In 2005, Eileen Cruz Coleman's novel entitled, Sweetwater American, garnered the attention of a New York literary agent who signed Cruz Coleman after having read the first one hundred and sixteen pages of the then unfinished novel. With her then agent's support and input, Cruz Coleman finished writing Sweetwater American in late 2005.
Sweetwater American landed on the desks of six publishers in early 2006. After all six publishers failed to take the novel on for publication, Cruz Coleman put Sweetwater American away and got to work on other writing projects.
With a new novel on the way, the premise of which only Cruz Coleman's closest writing friends are privy to, Cruz Coleman decided to pull Sweetwater American out of her forgotten hard drive files and give it new life by taking advantage of blogs and their ever-growing popularity.
But before moving forward with her serialized blog novel (http://www.sweetwateramerican.com/) idea, Cruz Coleman decided to seek the input of her writer friends on Backspace: The Writer's Place, (http://www.bksp.org/) an online community for writers. Cruz Coleman started a thread entitled, Publishing Unsold Novel on a Blog, and asked fellow members to offer their thoughts on the idea. After digesting everyone's input, Cruz Coleman decided to pull the trigger.
Cruz Coleman launched Sweetwater American on May 9, 2008. The first three chapters are up on the blog and Cruz Coleman plans on adding chapters on a weekly basis.
"The novel is dark and writing it took a lot out of me. It left me emotionally beaten. By serializing it on a blog, I hope to engage with readers in a fun, creative, and relaxed way," said Cruz Coleman. "I'm always encouraging writers to use the Internet to get their work out to potential readers. Well, I'm finally taking my own advice," she said.
When asked what the phrase Sweetwater American means, Cruz Coleman said, "You'll just have to read the novel to find out."
Cruz Coleman is not giving up on someday publishing a book by traditional means. In the meantime, while Cruz Coleman works on her secret project, she plans on having fun in the world of blogs.
Already, Melanie Lynne Hauser, author of Confessions of Super Mom (http://www.melanielynnehauser.com/), has blogged about Sweetwater American. Cruz Coleman hopes that others will help spread the word via their blogs and Websites.
"It's definitely not without risk. People may hate my writing. But hey, there's no point in spending months or years writing a novel if no one is going to read it," Cruz Coleman said. "The first three chapters are up and I am not looking back," she said.
Over the course of a few years, Cruz Coleman worked on a documentary film about Latino immigrants with Ed Sanchez, co-director of The Blair Witch Project.
The film, itself, was never made. But out of it came, Sweetwater American.
Excerpts from Sweetwater American have been published in short story form in The Saint Ann's Review, Bathtub Gin, Thought Magazine, Rosebud Magazine, Sundry: A Journal of the Arts, In Posse Review, Small Spiral Notebook, and Slow Trains Magazine.
Prose from the novel has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and won third place in Glimmer Train's Short Story Award for New Writers.
Cruz Coleman and her husband also run a blog called Blundering Fools. (http://www.blunderingfools.com/) "We started Blundering Fools because well, we are a couple of fools ourselves. We're dream chasers, if you will. And we wanted to connect with other dream chasers--people who have taken risks, blundered along the way and wouldn't have it any other way," Cruz Coleman said.
Final words from Cruz Coleman, "Take life up a notch and blunder on."