SOMERS, N.Y.--Many move to New York City when they are ready to conquer the world and leave their past behind. In her first novel, “Crossing Lex,” Somers author Debby Caruso follows the life of Danielle, who is living her dream in New York City but cannot seem to let go of her past. Caruso delves into how Danielle’s relationships and experiences influence who she is as a person.
“This is a coming-of-age story that every woman can relate to,” Caruso said when describing the 653-page book. “It is not like ‘Sex in the City.’ It is not that kind of story. There is romance, but it is only one of many different story lines.”
The novel, currently available through Amazon, is categorized as contemporary women’s fiction.
Caruso, 45, explains that the book is not autobiographical, even though aspects of Danielle’s life mirror her own.
“I came up with the character Danielle and I could not let her go,” the 14-year Somers resident said. “I knew I had to share her story. It is easier to write from where you know so there are things in the book that came from my life. For instance, I worked for an ad agency in New York City when I was younger and Danielle works for one also.”
Writing is not new to Caruso; she has been acting and writing plays that have been produced in off-Broadway theaters under a pseudonym for years. But writing a book was a very different role.
“It is a different medium,” she said. “You are not writing camera shots or stage directions and you have to capture the character’s thoughts.”
Caruso wrote the novel while raising her 4-year-old son with her husband, who is in the NYPD, and working as a fitness instructor at New York Sports Club in Baldwin Place.
“I think having my son inspired me,” she said. “After he was born I realized how important it was to go after your dreams. You have to push through your fears and just do it.”
Once the initial draft was complete, Caruso enlisted her friend Lindsay Miserandino to help edit the novel.
“Lindsay was an amazing editor to work with. From suggesting a different name for a pivotal character to being a story consultant extraordinaire,” Caruso said. “Lindsay was a huge blessing throughout. If you or someone you know is thinking about writing a book, you’d be lucky to work with such a (com)passionate professional.”
Then Caruso used Amazon’s publishing options to bring the book to the masses.
“Amazon has its own publishing arm,” she said. “It offers up different publishing options and helps people become authors. I figured it was worth a shot to work with Amazon. The people I worked with were very good.”
It has been three weeks since Amazon’s release of “Crossing Lex” and Caruso is proud of the response she has received.
“People are giving great reviews and aren’t giving away any plot secrets,” Caruso said. “It has been really exciting to see.”
While she thought that the novel was a one off, Caruso admits that Danielle still talks to her and that a sequel could be in the works.