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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!

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Get On With It!

Walkies with my dog require paying attention. We begin the walk with a run, then come to an abrupt halt for a tinkle. Her nose dictates the speed of the walkie – from slow strolls where every blade of grass is sniffed to brisk walks on the scent of some beast who dared to cross the pee line. Eventually, I grow weary of the manic pace and ask her to pick a speed – run or walk. Nothing in between. (She ignores me.)

An element of writing is the same for me. Setting the right pace makes all the difference. As I edit the sequel, Through the Mist: Reunion, I watch closely for scenes or even sentences that grind the story to a halt. I am much more aggressive in this book than I was with the first one. With Through the Mist: Restoration, I held tightly to certain scenes until the very end. At long last, I cut them, and the story was better for it.

At this point, I fear the first section of the book will meet a similar end. It just isn’t working. Since this section determines whether or not you will keep reading, it must have the proper pace. Otherwise, you will stop reading and will not get to the juicy stuff that happens later in the book.

Of course, the real challenge here is that the first section of any book usually lays the groundwork for the story. The reader needs basic information. Who is this person? Why is she acting this way? What happened in the last book, because I don’t know why I should care about this story? I must give you as much information as I can, yet at a pace that will keep you interested.

Solving this problem is much more fun than the silly stuff that happens at my day job. Thank you for your continued patience as I continue to edit the sequel. I have said it many times. I want to give you something worth your time and money.

If any fellow writers are reading this post, I would love to hear your thoughts about how you tackle this problem.

Happy reading!

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The Goodreads Challenge

As of this post, I have 97 ratings on Goodreads. I am astonished. Through the Mist: Restoration is the realization of a long-held dream. I worked really hard to write and self publish the book. The fact that even one person bought the book is amazing. That 97 people would take the time to give my book a rating on Goodreads, well, that’s just unbelievable.

It would be a thrill to have 100 ratings on Goodreads. I am only 3 ratings away! Therefore, I am issuing a challenge to my readers. If I can get 100 ratings on Goodreads, I will donate $100 to the Avery County NC Humane Society. I adopted G from the organization, so it is a tribute to both you and her.

How do you make it happen? Creating a Goodreads account is free at goodreads.com. Once you log in, search for my book, Through the Mist: Restoration. Then, below the picture of my book’s cover, you will see a drop down menu. You can click that you have read the book. You can give a simple star rating, which is all I ask. If you want to leave a review as well, you can. I humbly ask for constructive criticism, though. It is the only way I can become better as a writer.

Even if I do not hit 100 ratings, I am so, so happy. You made my dream come true just by reading my story. Thank you so much!

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Inspiration? Not So Much

It is summertime here in the States. It has brought scorching temperatures and bad thunderstorms here in the South. It has also prompted a bit of laziness on my part. How do you find the time to write when all you want to do is drink a glass of cold lemonade and relax?

I tried to spark creativity by visiting the Biltmore House yesterday. You can read all about that on my Facebook page. I am a passholder so I can visit as much as I like without buying a ticket. Visiting the Biltmore House gives me a peek into refined living and conjures images of scenes in my upcoming book, Through the Mist: Reunion.

Yesterday, though, it was so crowded that I only spent about 15 minutes in the house. I got a late start, thanks to an unusual power outage at home. I don’t like heavy crowds so it was not as inspirational as visits past.

What do you do when you struggle to find inspiration?

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Rank is Rank, Part II

“Rank” has been on my mind a great deal for the last few weeks. I have been struggling with a scene in the sequel, Though the Mist: Reunion. The first draft needed revision in certain areas of the book. This particular scene did not work. To be blunt, it never would have happened that way. (OK – yes, time travel itself is pretty far-fetched, but still….)

When I compare the different ways we preserve the distinction of rank in society, I am struck by how certain details have changed. The customs are different, yet it is still clear that expectations are set for all classes of society. I doubt that will ever change.

As I work on this scene, I must be careful not to apply the 21st century customs when speaking from the viewpoint of a 19th century person. For example, we might think nothing of calling someone by his or her first name. A couple of centuries ago, that was a shocking breach of etiquette unless one was on very intimate terms with a person.

