The Next Step…the Edited Pages

editorWell, I finally “met” my editor for The Lady Bornekova (through e-mail). And she is so much fun! When I initially opened up my manuscript and saw all the markings on it, I was…well, “nervous” may not be the right word. There was definitely a weight in the pit of my stomach. But I took a deep breath and plunged in. And I soon realized that she just likes to share her thoughts as she goes along, whether in critique or in pointing out something she really liked, commenting on the story, or, even, talking to my characters. Yes. She totally talked to my characters in her comments. It was hil-arious! But I loved it!

I’ve made the first pass through the manuscript, looking through her comments, making (many of the) changes she suggested, and taking out contractions (grrrr…). Not that there’s anything wrong with contractions in writing a novel, but, admittedly, during this period in history, they would not be using them. And she is sharp…nothing, and I mean nothing got past her. Even things that had not occurred to me the multiple times I had read through it. For example. I was so careful not to have any mention of firearms anywhere in the novel as they would not have been invented yet. But I sure did say that a horse “shot off like a bullet” (grrr…).

So, my next step is to more closely read through the novel once more before turning it back over to her for another review. This part of the process has been far less painful than I thought it would be. I thought I would be a puddle of Sara weepiness when I got my edits back, but it wasn’t that bad. I supposed it would wound my writer’s heart to have my mistakes pointed out to me, but she was so tactful and kind that it was easier than I would have thought.

All in all, I am rather grateful for my editor (both for her abilities and her approach) and I hope to work with her in the future.

Keeping you in the loop…

audrey telephone

Audrey, my eldest, at a few months old

Well…the last time I wrote, I was poised to delve into the meat of the “Trail of Fears” novel. I am now well into it. I have written the actual forcible removal of the characters I am following in the novel and now am at the point where we find the characters in the internment camps. I continue to proceed very carefully with each line, each scene that I write, having a great respect for the people who experienced the things I am writing about.

I also have updates about “The Lady Bornekova“. I am still waiting on the editor, but I expect to hear back in the next week or so. And I have been informed that we are looking at a summer release for the ebook! So, keep your eyes peeled for later July/early August (more details to come).

All in all, it seems like there’s a lot going on over here with the writing. I’m beginning to look at my writing as more of a career and less of a hobby. As I make that transition, my husband is becoming more pleased with the time I’m putting into it and the progress I’m making. He is also making it more possible for me to put that much more time into it despite the other things on my plate (kids, house, meals, etc.).

I’m trying to get as much writing done now as I know in a few weeks I’ll be gearing up for marketing “The Lady Bornekova”. This will be yet more new territory for me. One that I may need to rely on you, dear friends and family, for…at least in part. I don’t expect people buy a book because the author says “buy my book, please”, rather they buy it because someone they know says “i read this book and it’s a good book”.

All in all…it’s going well…stay posted!

 

When writing Historical Fiction hurts

cherokee-indianI didn’t expect it to be so hard. That’s what I said to my husband just moments ago. I’m deep into my newest work “Trail of Fears”. Which, for those of you who haven’t been following my blog, it is a Historical Fiction set around the events of the Trail of Tears. And I warn you, I’m going to share more about this novel than I probably should. But here goes…

I am following the plight of the Cherokee in this novel. And I have written a good portion of the novel following the events from the passing of the Indian Removal Act to the actual forcible removal of the Cherokee (which happens eight years later). And I am struggling to write the events that followed. The Native Americans were forced from their homes at gunpoint, had to watch as their homes were plundered and burned to the ground, moved into concentration camps before they were sent on an approximately 1,000 mile journey that would be known as the Trail of Tears. And on this journey, as many of you know, thousands died. They died from exposure to the winter weather (as they were not afforded proper supplies), they became sick, some were murdered along the way…

I’m finding it all incredibly difficult to write. It just hurts my heart that these things happened. How? How am I to do something like this justice?

But I have a story to tell. I was inspired to tell this story by my own exposure to these facts and to my being on and around the place where the trail came through not far from my home. I want people to know what happened. I mean, it happened so long ago, but it is a piece of our history. It’s practically in my backyard. And if we ignore history because it’s uncomfortable for us or we gloss over the atrocities that happened because they’re inconvenient for us…what does that say about who we are? At any rate, that’s for you to decide.

As for me, I’ll plunge into this headfirst, knowing that this story must be told.

Hurry up…and wait

It seems to me that there has been a LOT of work involved in getting the book publication-ready up to this point. And, don’t get me wrong, I know that more work is coming, but there is also a pretty fair amount of waiting. Waiting while a beta reader has it. Waiting to hear back from querying. Waiting while it’s in the hands of an editor. Waiting on the cover art. Waiting, waiting, waiting. And, patience, mind you, is not a virtue I was gifted in spades.

Which is why, my dear friends, I’m glad that I have multiple books I’m working on. So, right now, while I’m waiting on The Lady Bornekova to be edited by my publisher, I’m applying what I have learned about Deep Point of View, limiting adverbs, and other things from my publishers “Pre-Edit List” to my other novels. This can only make them stronger for when it’s their time to be queried.

I’m also doing more reading. Remember the Writer’s Group I joined? Well, our fearless leader wisely encouraged us to spend time reading as well, exposing ourselves to different writing styles and learning that way. So, I’m actually reading her book (The Wounded Warrior’s Wife) and reading one of my favorite author’s new books (Michelle Moran’s Rebel Queen). Now that I am focusing on honing my craft, I am gleaning much as I am reading.

writer's lifeSo, now while I’m in major “edit mode”, I’m crazy longing to get back into actual writing. My WIP (Work In Progress), Trail of Fears is calling to me. Thomas, my main character, is standing there waiting for his next line of dialogue and it haunts me. But there’s only so much time in the day (and night), right?