Writerly Lifestyle

Ep. 12 Debut Thriller Author - Allison Buccola - Shares Her Secret to Publication Amidst a Busy Schedule

March 28, 2022 David Season 1 Episode 12
Writerly Lifestyle
Ep. 12 Debut Thriller Author - Allison Buccola - Shares Her Secret to Publication Amidst a Busy Schedule
Show Notes Transcript

Writerly Lifestyle Free Newsletter
5 Minute Writer - Sometimes all you have is 5 minutes, but it might be all you need!

Interview article





  1. Make small progress every day
  2. Edit by re-typing
  3. Find a critique group


If you're an aspiring author, you'll love hearing about how Allison managed to develop her story while managing two kids. Her goal-setting and managing plan is something I plan to emulate. You'll see why!

Plus, she shared an editing tip that I am OBSESSED with. I can't wait for you to hear it!

We talk about: 

  • How to get started on Medium
  • The biggest mistakes new writers make
  • Top tips for writers who want to make money
  • How to think of your writing like a business
  • Learning to hook readers

Tweet me @DavidRGwyn
Check out the YouTube Channel

WLIS 112 - Allison Buccola

David Gwyn: [00:00:00] Does this sound like you? You've always wanted to be a published author to see your name on the spine of a book in your favorite bookstore. At some point, anyone who wants to be a writer, hears the same type of thing. Writing is a hobby, you can't make any money, give up and do something practical with your life.

If you listen to last week's episode, you know, Sinem Gunel makes more than $5,000 a month with her writing. But you didn't know that was possible. And you believed those well-meaning people who told you to get a regular job. So you went and did something practical with your life. Maybe you started a career or a family, but in the shadows, you worked on your book trying to fit words at the fringes of your busy schedule.

If you let life get in the way of your writing dreams, I have a message for you. You are not alone. And you're in really good company. Stephen King was an English teacher. James Patterson was a copywriter Writers of all kinds, shuffled through day jobs before turning their ideas into pages. Talk to tightly on a bookstore.

Our guest, [00:01:00] Alison Buccola was no different as a lawyer and mother, she loved writing and successfully turned that passion into a published novel, but she did a few important things that turned her from busy professional with no time to publish author, getting rave reviews on her debut work. So how can you balance a life and you're writing, you might already have the tools you need to be successful.

You just need to change the way you think about them. Hey everyone, I'm David Gwyn. I'm on the path to make writing my full time job. Follow me on my journey. As I share interviews, craft advice, as well as efficiency and productivity for writers who take their stories seriously while balancing a life. It doesn't matter if you're new to writing or a seasoned vet, as long as you're a writer.

Who's curious about your craft. This podcast is for you. So be sure to subscribe. In the first part of the interview, notice what Alison says are the main steps she took to turn her idea into a working manuscript. Are these things you're doing right now? Let's go to the interview and find out,

[00:02:00] Alison, welcome to the Writerly lifestyle interview series. I want to start by saying, congratulations on the launch of your debut novel. I mean, you're not even two weeks in at this point. How does it feel? 

Allison Buccola: It feels really good. It's very exciting. This has been like sort of a lifelong dream.

So, it's a lot of fun. 

David Gwyn: That's great. And it's funny. You're the second lawyer I've had on the show and it's like lawyer turned writer and I'm wondering like, what is up with you? People? Like, what is the problem? Like what are you doing? 

Allison Buccola: Maybe the problem is law firm life.

Yeah. Yeah. I think there is. I think there are, I noticed like a ton of lawyers turn writers too. And I think, well, a lot of people who want to write, end up going the law route, just because there's so much writing. But also laws like you, do a lot of writing on deadline and I think it like really trains you to. Actually put out a product. So 

David Gwyn: yeah, definitely that, that makes a lot of sense. I think the, the other lawyer I talked to, you said something similar in that, like, it's all words, like at the end of the day, it's all words. And so I [00:03:00] thought that was a good way of putting it. So first, can you just share a little bit about what a Catch Her, when she Falls is about.

Allison Buccola: Sure. So catch her when she falls is a psychological thriller. And it is about Micah, who is living in a small town in Pennsylvania. And when she was a senior in high school, her boyfriend was convicted of killing her best friend. Or at least she's believed that for the past 10 years. And then things start to happen.