No matter in what time period we live, rank will always be rank.

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Rank is Rank

If you are a fan of Jane Austen, you know Sir Elliott utters the line in her novel, Persuasion. As a modern person of no real consequence, I thankfully am not subjected to the mechanization of high society. In the 19th century, proper form seemed to be of paramount importance. Thus, when I create certain scenes in my book, Through the Mist: Reunion, I must hit the books and determine if something would have actually happened. I do exercise a writer’s license to tweak some things for the sake of the story. In other aspects, though, I want things to be accurate.

Without giving away too much about the sequel, I would like to talk a bit about introductions. In today’s time, let’s say your next door neighbor has more money than you. Would it be shocking to walk up to that person, who some would say has “superior rank,” and introduce yourself? In most cases, no. You would only be prohibited by shyness and would definitely act in a respectful manner. However, this sort of behavior would be unheard of in the 19th century. One must wait to be introduced to persons whose rank is above one’s own.

Think of the scene in Pride and Prejudice when Mr. Collins approaches Mr. Darcy at the Netherfield Ball. Eliza and Jane are stunned because the men have not been “properly introduced.” Viewing the scene with a modern eye, I am shocked that people behaved that way. Now, I am not saying that we should interrupt a conversation and shout, “Hey, how the hell are ya?” when we see someone. Let’s do be civil. Still, the concept of being so rigid is foreign to me. It would not have been to someone in previous centuries.

As I read the first draft of my novel, I discovered this flaw. I am in the process of completely rewriting a scene in the book. It was all wrong. Would you have noticed? Maybe. Maybe not. It actually works better if I rewrite it. The strict adherence to such proper behavior illustrates a particular individual’s character. I believe it adds depth to the scene.

My research prompted me to consider something. While we may not engage in the same practices, “rank is rank” still exists. Think about your daily life. Are there people at work with whom you do not “speak unless spoken to?” If you encountered the CEO of your company in an elevator, would you engage in idle chit-chat? Or would you stare at the floor?

Like or not, “rank” will always be “rank.” To paraphrase Austen, it is a truth universally acknowledged

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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.

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Silence is Golden

In case you have noticed, I have been unusually quiet for the last week. It was time to unplug for awhile.

G and I visited the Charleston, SC area for a few days. We ate good food. When we came home, we lounged around the house. I made a conscious effort to unplug from technology.

It is something I encourage you to do, even if you can only manage it for a few hours. I was surprised at how relaxing it is to step away from the constant bombardment of information, most of it complete rubbish. We don’t need that noise in our lives!

Now, back to work on that sequel….

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Book Report

So, where do we stand with that darn sequel??

Progress is slow. To be honest, it is difficult to find time to write right now. We have some big projects at work, so I pretty tired after hours. I will offer some tidbits, though.

Some have criticized Through the Mist: Restoration for having an abrupt ending. The book is almost 300 pages long. I never meant for it to be a deep dive into every detail. Instead, I purposely ended the story where it felt natural to me. The point of that story was Tilly’s decision at the end. Once resolved, a new story began - in another book.

Through the Mist: Reunion will cover a lot more ground than the first book. We have a lot of story in this one since it involves more people. Don’t worry –you won’t need a list of characters to keep track of all the people. (I hate stories like that.) Hopefully, though, the journey will take us to a place where each character’s story is resolved. Well, maybe "resolved" is a strong word. After all, I still want to do at least one more book in the series.

Since it is a lot of story, it is taking longer to write the book. I am still pushing myself for a fall release. I want it to be worth your time, though. If I miss the deadline, know that it is for the good of the story.

Thank you for your patience. I would be happy to answer any questions you have and hear any feedback you would like to offer. Feel free to leave a comment here or on my Facebook page.

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Cleansing the Palette

I have read an enormous amount of books about Scottish history and Regency-era customs and manners over the last four years. If I don’t read something else soon, I think my brain will explode. Do you ever feel that way?

It is easy to get stuck in one genre. I do recommend, though, that you try a different type of book from time to time. If you favor serious works, read a romance novel to lighten the mood. Likewise, if you read nothing but trashy novels, you might want to vary the diet a bit and toss in a classic for good measure.

