24 Karat Etiquette is available for purchase online at http://www.beverlyhillsmanners.com/index and in stores. Please feel free to reach out to me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/24KaratEtiquettebook, Twitter @90210manners, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions, reactions, and thoughts. And, if you feel so inspired to write a quick (and glowing) review on Amazon and/or Barnes & Noble, I would be most grateful.
Many, many thanks in advance and best wishes always!!