Tuesday, December 31, 2013
"Oxnard Professor to Publish First Novel"
English professor Andee Reilly is focused on “finding a really perfect balance between surfing, writing and teaching.”
With her first novel due out May 6, a steady surfing routine and a full teaching schedule at CSU Channel Islands, Reilly may have achieved that balance.
The Oxnard resident of 10 years signed a contract with Astraea Press on Nov. 8 for the publication of “Satisfaction,” a novel about self-discovery.
“Satisfaction” tells the story of Ginny, a 22-year-old housewife who learns her husband is cheating on her. Ginny, a huge Rolling Stones fan, decides to follow the band across America. She teams up with “free-spirited wild card” Bree, and the two discover “freedom, friendship and much more on the road trip of their lives,” Reilly said.
“The idea came to me when I was buying tickets to a concert years ago to see the Rolling Stones. ... I thought: What if I just clicked the purchase button for every single venue across the United States?” Reilly said. “Then I started to think about what sort of person would be willing to leave her whole life behind and follow the Rolling Stones on tour ... and I came up with a woman who was seeking satisfaction on her own terms.”
Reilly began “Satisfaction” in 2008 while working on her Master of Fine Arts at UC Riverside. She spent more than two years writing the novel and the next two or so years revising and working with her literary agent.
The process took longer than she expected.
“I had moments of pain and moments of rejection, but there was never a time when I wanted to give up,” she said. “This story had to come out. After a while, I felt like I would be abandoning these characters if I didn’t tell their story.”
When she faced challenging moments, Reilly discovered surfing was the cure for her writer’s block.
“Surfing clears my mind for writing. Oftentimes, I’ll get stuck, and I’ll need to step away. Surfing helps. ... It puts me in this great place. Ideas seem to come organically,” she said.
Reilly surfs at least three times a week with her husband, Jack, a painter and the former chairman of the art department at CSUCI. The couple eventually plan to move to Maui.
Andee Reilly’s advice for aspiring writers is to put pen to paper — or fingers to keys — and be patient.
“It’s a daily grind, and you really just have to sit down and do it. But if you work just a little bit every day, you will reach that goal. It’s not something that’s impossible,” she said. “You make the time. You figure out what’s important and what your goals are, and then you just find the in-between times.”
To find out more about Reilly or “Satisfaction,” visit http://www.AndeeReilly.com.