Why? It is important to broaden your horizons. Otherwise, you won’t appreciate the view you have.

Happy reading!

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I Hear Voices

The writing process is rather interesting. Ordinarily, it is viewed with concern when one admits to hearing voices. However, if one is a writer, it is not so strange.

I heard a fascinating interview on NPR this morning. It is worth sharing:

http://www.npr.org/2017/05/06/526919024/penelope-lively-ponders-pompeii-and-other-stories-in-the-purple-swamp-hen

I am intrigued by the process other writers use to create their stories. I hope you find it as interesting as I do.

Enjoy!

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Popcorn Fiction

I love to put M&Ms in popcorn. The combination of salty and sweet is irresistible. Sure, it makes a great snack, but I need more than that for a satisfying meal. Sadly, candy and popcorn are not part of a balanced diet.

I view fiction the same way. Some books are meant to uplift, to challenge a reader’s pre-conceived notions, to educate – you know, the kind of book that ends up on Oprah’s book club lists. These types of books often win prestigious awards and may be described as life changing. Books of this type certainly have a place in a balanced diet of the brain.

Then, you have what I call “popcorn fiction.” Like a snack, it is meant to satisfy a craving and may not provide life-sustaining sustenance. Still, it sure is fun to read, isn’t it? Who doesn’t like a snack every now and then?

I plant my books solidly in the "popcorn fiction" category. I frequently read these types of books because I have enough reality in the real world. I love to escape into a story that may not challenge me on an intellectual level but will be fun.

If you are looking for an escape and possibly a laugh or two, please pick up my book, Through the Mist: Restoration. I am currently working on the sequel, Through the Mist: Reunion. While it does have a few serious moments, the overall story is meant to be fun.

Then, when you are ready for fulfilling fiction, check out any number of serious works on Goodreads or any other reader site. I envy the writers who can dedicate themselves to such amazing work. Their writing is far superior to anything I could ever hope to do. And, that’s perfectly fine. In life, we cannot live on candy alone. Sometimes, we must eat a salad.

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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!

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Read My Book - Pretty Please

For the last two weeks, I have talked about the challenges of self-publishing. I shared that writing the book was actually the easy part. The business side of things opens up a whole new world of challenges. Today, I would like to share my experiences with advertising.

Since I am a frugal person and had no idea if I would sell one copy, I looked at available resources at little to no cost. I have three tips to offer as well as some thoughts about what I will do differently with the sequel, Through the Mist: Reunion.

First, pick the right category for the book. In the description on Amazon, I used certain keywords that were relevant to the genre. It is a Scottish historical romance with a time travel twist. Some people love those sorts of books; I do! I looked at bestsellers in the genre. What keywords did they use? How were the descriptions phrased? I then crafted my book’s description so that it would garner attention from other lovers of the genre.

Second, develop a social media profile in advance of the release. I created a website, but I did not have a Facebook profile. That was a mistake. Many readers are accustomed to finding and engaging with their favorite author via social media. While the website was nice, Facebook is better. And, it is free! I post to Facebook when I want to discuss the book, scones, or any random thing. If someone leaves a comment, I respond. I have already learned a great deal about scones from an Australian reader. I never expected that!

Third, set up an author’s dashboard on Goodreads. It is free! I took a webinar about social media resources prior to my book’s release. Goodreads was mentioned in the course. It is a website for book lovers. Readers can start discussions about various books or themes as well as leave reviews of books. They can create their own profiles and list their favorite books. It was simple to add my book to the mix and create a profile. I have had a few questions from readers about my book, which was cool.

What are my plans for the next book? I feel a little more confident about the experience, so I plan to launch the next book on a broader scale. In the coming months, I will research the cost for ads at Amazon, Goodreads, and other relevant places. I want to explore what is necessary for certain sites to review my book as well how to set up giveaways of the new release. Are there other resources that would “get the book out there?” Hopefully, I will learn more about that soon.

