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Sequel Progress

How’s that sequel coming along?

If you follow the posts on Facebook, you know that I am in revision mode right now. I completed another read-through this week. I am not satisfied with the opening section. It is too long. I just don’t think the average reader will stick around until the “good stuff” happens in the middle.

The sequel, Through the Mist: Reunion, is meant to pick up around the time of the epilogue in the first book, Through the Mist: Restoration. Beth has returned to Scotland. Why? What happened, because the epilogue sounds ominous? It does not sound as if life has turned out well for her.

Also, Benjamin and Tilly’s story ended with what seemed like a “happily ever after.” A few threats to their happiness remained, though. Did their love story end well?

I would love to hear any questions you have about the book, either the first one or the sequel. Maybe you have a question I had not considered. Feel free to comment here or on FB.

In the meantime, thanks for reading!



Rewrites and Cuts

I finished the first draft of the sequel, Through the Mist: Reunion, a few weeks ago. Right now, I am in what I call Phase Two, where I add all the missing details and embellish the story. I look for typos. I look for inconsistencies. Part of this process also involves cutting sections that simply do not make sense or grind the story to a halt.

I did not intend to have a prologue or epilogue. As I go through this process, though, I am second guessing that decision. I wrote the bit that follows this post. In its present location of the story, it would be a flashback. Now, I am not so sure. Maybe it would be a better prologue?

What are your thoughts?

Excerpt from Through the Mist: Reunion:

She would never forget the morning when Mrs. Douglas opened the door to Tilly’s room. It was almost 11:00 a.m., far too late for her friend to be sleeping. They found the garden doors wide open and dying embers in the fireplace hearth. A half full glass of Scotch rested on a table.

Beth searched Tilly’s room and found her friend’s wallet, passport, and cell phone. No sign of the woman herself, though. Where had she gone?

Mrs. Douglas rang the police straight away. They refused to do anything until Tilly had been gone for 24 hours. They told Beth that her friend could have gone for a walk and would be back before nightfall. She knew better. She waited in agony as the hours ticked by on the grandfather clock in the parlour. When the clock struck midnight, she felt each ring like a blow to her body. Something was terribly wrong.

The police scoured the area. They found footsteps leading to the forest. Then, the trail abruptly disappeared. She remembered hearing one of the police officers whisper fey. Later that evening, she looked up the word and laughed aloud. It was preposterous to think that a supernatural creature could have kidnapped her friend.

Months passed without a hint, no trace. Beth privately wondered if the police officers were right. Sometimes, the most extraordinary theory is the only logical conclusion.



In Case You Missed It

If you do not follow me on Facebook, you may have missed it. This week, I finished the first draft of the sequel, Through the Mist: Reunion.

The story took me in some interesting directions that I had not intended for the original plot line. It will be interesting to see if some of the events make the final cut. At this point, I will start at the beginning of the story and fill in all the details. The current version is dialogue heavy in spots. A few threads are not fully developed so they seem wildly implausible as written. Also, the beginning is just stupid, to be blunt.

I am glad the first draft is done, though. That’s a big part of the battle. I still have a goal of publishing the sequel this fall. I will continue to provide updates here and on Facebook.

In the meantime, I would love to hear from you. Let me know if you have any questions about the first book, Through the Mist: Restoration; the writing process; or any other topic. Thanks for reading!



Make it Look Purdy

Writing the book seemed like the hardest part of producing Through the Mist: Restoration. Oh, I was so wrong! After I finished the book, I still needed to format it for publishing and design a cover for the book. In this blog post, I’ll share a little bit about my experience and offer some insight into what I plan to do for the sequel.

Let’s tackle formatting first. In a nutshell, your “publisher” will want your book to be submitted in a format that fits their format. I published  eBook and paperback versions of my book. I used Amazon for the eBook. I used CreateSpace for the paperback. Both vendors had different formats, so I had to create two different versions.

In both cases, the vendor provided a template and instructions about their preferences for margins and other things. When you produce your book, ask the vendor if they offer similar information. It will make life easier for you and hopefully allow you to quickly publish the book.

For design, I decided to produce the cover on my own. I think I have fair design skills, so I used Adobe InDesign to create the eBook cover. The knife and tartan blanket are mine. I took the photo on my sofa. I then loaded it into InDesign and did a little work to produce the final image, which I uploaded to Amazon.

