For me 2015 was a good year for writing.
In a nutshell:
Over 100,000 net words written
One book published: Truth-Teller Revenge
One book completed: Magellan’s Navigator
One book in beta edits: Mindfield.
2014 was a year of learning how to edit and hone my craft. For this I give thanks to my traditional publisher’s editor. I spent 2015 using my improved craft.
The year started out in a frustrating way. My trad publisher punted the copy editing of Truth-Teller Revenge, so my wife Teresa and I edited it under a tight deadline. That completed, I rewrote my first novel, a historical fiction work about Magellan’s voyage of discovery. That book represented several years of research that I wasn’t willing to flush. Originally, this book was 120,000 words, had multiple points of view, and was too boring. I rewrote the book as an 80,000 word “discovered” memoir of the armada’s navigator and am now proud of it. That took until summer, when it went off to my wonderful beta-readers Dave, Kerry, and Laura. In the fall, I reedited it based on their recommendations. I’m now flogging it to agents as Magellan’s Navigator.
I conceived Mindfield in February, thanks Pam for the title, and started writing a few months later. I had a decent draft by October and edited it through year-end. It’s now in the hands of my beta readers. Final editing will start soon. I’m excited about this book. It’s my best book of the six I’ve written.
Publishing and Promoting:
I made a few baby steps in learning the world of publishing and book promotion. It began in frustration. Truth-Teller Revenge, which as a traditionally published book I have no control over pricing, bombed. I discovered promoting on my blog and to Facebook groups doesn’t cut it. My self-published thriller Download substantially outsold and outearned Revenge even though I had Download at a lower price point.
A glimmer of hope came when an author friend, Ann Roth, got me into an indie publishing Facebook group. What an education. Thank you, Ann. I’m now much better equipped to navigate the publishing world, be it traditional or self-publishing. It’s still a steep mountain to climb, but now I know where the path is and what boots to wear.
This year I’ll write Mindfield’s sequel and get Mindfield and Magellan’s Navigator published. It should be another fun year.
I just reviewed the final galley of Truth-Teller Revenge. It looked great with only two small changes. Hurrah. Revenge is still on track for a January release.
Every author should strive to put out an excellent product. That requires an excellent plot and interesting characters. That’s the fun part. A quality book also requires meticulous editing, but poring over a manuscript line by line isn’t fun. I’ve gone half cross-eyed editing since June.
I’ve made a resolution to write cleaner, more typo free books. I’ve seen others in my critique group do it. I’m thinking of you, Laura Henson. One aid I recently learned of is the editing ‘option’ menu under ‘file’ in Word 2010. That will help eliminate some errors.
Unfortunately, some things don’t come easy to me. Word order is a bit of a problem. I blame it all on my dear mother. Inverted word order was natural to her, and sounds natural to me. She in turn blamed it on the Amish neighbors of the family farm in Painesville, Ohio. It just means I have to work a little harder.
I received the Truth-Teller Revenge galleys from my publisher for the final proof a little over a month ago. I went through them, and then my meticulous and wonderful wife caught everything that I hadn’t. There was a lot to catch and only ten days to do it in. I can’t believe I read “grim” for “grime” multiple times. It goes to show how difficult it is to edit one’s own book. After a discussion with my publisher, Truth-Teller Revenge will come out in January 2015, instead of this November. At the cost of a two-month delay in publishing, it will be a much better book.
Closely following the final edit of Revenge was the birth of our second grandchild, a lovely little girl who needed a little extra time at the hospital before coming home. While Mommy and Daddy were beside her at the hospital, my wife and I cared for our two-year-old toddler grandson for ten days. This experience gave me a greater appreciation for the time, energy, and attention it takes to raise children. Now that our granddaughter is at home getting settled with her family, I will be getting back to writing and blogging.
My hat is off to all you parent/writers. I don’t know how you do it!
I planned on reviewing the 1989 Hugo Award winning novel, Hyperion, this week, but…when I got to the end of the Dan Simmons novel I discovered…it wasn’t the end! And I had to know what happened. So I’m nearing the end of The Fall of Hyperion. These two books are really one thousand page plus novel.
I love Hyperion and will soon publish a full review of it. I did find myself skimming over some of the descriptions in it, which made me reconsider my own writing. Champagne’s editor of November’s Truth-Teller Revenge said she found herself skimming through some of my descriptive passages. Hmm. It can be a fine line between giving your reader a vivid image of the setting, and boring the reader or slowing down the story. So I find myself cut, cut, cutting, as I rework my works-in-progress.
I expect to see the cover art for Truth-Teller Revenge any day now, which I’ll share. I should also soon have the galleys to proof, which will mean a week of intensive work.
Meanwhile, I’m enjoying the final days of this wonderful, sunny summer. Tomorrow I’m off to Paul Allen’s Flying Heritage Collection to see their B-25 and Hellcat fly at noon!