Books, books, everywhere!

I am in a state of being overwhelmed. There is so much to do! As always, I have the house, the kids, you know…life. But my list of “to do’s” with my books keeps growing…

TheLadyBornekova1400x2100The Lady BornekovaThe book has been out now for a couple of months and I am excited to see some numbers come next month (the end of the quarter). It has been a wild ride, has it not? But I have very much enjoyed being on this journey with you and sharing these steps that went into making up this road.

The General’s WifeNow through one of three editors, “The General’s Wife” is well into the process toward publication. I am eagerly anticipating the “fun stuff”…you know, the book cover, the banners, the other things that make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and give you goose bumps. But this part of the process can be fun too – watching your work of art being honed and fine tuned.

cripple creekHope in Cripple CreekAs many of you know, I recently attended a huge conference, the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Conference in Dallas. It was phenomenal! While there, I had the opportunity to pitch this novel to an agent. She was interested and wanted to see the full manuscript. But suggested some tweeks in the first and second chapters. Plus, I am still folding in feedback from my Beta Readers. All in all, it needs some TLC.

Trail of Fears This novel also got pitched to two interested agents. One wanted a proposal and sample chapters and the other the_trail_of_tearswanted a synopsis and sample chapters (different agents just want different things). The second agent seemed a lot more interested, she said the novel was “hitting all the right notes”. Overall, the agent meetings went well and I came out well pleased.

The Lady Bornekova’s Sequel. I know several of you have asked about the sequel. I’m well on my way into the novel. But, as you can see, there are many projects in the pipeline, so to speak. And I want to make sure I have the time and energy to focus on this work undistracted. These characters have become so near and dear to my heart (as all my characters really are) and I want to do them justice.

brainstormingThat just leaves one novel, “Off to War”. I just recently finished folding in my Beta Reader feedback and have one more to go. So, it’s sitting and “resting” for now. I mean, it’s not as if I don’t have enough to keep me busy. I also have another project in research mode and will be trying some new organizing and brainstorming methods I learned at the conference with this next project.

At any rate, that’s me. I hope as we head into fall, you are enjoying the weather and decorations we are seeing pop up on porches and in living rooms around us. My home was filled with the enticing smell of pumpkin bread yesterday. Yes, it is fall here too.

Here I go again on my own…

Well, not quite on my own…but you get it. I’m singing the song lyrics in my head. The point I’m trying to make is that I’m back in the game…exactly where I was when I started this blog. My next manuscript is under contract and I’m in that editing phase…or should I say waiting phase. There is so much waiting involved with this particular portion of the publishing process.

hourglass1The Waiting. First you have to give the editors time to read the book and give their input and comments. Then you have your round. And then they get it again to look over what you did. Back and forth it goes (hopefully not too much) until the editor and you are both happy. Then it goes to another editor…

Another Editor? If you remember from my journey with “The Lady Bornekova”, at this publishing house, the manuscript goes through three rounds of editing – content edits, line edits, and proofing edits. What’s the difference you ask…good question. Content editors are more concerned with the, well, content of the manuscript. Did you have any loose ends? Were there things that jarred the reader? They may make some editsminor grammatical corrections for flow, but their main job is believability, flow, and (again) content. The line editor is more concerned with grammar. And the proofing editor is sort of the last line of defense, if you will, for the publisher and for you before the book goes to galleys. This is where all of the editing and writing is looked at carefully to make sure nothing is out of place. Then the book goes to galleys and then to publication.

Sounds boring. Maybe it is a little bit. From the outside. For me, it’s rather interesting. And it can turn into a bit of work. I actually enjoy the input and constructive feedback from editors. I know that it only makes my work stronger. I feel the same way about the feedback I get from my Beta Readers. Does it offend me when they tell me a certain area needs work? No…I need that. I’d rather them tell me than the whole manuscript be turned down for publication because there were weak parts.

At the end of the day, all the input, poured through your (the author’s) filter, is valuable.

 

Why go to a Writers Conference?

Sorry it’s been so long since I blogged…life has really gotten ahold of me. Between children being sick and me being sick and getting geared up for the conference, these last couple of weeks have flown by and I’ve barely had time to breathe! But today is the day…I’m catching a flight out of this town and headed to Dallas for the biggest writers conference I have been to yet – the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Conference. I am excited, I am nervous, I am soooo overwhelmed!

focusThe Right Focus. I’ve learned one thing from my conference experience (which, admittedly, has been very limited) – you have to go in with the right focus. You have to have goals…goals that fit in with your career goals as a writer and goals that fit in with who you are as a person.

Pitching? The opportunity to pitch to agents/editors is amazing and I am so grateful for it, but that is not truly the right focus for going to a conference. If that were the case, I would spend all my time in my room, perfecting my pitch.

Learning? I am excited to learn more about my craft through classes, seminars, workshops, and panels. But that, too, is not the primary focus. I intend to be every bit the sponge I can be, but if this were my sole reason for going, I would, again, be in my room, capturing all I learned through notes after each class, workshop, etc.

Then what is it? I have learned that the right intent going into a conference, is to plan to network. To just be in the presence of others who share a common interest with you is refreshing and inspiring. But the people at the conference that I will meet and form friendships with can become valuable in my journey as a writer/author. Other writers/authors are valuable for sharpening my own skills, for support, for connections I can’t make on my own. We make up a community. And it’s time I got on board.

meeting peopleNetworking. I will be honest and admit that that networking is not my strong suit. I always score equal extrovert/introvert on every personality test I take, so I’m in a rather strange place there. I get my energy from being with people, but I tend to be a little on the shy side at first. (Go figure!) But for such as this, it’s imperative that I be willing to stretch myself out of my comfort zone. This will determine how much I get out of the conference. And what I walk away with.

What you’re NOT hearing me say is that pitching or learning is NOT important – they are. And they are very compelling reasons to go to a writers conference and parts that I say “give it your all”. But they should not be, in my opinion, your one goal in going to the conference. They are part of your overarching goal list, but should not be at the top of that list.

So, for those of you that are going to be there, I look forward to seeing you! For those of you who are thinking about a conference, go at it! Enjoy! But most of all, get to know other people in your field…you never know…