That starts to make her question whether or not that's the truth. So she sort of starts looking into it more 

David Gwyn: nice. It was such a fun read. How did you come up with the idea for this. 

Allison Buccola: Well, I was listening to a lot of true crime podcasts and I was just sort of thinking about some of the, some of the background people in it, like people being interviewed and family members and sort of how, how their reactions would be to.

Having attention brought back to , these cases that have been sometimes closed for a long time. And so when I was thinking about that, I started thinking about, about Micah, the character. And since she's in such a weird spot, like the friend of the victim, but also the girlfriend of the person who was convicted, she would have.

Conflicted feelings about, [00:04:00] about the attention. 

David Gwyn: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. like I said, it was such that fun, psychological thriller that Pacey like had had movement to it. I thought it was, it was just a great fit for a lot of the stuff that I like to read. And I did have a question.

So you, you set your story in Calvary, Pennsylvania. Why did you choose that setting? What was it about that kind of, and I know it's like a fictional setting, but what was it about that setting? Made you click for you. And you're like, I, this is where my story needs to be set. 

Allison Buccola: Yeah. So, so Calvary's fictional.

But it's sort of loosely based on like the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania area. And so it's, it's an old steel town and there's still the big steel mill there. There's still like some of the infrastructure there, but there's not actually a steel industry there anymore. And I liked that for Micah.

It's like a town. Trying to move on and trying to figure out what it's doing. And Mike is the same way she had, like she's trying to move on from her past and trying to figure it out. And I also like, so Calvary sort of like Bethlehem is also like college town. And when you're in a college, Like really interesting mix of people who have been [00:05:00] there forever.

And then also these students who are just transient and sort of like passing through. So I liked that. I liked having Micah run into like those different, those different kinds of people there. Yeah. 

David Gwyn: That's awesome. I actually, I went to school in Allentown, Pennsylvania near obviously Bethlehem. I'm a proud Muellenberg mule.

So yeah, no, I, I, it kind of like had that feeling. I actually I'm I'm from Northeastern, Pennsylvania originally, and it really had that like old factory. Steel mill feel to it that I think it's like weirdly nostalgic for me. Like I haven't been home in a very long time. But no, that's great. I mean, how did you always want to write in this genre?

Is this something that just kind of came up when you started listening to those the true crime. 

Allison Buccola: I've always liked the genre. I like mysteries. I like puzzles. And psychological thrillers are really fun because you really get to get into the characters heads. So I enjoy that about them.

David Gwyn: Nice. I, I know you, I actually read this, this article that you wrote in crime reads about the nosy neighbor trope. I thought it was so much fun and it was. It was one of those things I've read, like the first paragraph and it like everything that I've ever [00:06:00] read, like clicked in my head. I was like, oh yeah.

Oh yeah. And I felt like I was like connecting all these dots that I hadn't even realized. And what made you want to write about that for, for crime reads? Like what was it that that, that particular character stuck out to you? 

Allison Buccola: I, I just think that characters a lot of fun and I think it I think it's an interesting character because it does come up in different ways.

Like it's the nosy neighbors, the protagonist, and so many stories that are coming out right now. And and when they're the protagonist or the hero, so like they're, they're this underdog and they're like, no one believes them. They're trying to figure things out. But when they're not the protagonist, they're like really annoying character in the story.

So I just, I thought it was kind of fun to like, to play with that. And and just have like, Micah is kind of turning it into a nosy character or a nosy neighbor in the story. But there's, there's a lot of people around Calvary that are, that are poking around into the mystery. And there's sort of a question about who's right.

And who's, who's on the right track. And so I just, I just thought it was a [00:07:00] lot of fun to play around with that. 

David Gwyn: Yeah. It's awesome. 

I, my wife and I are like halfway through though women woman across the street from the woman in the window or whatever on Netflix, you've heard of it. And it's funny because the way you say that, like there's a nosy neighbor that is annoying to me that she's like nosy and always seems to be looking in someone's window. And then we liked our main character who like constantly is watching and we're like rooting for her as she does.