In the end, I learned a valuable lesson with everything – formatting, design, and advertising. Writing the book is a difficult task. Once it is done, I need to put away the writer’s brain and think like a business person. I should “farm out” what I can afford and direct my attentions to projects where I can make the most impact. With a little luck, the sequel will reach more readers. For those of you who are on the same journey, good luck – and keep writing!

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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.

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Budgets: Editing

As I work on the sequel, Through the Mist: Reunion, I am already thinking about marketing the book. The first book was a real eye opener about all the extra work required in self publishing. I thought writing the book was the hard part. Oh, no, the business side is even more difficult.

Writing is such a creative process. I found it a bit difficult to switch off the creative side of the brain and turn on the business part when the time came. I would like to avoid the same mistakes when the sequel is released.

I have talked in the past about the importance of setting a budget. I do not consider myself an expert on the topic, but I can offer some insight into the kinds of things that weigh on my mind right now. For the next three weeks, let’s explore three items that should be considered for your budget: editing; formatting and design; and advertising.

Once the book is complete, you might ask yourself whether or not you should use professional editing services. A person can edit your book for everything from grammatical errors to story problems. It is up to you how far you want that person to go. More importantly, how much are willing to spend for the service?

In my case, I paid $100 to have the first 25,000 words of my book reviewed for content only. I am so glad that I did. She identified a major problem with the opening and suggested a different approach to the prologue. As a result, I completely rewrote the prologue and scraped the first eight chapters of the book. In my opinion, the end result is better than the original.

The Internet is filled with people who offer editing services. Do your research carefully. How many books has this person edited? Have you read any of those books? Exactly what services are offered for the fee you will pay? How quickly will the person return the edited work? Do they provide a contract stating that your work is your own? This last question is important. You don’t want someone to steal your idea!

So, what are my plans? Honestly, I am still undecided. I read the first book, Through the Mist: Restoration, and found a few typos. If I had hired an editor, I would like to think that he or she would have found those mistakes. I plan to follow my own advice and see what’s available and how much it costs. Check this blog. I am sure I will write about it when I make the decision.

I plan to devote some amount of my budget to editing. After all, loads of grammatical errors or a sluggish story will disgust readers. I want people to read my book and feel happy, not angry at the mistakes! Consider adopting the same strategy when you publish your first book. Keep writing

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Book or Blog?

This week, I had a choice. Work on the blog...or work on the book?

As you can probably guess, I chose the book. I am in the thick of the last section. Our cast is back at Castle Fion. Far from being a wrap up, more action takes place there. With luck, I will pull all the pieces together.

Stay tuned!

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Is it a Hobby? Or, Is It a Business?

We are fortunate to live in an age when you are no longer dependent upon a publishing house to fall in love with your manuscript and publish it. You can use a myriad of online resources to publish your book, in eBook and/or paperback format. It can be an incredibly daunting experience. It is important to decide upfront if the project is a hobby or a business. The answer to the question will lead you down two entirely different paths.

A hobby is something that you do at a leisurely pace. You are not specifically seeking profit. If you do make a little money, that’s great; it just isn’t your goal. You might spend some money to participate in this activity. Depending upon the hobby, you might spend a little – or a lot. Still, it is discretionary spending. If you must decide between your hobby and feeding your family, you would give up the hobby.

A business, on the other hand, requires time, money, and energy. Your goal is profit. You devote hours to create and market a product. You make the investment because you want this endeavor to be a success.

Now, some would say that you can have both when it comes to writing. If that is your passion, yes, in theory. The old adage “find something you love, and you will never work a day in your life” is a wonderful concept. How many people do you know who have actually achieved that goal? Not many.

The brutal truth is that, while you can self publish your own work, you must decide how you will treat the task. There are literally millions of books out there. I compare publishing my first book to casting a pebble in the ocean. I always came to my original question: is it a business or a hobby?

When I published Through the Mist: Restoration, I quickly realized all the work was on me. I didn't have a publishing team behind me that would market the book, schedule interviews, create advertisements, maintain social media outlets, et cetera. I had to decide how much work I was willing to do.

