Thursday, April 12, 2012


by Melissa Clark

In 2007 I boarded a plane to Phoenix, Arizona to participate in a book festival. I was promoting my first novel, "Swimming Upstream, Slowly." It was the 6th or 7th festival I'd attended and I knew the drill now - fun parties, cool people, interesting panels. This time I was told I was speaking on a panel with someone named Maggie Marr, who was out with her first novel, "The Hollywood Girls Club." The morning of our speaking engagement, we arrived to our tent in the blazing Arizona heat and were both surprised to find that there was no moderator - just two microphones, two bottles of water and two chairs. Both nervous, we somehow launched into an impromptu discussion like two seasoned pros - improvising questions to each other and fielding comments from the audience. Our performance was as though we were old friends, yet we'd only just met 12 hours earlier at the welcome party the night before. Maggie and I had what I like to call an "instabond." We simply clicked. I'd met countless other wonderful people at various festivals, speaking on various panels, but those friendships began and ended with the weekend. Five years later and I count Maggie as one of my closest friends. Our instabond was not fleeting, it had legs, as they say.

It is because of Maggie that I just launched my second novel, "Imperfect" as an ebook. A novel about a girl who purrs in pleasure proved to be a hard sell to publishing houses. Many editors fought for the book in in-house meetings, but ultimately it could never get consensus. Watching Maggie prepare to launch her ebook "Can't Buy Me Love," as well as her backlist of "Hollywood Girls Club" really lit a fire under me. I'd always cringed at the term 'self-publishing' thinking it LESS THAN mainstream publishing, but Maggie was convinced that it was a privilege for authors to be able to do this, and boy was she right. How lucky to live in a time when authors can be proactive about their work, not just succumb to publishing trends. A born control-freak, I've never had so much control in my life - from cover design to accruing blurbs, to simply getting it out there. "Imperfect" lives because I willed it to.

Funny, after coming to terms with it, I would definitely now describe my relationship to self-publishing as an "instabond".

I am giving away a copy of my ebook "Imperfect" as well as my first novel (book form) "Swimming Upstream, Slowly," to someone who leaves a comment on this post about any "instabonds" you have experienced in your own life. The winner will be selected by

Thank you to Maggie for hosting me on her blog and for being such a wonderful, genuine and perfect friend.

Melissa Clark is the author of "Imperfect" and "Swimming Upstream, Slowly", as well as the creator of the animated television show, "Braceface," which aired on the ABC Family Channel and starred the voice of Alicia Silverstone. Clark teaches writing and literature at Otis College of Art and Design and The Writing Pad in Los Angeles. You can follow her on her blog Connections Clark and look for her on Facebook, Twitter (@lilok30) and Goodreads.


Blogger Maggie Marr said...

I couldn't ask for a better friend. I am so blessed to have you in my life. You are a tremendous author and a wonderful person! Thank you for your kind words. xoxoMaggie

April 12, 2012 at 10:16 PM  
Blogger Literary Chanteuse said...

I like that instabond description. I was pursuing a music career oh some years back. Never really signing with a record company or management had it's pros and cons. I was free to record, write and perform with any artist I liked however my only credit was adding it to a resume with no $$ signs attached. This is good in a way because you are also not paying anyone else managers for example take a % for everything you do. I think the publishing world probably works a little different than the music industry but I understand the instabond reference here as well as why so many authors have chosen to go the self publishing route.


April 12, 2012 at 10:26 PM  
Blogger Desere said...

I love the instabond description for me the best instabond would be my job as a paralegal, it just has that certain connection that it just comes naturally that i really for a bond to the work and the people.

Thank you for the great contest !

April 13, 2012 at 1:56 AM  
Blogger Maria Powers said...

Wow. What a great story about you and Maggie and maybe it was the trial of winging it that created the lasting bond. You found out fast that you could rely on each other.

I don't have any stories of instabond really except maybe with the Los Angeles Romance Authors chapter. I went to my first meeting six years ago and have never looked back. Volunteered within the first three months and the rest is history, but the relationship keeps going strong.

April 13, 2012 at 7:43 AM  
Blogger Maria Geraci said...

Melissa, what a great story:) Best of luck with the self-publishing venture.

April 13, 2012 at 8:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to thank you for an apsolutely increadible book giveaway (2x books) that looks and sounds really interesting & utterly facinating and i would really love to have my name put forward if at all possible.
Your comments above were really interesting and something quite different & which reminds me of when i met a fellow book blogger online via a site called 'Goodreads'. Despite me not knowing the person, being from other ends of the world & walks of life we seem to be very similar; in fact so similar in tastes that it is quite ironic. Similar taste in interests, hobbies, books, genres and literature in general and it is nice to be able to converse with a likeminded literature enthusiast.

Thank you once again for this amazing oportunity.
From: Miss. Lucinda Fountain

April 13, 2012 at 8:28 AM  
Blogger Lynne Marshall said...

I love that term - Instabond! It is rare to "click" with someone right off, but if I'm being honest, I was Instabonded with my husband way back when we first met. Also in nursing school I became Instabonded with a fellow student - 35 years later we're still very close friends! And, of course, I was instabonded with both of my babies...:)

April 13, 2012 at 9:07 AM  
Blogger Christy Hayes said...

I had an instabond with three of my writing friends from my local RWA chapter (where I no longer am a member) and our friendships are among the most important in my life. Instabonds are gifts from God! Hope to win one of your books--love the Imperfect cover!

April 13, 2012 at 12:21 PM  
Blogger Christa Allan said...

I met someone almost four years ago at a writing conference and, one snarky comment later, we had an "instabond" that has really changed my life. She has encouraged me, helped me with my writing angst, and lit fires under my butt when needed.

Great blog post, and I love the covers!

April 14, 2012 at 8:58 AM  
Blogger Maggie Marr said...

Thanks to the winner of Imperfect is Desere and the winner of Swimming Upstream Slowly is Christy Hayes! Congratulations ladies!!

Send me an email at

maggiemarr [at] mac [.] com and we will get you your books!

April 15, 2012 at 6:46 PM  
Blogger Desere said...

Email sent thank you so much !

April 16, 2012 at 6:27 AM  

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