And it was like, that was a, one of those shows that like clicked for me. When I read your article, I was like, wait, I'm seeing these like same characteristics across these two characters. Like, why do I, as, or as a view. Value them differently. And I thought that was such an interesting article. So if you're listening I'll, I'll link below if you're, if you're interested in that, because it was, it was such a fun article, so I'll link that for people to but what are you working on now?

Are you writing at all or are you just kind of like basking in the glow of the debut novel? 

Allison Buccola: I am still writing. So I've got two, I've got a five-year-old and a two-year-old. So trying to like fit in writing and, and all this around around them. But but working on [00:08:00] another psychological thriller, so I've got like a, a draft ish of it and try to try to 

fix that up.

David Gwyn: That's awesome. I'm glad you brought that up. Cause I know. Too. I have a two year old and a two month old. So well earlier on. Yeah. And I'm like, I'm just like, you know, whenever I get like five seconds, I'm like, where's my computer. But it's a lot of coffee. It's just a lot of coffee. But I actually wanted to ask you that because like a lot of the people who listen to my podcasts have kids or have busy lives and are busy professionals.

And so like, what was, what was your day-to-day life like having two kids and, and writing. 


Allison Buccola: So I started this when my son was. Like soon after my son was born. So before my daughter was born and with one kid, it was actually, it wasn't that bad. I was like, right during nap times. And I'd be like, this all makes so much sense.

And then I, and then when he started going to preschool a little bit, I could write when he was at preschool. And it was when I was pregnant with my daughter, I was like, you need to finish this draft. Cause I don't know if this is actually going to happen with two kids. So.

It's been hectic. [00:09:00] We've been just sort of trying to figure out once two like threw a wrench in everything. So so just trying to, I just try to get time whenever, like whenever they're napping or when nap schedules and preschool lineup and. Yeah. 

I feel that 

David Gwyn: I always say like two kids is more than twice as hard as one.

Like there's like, it's not a perfect line of like, oh two kids, two, twice as hard. Like it's way more than twice as hard. 

Allison Buccola: Like it's a, all of a sudden there's so much logistics involves like a lot of strategizing. 

Yeah. Yeah. 

David Gwyn: And I don't know how, how your years were kind of growing. My, my two year old is an absolute.

Like wild animal. Like she will climb up on everything and we'll do exactly what you tell her not to. So I'm like constant. Just sit. Can we just sit? And she's like no dance party and I'm like, okay. But yeah. Do you have, do you have any tips for people out there for like efficiency or trying to get writing done with a busy life? Like did. Always right. At the same time, was there like a specific schedule you [00:10:00] had, like what was it that, that allowed you to kind of get some of the writing done even with this busy schedule?

Allison Buccola: Yeah, 

so I didn't have a set time just because a lot of it was like trying to do nap times or trying to do like preschool hours. But I do, I mean, I know different things work for, for everyone, but I, I thought it was really helpful to do like a 500 word a day floor for myself. And if it's a good day, then hopefully a lot more than 500 words.

 But it was really useful just having that. Like, no, I just have to like sit down and write two pages and if I write two pages, then I'm good and I can like, feel good about what I've accomplished. And I think that was helpful just for just for making sure that I was moving forward. And I tried to do 500 words of like new content, not just 500 words of like editing.

And although, although I give myself some leeway 


David Gwyn: Yeah, that's good. I think, being Nice to yourself when, when you need to be is like one of those things that like, you can't be too hard on yourself. You've got a lot going on. But no, that's great. So I want to backtrack a little bit and [00:11:00] talk about how you got started writing.

I mean, it sounds like this has kind of always been a dream to get, to get a book published. Was, is this something you've been thinking about since you were a kid or is this like a more recent goal? 

Allison Buccola: So I've always, I've always really enjoyed writing. And I wrote a lot growing up and wrote a ton through college and then decided to go to law school.

And so sort of started focusing more on legal writing when I was, when I was practicing. I didn't have like a ton of time then for fiction writing. But legal writing is even you mentioned that your, one of your, your other lawyer guests. Made the comment that like words are words and I think that's right.

