Local woman self-publishes first book, “I’m Just a Girl,” now available in 12 independent bookstores and Amazon.com; book signing to be held Dec. 13
Wilmington, Mass. Dec. 5, 2009—Wilmington resident Susan Ravagni has self-published her first book, the medical mystery adventure “I’m Just a Girl,” through Dog Ear Publishing. Ravagni, a 48-year-old mother of two, has placed her book at 12 independent booksellers in the North Shore area, including Andover Bookstore and The Book Rack in Newburyport, as well as online retail giant Amazon.com. She will hold a book signing and author talk at Leah Mae’s Tearoom in Haverhill on Sunday, Dec. 13.
“I’m Just a Girl” follows the trail of Amanda Buscemi, a medical technologist and mother of two who learns that the seemingly accidental death of a Boston College hockey player may not have been an accident after all. As Buscemi and her best friend, Milagros, follow the trail of clues, they uncover a murder plot that draws them into a sinister web – and a hilarious, outlandish adventure.
“I wanted to make it funny and interesting,” Ravagni said. “I wanted to make it a thinking woman’s book. I don’t think anyone has a book quite like mine. It’s a medical mystery, but there are funny moments. Life can be amusing, so I felt that was a critical element to my book.”
Many of the details of Buscemi’s life parallel Ravagni’s own – they’re both medical technologists with two sons, one of whom is a hockey fanatic.
“When I wrote it, I almost thought of her as my alter ego,” Ravagni said. “I took to heart the saying that you write what you know about.”
So how does a wife and mother with a background in laboratory science become a novelist?
A Flair for Writing
Ravagni first discovered her flair for writing through her current position as a technical consultant with Biosite, a company that develops and markets diagnostic products for laboratory medicine.
“I started writing poems to end our regional meetings, and that’s when I realized I had a creative bent when it comes to putting a story out there and amusing people,” Ravagni said. “I guess it fed the monster, so to speak.”
Ravagni’s frequent travels as part of her position with Biosite offered the perfect opportunity to begin writing her book; with the idea for Buscemi’s character percolating in her mind, Ravagni began penning the novel during down time at hotels and on planes.
Less than a year later, the book was complete.
“I initially did it just for my own amusement,” Ravagni said. “It wasn’t like I sat there and thought of an audience; I was really just writing it down to express myself. It was only when I had co-workers read it and they got excited that I started to think about the book in broader strokes, and not just as creative outlet.”
After completing her book, Ravagni spent hours each weekend researching and submitting to literary agents. After 70 submissions without a single bite, Ravagni decided to take matters into her own hands and self-publish.
“I just felt like I couldn’t sit on it for five years, and that’s the kind of thing I could have ended up doing,” she said.
Ravagni’s main goal is to prove her marketability and land a book deal for the second book in her series, which is almost complete.
“I’m enjoying the writing process, and I think as long as you’re enjoying it you should pursue your passion,” she said. “And I’m very passionate about this right now.”
To her readers, Ravagni says, “I hope you enjoy this fun, easy read. It’s got it all: action, adventure, mystery, and just a little romance…exactly how life should be.”