The Wednesday Girl Author:Julie Nisargand From the Author — I wrote The Wednesday Girl for, if you must know, myself. After graduating from USC film school, I found myself in a kind of shock: one moment I was accepting accolades for my film at the Directors' Guild, the next, I was peeling duct tape off the floor on the set of a Roger Corman movie. Working sixteen hours a day for $200 a w... more »eek left me feeling like I was losing my identity, fast, and there was obviously no time in a day for me to write. When my filmic writing professor had told our class that one had to write every day, that it must become as perfunctory as brushing one's teeth, I thought he was kidding; I couldn't imagine anything as horrible as writing every day. As soon as the Roger Corman movie wrapped, I found myself writing every day. It created a through-line in my turbulent, post-college life.
The novel, The Wednesday Girl, came as rather a surprise to me. I had never had any intention of becoming a novelist, but the story I wanted to tell refused to fit into one-hundred-and-twenty, double-spaced pages with "more white than black" on the page, which is what I was told studio executives liked to see. As I warmed to my new format, I found that there was a picture of strength that I wanted to create and share with other young women, the picture of an intelligent, sex-craving female triumphing over moral codes and societal proscriptions. It has been to my great delight that I find the readership of this book is far broader than I thought, appealing as much to men in their forties and women in their sixties and seventies as the twenty-something group for whom I initially intended it.
I chose to form my own press and publish the book myself because of an experience I had in film school. My final film project, a 480 for which I was given a $16,000 budget and crew, began as a very personal vision and ended up as a film that was shaped by a committee, my peers and professors in film school. Though the final product was a film that I received great praise for, I no longer felt it was my film. It didn't look, sound, or feel like I had envisioned it, so in a way, I took little interest in it when it was finished. Since The Wednesday Girl took longer to write and is closer to my heart than the film, I wanted to insure that it would reach the public as I had written it.
Though I knew nothing about publishing a book myself when I made the decision to do so, I happened to sit in a very good place: at a desk in the empire of Conde Nast Publications, the publishers of Vogue, Vanity Fair, GQ, Architectural Digest, etc. I wrote the final draft of The Wednesday Girl while working as the "novelist in residence", otherwise known as the receptionist, at Architectural Digest. I was friendly with the staff of the magazine and since there were few calls to answer, I was not only allowed but encouraged to write my book while at work. The executive literary editor proudly told his guests that I was their "novelist masquerading as a receptionist" when I validated people's parking tickets. When the book was done, I hired a copy editor who was freelancing for Architectural Digest. One day, the production manager of Architectural Digest came and sat down in my lobby and began asking me technical questions about how the manuscript would come back from the copy editor, would it be on disk or a hard copy, and such like. I informed him how it would be done, that I would receive a marked-up hard copy from the copy editor with which I would make the final changes on the computer and put it on a disk. "Okay," he said, thinking out loud. "Then we'll take the disk back there," he gestured to his office, "have the art department typeset it..." He continued on while my mouth fell open. The Wednesday Girl became the pet project of Architectural Digest, with the cover painting done by the art director, the typesetting done by the computer systems support specialist, the bid for the printing garnered by the production manager, who I urged to tell his contact at the printer that I was "trying to save money to pay for my ailing mother's heart operation" so the bid was phenomenally low... The entire process of publishing the book had the quality of magic to it, my dream coming true with very little money expended by me and more admiration, encouragement, and support for my venture than I could ever have imagined. "There she is, our author," secretaries from other floors of the building would say when they saw me at my reception desk. I actually sold copies from my desk for a while and autographed them between phone calls. It was a very wonderful time.
I deliberately chose not to solicit reviews for the book. I wanted to put an obscure book out into the world by an unknown author with no reviews recommending it, no photograph of the author, and see if anybody would select it from the thousands of possible choices available to them in a bookstore. What I have gotten is the most pleasant of surprises in finding I have fans everywhere. People still want to read and read new things, see new images of themselves, hold something in their hand that was not designed by a team of specialists to please them but by one woman to please her own heart and mind and passions which, after all, are not so very different from those of people the world over. I believe The Wednesday Girl has unlimited potential and appeal. Being billed as the "female Henry Miller" and having the book put on the syllabus in UCLA literature courses has made my cup runneth over. I'm just curious to see what journey this book will take now...« less