Like, it was really, I did a lot of brief writing and it was fun and I really enjoyed it, but also really missed. Fiction writing. So so when I was pregnant with my son, I decided I was like, I wanna, I want to like give a shot and see how it see how it works. And sort of went from there.

David Gwyn: And did you go like outline into the writing or did you just like dive right in and, and figure it out along the way? 

Allison Buccola: I dive right in. And I, for the [00:12:00] second book, I was hoping it'd be a little more organized with how everything would work. But it hasn't, it hasn't really worked out that way. But I think it's kind of fun to just like dive right in and.

Where things go. Yeah. 

David Gwyn: That's awesome. 

And so were, were there any resources along the way on like kind of that first book, was there anything that you used at, kept you on track or were you somebody who listens to podcasts? Did you read books about writing or did you just read in the genre of psychological thriller and, and go from.

Allison Buccola: I read a lot in the genre and I joined pretty early on. We, I had like a local critique group that I joined and that was super helpful. And it was a more this was a Rittenhouse writers' group in Philadelphia and it's like more generalists. But I learned so much from, from reading other people's work. You get a lot of feedback on your own work and that's really helpful too.

But I think just like seeing other people's works in progress and sort of thinking through, what do I like here? What's working. What's not working it was really useful and I don't know what I would've done without some, some kind [00:13:00] of experience like that. 

David Gwyn: Yeah. It's, it's funny that you mentioned that.

Cause that was kind of my next question because it comes up a lot and a lot of writers talk about how they have a community and that, that community. Helps them maintain focus and accountability. And so, what do you think it was about that group? Was it just the information that you got?

Like, was it a consistent group or was it somebody, you know, people that you kind of still keep in touch with? Like how did that group kind of form and how does that how has that changed even now that you're, that you're published. 

Allison Buccola: Yeah. So that one is. Had different sessions that they did. And there would be similar people at all the different sessions, but some people would drop out and some people come back.

And I think it was really useful. It was great for building community. It was, I think I usually came into the sessions with like things that I wanted to get reviewed. So it wasn't so much for accountability as much as it was just for like, Other people's eyes on things, but also like getting my eyes on things and just again, seeing what works and what doesn't and like how, [00:14:00] how.

think through how to like, fill in some of these gaps or how would I like do this myself if I were trying to do this kind of project? So I still am in touch with them and that's, I, that's a great group. That's like still going. I joined international thriller writers and they do a genre specific critique group that meets through zoom.

So that's been, we moved out of Philadelphia not too long ago, so it's been really useful to have zoom critique groups and it's, I think it's awesome. Like how many of those sorts of things there seem to be popping up now? with COVID yeah. Everything it's like one of the, 


David Gwyn: I think definitely in, in talking to writers, a lot of them now have kind of transitioned to zoom and have been able, like you were saying, kind of to, to connect with people across time zones, across the country, and maintain those relationships, I think is great.

okay, what have we learned so far? Like so many writers I talked to a community and a critique group has been so important to Alison's success. You need to find yourself [00:15:00] a group who can read and give feedback on your work, but just as important as knowing you're going to that group. So you'll put your butt in the chair and get to work.

I also loved her 500 words per day minimum. So often we hear about prolific writers turning out thousands of words per day. If you're like me, you feel like a total loser when you hear that. But what if all you did was 500 words a day? I mean, apparently a minimum of 500 words turned into a publishing deal for Allison.

If it worked for her, it can work for us. Right. Okay. I want to make a quick plug for the five minute writer. This is a new series I'm doing to help you save time. It's a free weekly newsletter providing five minutes summaries of longer articles, podcasts, videos, or courses. It's designed to give you the highlights without the fluff, so you can gain the knowledge without wasting time.

So you can get back to writing, be sure to sign up, to get the first edition right now, it's linked below in the next part of this interview. Alison and I talk about what she wished she knew going into her [00:16:00] publishing day. She makes some interesting suggestions that can help you start to prepare right now.

She shares her road to publication. Plus an editing tip that I thought was so compelling that I'm implementing it in my own process right now. And as if that wasn't enough, she shares how she layered tension and suspense in her novel. I linked to free resource for you in the notes that will help with that.

I won't make you wait any longer. Let's head back to the.