The process was filled with a lot of uncertainty. Through the Mist: Restoration was my first book. I had no idea if it was good or if anyone would even buy it. I did not want to invest a lot of time or money into the “business” side of things. After all, my main purpose was to finally write a book.

I have not sold millions of copies. I haven’t even cracked 10,000 yet. It is a tremendous success to me because I have sold thousands of copies, something I never imagined would happen. I am amazed that even one person bought the book!

I have spent some money to create a website and buy books for research. I devote time to posting to my website and Facebook in addition to the hours spent writing the sequel. I have not spent any money on advertising , though. I have not contacted various parties to write reviews for the book or sought other means of promotion.

Why? Because I am still learning! I am trying to sort out what I did right, and what I could have done differently. I am researching the various outlets for promotion. In short, I am learning the business side of the endeavor. It turns out that writing the book was the easiest part.

So, what is the takeaway from this rambling blog post? If you are a writer who wants to self publish, I suggest you take a hard look at it. You can spend a ton of money and get no results. You should prepare yourself for that possibility. Then, decide how you want to approach this. If it is a hobby, don’t sink thousands of dollars into it unless you can lose that money.

If it is a business, research, research, research. Most of us do not have a marketing background, a wealth of industry contacts, and unlimited funds. Design a plan. Figure out how much time and money will be needed to execute that plan. Then, be prepared for a long road. If you are very lucky, the plan will work brilliantly and quickly. Do not get discouraged, though, if it takes time to gain traction. Remember, your book is one of literally millions out there.

Before I end this post, I do want to mention one thing I did right. I became a Goodreads author. It was free and easy. My sales jumped after I did that. I don’t understand why but am so glad!

Good luck to everyone out there. Remember, writing is meant to be fun!

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The Joy of Editing

As I continue to work on the sequel, Through the Mist: Reunion, I cannot help but reflect on the time I spent with the previous book. I was new to the self-publishing process and made a lot of rookie mistakes. I still struggle with certain things. It is a learning process.

One of the biggest challenges is editing. I held fast to certain pieces of the book right until the end. I just knew they were essential to the story. After some serious reflection, I eventually realized that the scenes or even sentences formed a virtual brick wall. They halted the flow of the story.

A quick Google search will yield many names of people who will edit your work –for a fee. As I have said in the past, it is important to set a budget for your self-published book. It should include advertising, web site design, editing – whatever services you believe are necessary. You can spend thousands of dollars. You may never recoup the costs. Can you spare that much money?

With the first book, I did not hire someone to edit the work. I recently read my book again and winced when I found the odd typo, grammatical error, or formatting problem. The errors aren’t bad, but still – they exist. A good editor may have found them for me. Simply put, I did not want to sink a lot of money into my first book, though. I was not sure if even one person would buy it. Thankfully, some of you have!

Self-publishing offers us opportunities that did not exist 10, 15 years ago. Unfortunately, just because you can publish a book without a publisher does not mean it will be easy. You must take on all the work or be willing to pay someone else to do it. It is worth the effort. In the end, you will have something that you created, and no one can ever take that away from you.

Keep writing!

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Oink, Oink

This week, I researched food. Yes, I have been hungry the entire time!  My stomach is growling as I write this post.

In the sequel Through the Mist: Reunion, we spend a lot of time at Malcolm Campbell’s house, Tinberry Hall. He means to impress his guests in everything he does. It follows that he would have a very fine table when he invites people to dine with him.

I found two good books that have helped with my research. Dinner with Mr. Darcy, by Pen Vogler, sprinkles information about dining customs in between recipes of dishes served around the 1800s. It is a very entertaining read. I doubt I will try any of the recipes, though. They don’t seem very appetizing to me. Tastes have changed, which is yet another reason for research.

Tea with Jane Austen, by Kim Wilson, provided more information about customs than the other book. It offered a few recipes. I liked the information about Jane Austen herself. Of the two books, this one helped me to better understand the nuances of the dinner and after-dinner tea. We might not feel the slight if someone invited us over only for after-dinner tea. In Austen’s time, it meant that you were not important enough to join the dinner party. Scandalous!

As I have said many times, my books are meant for entertainment. Who says you cannot learn a little something at the same time?

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