The current cover on the paperback was a template available on CreateSpace. I used the previously-mentioned photo and tweaked it a bit for the paperback.

Now, how do I really feel about doing all that work myself? Well, here’s a succinct answer: it sucked! It felt like torture. After spending so much time writing the book, I just wanted to publish it. It was agony to spend endless hours on the format, to submit and resubmit the work again and again. Ugh! Torture!

The cover design was somewhat fun. I enjoy photography and design. I just didn’t like flipping through templates and trying to find “the one.” And, let me say – I am not satisfied with the template for the paperback. There is a major flaw on the spine of the book that annoys me every time I look at it. I will fix it one day, just not now. The memories of that tortuous process are too fresh.

So, why did I do all the work myself? Again, another succinct answer: money. I did not want to sink a lot of money into a book that might not sell a single copy. I am careful with my spending. I could not justify it.

What are my plans for the sequel? I will probably hire someone to do the formatting for me. I feel more confident that the sequel will sell enough copies to justify the cost. With the first book, I devoted entirely too much time on something that did not fulfill me. I could have used those hours to work on the sequel! The trick will be to find the right person at the right price. I am sure you’ll hear all about it on the blog.

For the design, I am still on the fence. I enjoyed working on the process. I could hire someone to create the cover art for me, though I already have the picture in mind. We will see. For me, I see more value in paying someone to format the darn book.

I have said it a million times. You must set a budget for publishing your book, or you will needlessly spend thousands of dollars. Self-publishing is supposed to be fun. It is okay to hire people to handle the aspects you find boring or beyond your technical abilities. Just be prepared to pay for it.



Through the Mist: Reunion

Yesterday, I announced on Facebook the working title for the sequel. In case you missed it, the title is Through the Mist: Reunion.

I am still hard at work on the sequel to the first novel of the series, Through the Mist: Restoration. I started worked last January but got serious about it after the publication of the first book. To be brutally honest, I had a lot to learn about the craft of storytelling. Serious revisions were necessary for Restoration. I am still learning!

As I hinted on Facebook, the sequel picks up with Beth. The epilogue of the first book hinted that something happened. We will learn what’s happened with her life since Tilly’s mysterious disappearance.

Fans of Benjamin and Tilly will not be disappointed. They are back in the sequel too.

My hope is to finish the book by fall. Ideally, I want to publish it late fall/early winter. We will see. As I have said many, many times, I want this book to be worth the time and money you will spend on it.

In the meantime, I am happy to hear any feedback or answer any questions you have. Thanks for reading!



A Sequel Clue

Listen to track 10 of Adele's new album, 25. That song captures a lot of the emotion in the beginning of the next book.

I am still working on the second book. I would love some help with certain topics. I need to research road systems in Scotland and England in the early 1800s, entail rules, and early education practices. If you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them!



Sand, Surf, and Sequels

I took a few days off from work and headed to the beach. It was wonderful to soak in sunshine, sink my toes in the sand, and splash in the ocean with my dog. Then, I returned to work – and ruined the serenity! Ha ha ha ha – isn’t that always how it works?

While on vacation, I had an opportunity to work on the sequel to Through the Mist: Restoration. At the end of the book, we have some unanswered questions. I won’t say what they were, lest I spoil the book for anyone who has not read it.

Based upon comments left on GoodReads and Amazon, some people wonder if a sequel would follow. Yes, most definitely. It has always been my plan that there would be at least one more book, maybe two, in this series. Beyond that – well, we will see where the story takes us.

I already have the story outline for the second book. I envision that it will be divided into three acts, which cover specific parts of a character’s story. From the reviews, it seems that people are very curious to learn what happens to Beth. She is an integral part of the next book.

I will offer a little hint about book two. In one of the chapters, something shocking comes to light. It is so shocking that I had to take a bike ride after I wrote it. I just couldn’t believe it. We will see if it makes the final cut. It’s pretty important, so I suspect it will.

How soon will the next book be available? It is hard to say. Writing a book is more difficult than I imagined that it would be. I do not anticipate the second book will take as long as the first, because I know so much more about the process. I have also completed a lot of research in the time period, customs, and other important details. Still, I want to write something that worth the time and money you will spend reading the book.

Stay tuned to this blog. I plan to update you about the book’s progress. I may even include excerpts from the new book or stuff that hit the cutting room floor with the old book. I would also appreciate any comments that you leave with the entries. Your feedback, particularly when I need help with research, is invaluable.