So with your book out now, and as you kind of reflect on like leading up to the launch even those first couple of days is there, if you go back in time, is there anything that you wish you had done? Like anything that you wish you could do differently, just leading up to the launch and kind of having those first couple of debut days?

Allison Buccola: I don't know. I do feel, I feel a little bit like I'm figuring all this out as I go along. I'm probably making tons of mistakes doing it. I wish that I had, so I mentioned, so I joined this international thriller writers group which has been [00:17:00] great. And I've joined a few other groups for writing.

And I think I did that like a couple months before the launch date. I wish I had done that. Even earlier, those groups have been really useful for, well, for meeting people and just for like finding out information and I'll be in those groups and see people talking about things that they were doing.

Nine months before lunch. And I was not, was not that on top of things. So I think just joining those other groups for writers at an earlier date would have been, would have been a nice, a good idea. 

David Gwyn: I've talked to a few publishers now and I kind of asked that question, which is like, you know, what are you, what are you do for your authors leading up to.

To publication and what are they required to do kind of for themselves. And it's interesting that they say a lot of that, that like a lot of it, like they'll do what they can, but it's, it's just to the writers left up to the writers. And so that's why I ask, I wonder if, did you feel like you. Had everything that you need that you were prepared for launch, or do you feel like you're just like in the water paddling around?

Allison Buccola: [00:18:00] I think it's a mix of both, but it is like, it's such a new, it's such a new experience that it's just hard to, it's hard to know 

what's going on. 

David Gwyn: In leading up to this conversation, I looked for resources, actually for like people who were debuting a book.

And there are so few, like, there's enough, there's a billion out there. If you want to know like how to do characterization or how to do an inciting incident, how all these like writing things. And then it comes to like, debut. Publishing and like, there's like four videos on YouTube. I was like, what's going on?

Like, who has, yeah, I 

Allison Buccola: think you just have to get hooked into these communities and then you can, and then you get information from people who are doing it and you can hear ideas from what, like what other people are doing. And it's been really great. I just wish I had, I wish I had done that earlier, earlier than I did.

David Gwyn: So, so talk a little bit about, so you have this manuscript, you're shopping it in, in this Rittenhouse writers' group. You're getting some feedback on it. How did you go from that? Like those 500 words a [00:19:00] day to a finished product ready for submission to agents.

Allison Buccola: So, yeah, so I did my 500 words a day. I got feedback from the group, which was great. My husband is a great reader too, and he, I forced him to read like every every draft that I ever came up with. So I got his thoughts on like the, on the draft as a whole, and then I went back and I. I don't know if I did this for all of my drafts, but for a lot of my drafts, I would go back.

I would like print everything out and then just like start from a blank document and then just start like rewriting the whole thing, which was, which was useful because I find that if I don't do that, I am just, I'll just be like, well, that's, this is good enough. I can just like, copy this over. I can keep this.

I don't really have to change it. But when I'm like, actually going through and like typing everything up or like, thinking about. What do I actually want to have happened here on this like new blank page then I, that I [00:20:00] want it to be something different than it is. So I did that a few times, went through a few different drafts.

And, and then I got I have very likely to have some very good friends who are willing to like, read the whole, read the whole book for me, and I got their feedback and then went through that whole process again. 

David Gwyn: So I, I, cause I've never heard this, so I want to, I mean, I want to go back to the story that you're telling, but I do want to ask, that's such an interesting thing that I've never heard.

And I think it makes so much sense that you. You're no longer committed to the words because there were once on paper, you're kind of like free to say, well, you know, that isn't as good as I thought. Have you, did you hear that from someone else or is that just like kind of a style that you felt like made sense for you?

Allison Buccola: I'm sure I didn't make it up. I think, I think it was advice that someone gave me at some point, but I don't, I don't remember who I got that advice from. But it did it like it did really help a lot when I started doing that. And I did, I could tell the difference between what I was doing before, which was [00:21:00] lazier.

And then what I was doing when I like actually had to like type everything back up. Yeah. Yeah. That's 

David Gwyn: so cool. I've never heard that, but I'm, I'm definitely going to try that because that seems like something that would, that would work for me that. More willing to, to cut things. If they're on like, ah, it's gone, whatever who cares.

No, that's great. So, okay, sorry. So I interrupted you. So you went from, you've got, you've got some friends reading the manuscript and they are giving you a little bit of feedback here and there. And then, and then. 

Allison Buccola: Yeah, so they read through it. They offered some great advice. And so then I incorporated that all in.

And I think around that point, that's when I figured I found out that I was pregnant with my daughter. And so it was like, I just need to, I'm like a tinker. So I would have just kept on working on this forever until just on and on. So I found out I was pregnant and I was like, okay, when she's born, then this has to get sent out to agents.

And so that's what, that's what happened. 

David Gwyn: And that's amazing. And so how did you just, how many agents did you send it to? What was your kind of, did you hear back right away? Was it a long process? What was that like?[00:22:00]

Allison Buccola: It felt like a long process at the time, but I think it was not actually that bad. I sent it out.

I heard that you should do like batches of 10. So I think that's, that's what I was, I did. I sent it out and actually the, my agent, Julia Kenny was in my, in my first batch. But, and, and requested it right away. And then there was like a little bit of a wait to hear back from her. So I ended up doing a few, a few more batches too.

 But yeah, it's it's like a painful process to be, to be waiting for those responses. And I thought it would be a good idea to like, sort of like sync it up with the birth of my daughter. Cause I was like, well then I'll be so distracted. I'll have this baby that turns out there's like a ton of like sitting around just looking at your phone time when you have a new born.

So it was probably a really stressful way of doing that. But but yeah, so then I like, at some point followed up with Julia and, and then got the positive response from her. 

David Gwyn: That's great. And so I always like to ask authors who have, have [00:23:00] representation. And so Julia, Kenny obviously you gave her a shout out here.

What was it about her that made you think like, this is the right agent for me? This is definitely the person I want to go with. 

Allison Buccola: Okay. Yeah. She's awesome. She is, well, she was very enthusiastic about the book. Important. Nice. But she's also she's like very approachable and very very knowledgeable and very happy to like, answer any questions when I have them, which is great.

And when we were talking, it was just, it was like very easy to tell that like we got along, she was someone I felt comfortable talking to. I get sort of nervous about like asking too many questions so I think if there were someone that I didn't feel totally comfortable with or didn't feel like was that approachable, I just would never ask them anything.

And that would be, it'd be a problem. So it was great that she was just she's she's very open and very, just she's great. Yeah. That's 

David Gwyn: I do like to ask a few craft questions kind of like generally speaking. So a lot [00:24:00] of the people who follow those podcasts. Thriller suspense, mystery genre.

And so I know this is a hard question and I'm apologizing in advance for it, but is, is there a specific way because there's like a lot of suspense and tension obviously in catch her when she falls. So like, was there a specific way that you thought about layering in that tension and suspense, or is it just something that kind of flowed within the way you told the story.

Allison Buccola: I think it's mostly just something that's sort of like came from the story. I think the earlier drafts did not have the right amount of tension and suspense. And in the earlier drafts, it was a much more linear story. So the story is, has a few different timeframes in it.

You've got Micah, the main character who is driving to find the brother of her her dead best friend from high school. And as she's driving, she's sort of thinking about how she's going to explain to him what's just happened and what she's found out when she, when she finds him. And. I and, and [00:25:00] she's, and she's heading his direction.

And so there's a lot of like flashbacks when she's thinking about what's going on. And I, I think that like folding it over on itself, like that ended up adding a lot of tension into the story because you know, she's going somewhere, you know, she's found something and you don't know, you don't know what it is.

And I think. Originally I had, I had been telling the story and like first-person past tense and it was linear and there's like, there's no tension there. It's like really hard to get tension there because your narrator is fine. They're telling the story. They made it to the end of the story and they're okay.

And so I think that kind of folding the story like that. Added a lot more question marks and injected some suspense. But I think in general, I don't, I think it's hard to pinpoint what to do to inject that in there. If that all makes sense, 

that's it? 

David Gwyn: No, it totally does. And I actually was, my next question was, there was there's two parts of your narrative that I thought was really unique and fun, which the first one was that.

It [00:26:00] almost felt like like a epistolary. Like he would, she was writing this letter to the, the brother of the dead best friend. And so like, and I that's what I was gonna ask about, like where that came from, if that was something that like was there from the beginning, but it sounds like it's something that you recognize.

Could be more powerful, like you said, kind of folded on top, which I love. And I also, I also thought that that timeline, or like the ticking clock of like the, the miles going down chapter to chapter, I thought that was so interesting. Where did you come up with that? 

Allison Buccola: Well the miles just sort of followed from the, from the trip. So so yeah, that was, that was a, that was a later edition. And and I'm glad it I'm glad it works. 

David Gwyn: It was so cool. Cause I, I, you know, there's a lot of the ones where like, it's like missing for X hours or the, kind of that timeline at the start of each chapter. And I thought that was just such a unique way of doing it.

So I was, I was interested to hear why, you know, where that came from, but it sounds like it's just something that happened naturally came up, came up with it. That's great. That's [00:27:00] awesome. So to kind of wrap up here, I got three more questions, which is my first one is like, are there any books, movies, resources that you suggest for aspiring writers, anything that helped you along.

Allison Buccola: Like I mentioned before, I didn't really Read too many like guides to writing while I was working on it. But I do think it makes a lot of sense to like look into like critique groups in your area, or again, there are so many now critique groups online and and like the international thriller writers group has, I think that they're, I think they're looking for like more people to join their critique groups.

So like that's one, if you're doing thriller writing. But yeah, just anything you can do to get yourself into, into those kinds of groups is, is great. 

David Gwyn: It's so funny to me that I I'm, so I asked that question. Every person I interview and I would say probably 75% of people say that like the critique group is the thing, like from agents to publishers that like, they all are like, it's the thing to do if you want to go from, you know, amateur writer to like publish writer.

And that's interesting. Yeah. So it's [00:28:00] something that keeps coming up. It's not something I would expect. I mean, I don't know, I guess what I would expect, but it's, it's certainly something that continues to come up. So you know, if you're listening I don't know what else, what other how many more times I can ask this question until you get yourself in a group.

If you're not already in one 

my next question here is what's one thing that you would hope people would take away from this conversation. Just something that you think if a person is sitting here, listening wants to be where you are someday as a debut author. And if there's one thing that you would hope that they would kind of walk away from this conversation, what, what do you think it would be?

Allison Buccola: Okay. Yeah. I mean, I think it's, I think it's like totally doable if you just commit the time to it and the effort and. It is like a really, it's a really long process. And I think that, I mean, I've mentioned before, like writing 500 words, I think is nice to like, make sure that you're actually moving forward in your actually doing it.

But I also thought that was really helpful from a. For me, like if I think thought about writing a book as like a whole [00:29:00] thing, it's really overwhelming. And there were many times in the process where I was like this, it's not going to be a book. This is not going to happen. But when it's, when you like break it down into those smaller pieces, then it really does seem more achievable.

And so I think just , if you're getting overwhelmed, just break it down into smaller pieces and, and it can be done. And those small pieces do add up potentially to a book at the end. So yeah, 

David Gwyn: that's great. So my last question where can people find you? Where can people look you up? Where do you want people to go to, to find your book? 

Allison Buccola: Yeah, so I am, I'm on Instagram at Allison Buccola. I'm on Twitter, less I'm on Instagram, but I'm there. And and I got my website is Allisonbuccola.com.

And yeah, the book is just, is 

yeah, everywhere,

David Gwyn: anywhere you can go I'll and I'll link all that stuff below so people can find you straight away. And Alison it's been a blast. I've really enjoyed talking to you and congratulations. 

Allison Buccola: Thank you so much. This has been [00:30:00] great. 

David Gwyn: Okay, so there you have it from practicing law to parenting, to debut author. Always remember that if you put the correct structures in place and you set your daily goals, you might be able to point to your book on a shelf someday. Before you go, remember to download that free resource about building tension and keeping readers reading it's linked below, and don't forget to sign up for the five minute writer, busy schedules.

Be damned. We'll do this together. Subscribe to the podcast. So you get notified when our newest episode drops and keep writing. I'll see you soon.