I feel as if a hearty “Welcome Back” is required with this post, but it would be for me! Thank you, faithful following of readers, for your patience during what is turning out to be an extremely busy time for me as I sort my way through the various steps of production for my novel, Realm.
What began as a little spark of an idea has become a big dream come true. I promised updates, so here’s where we are so far:
Metadata optimization is complete. I admit that a quick search on Google backed up by a discussion with the patient, brilliant team at BookBaby helped me understand exactly what metadata is as well as why it’s necessary that it be optimized. Once it’s available for purchase, my book will be easily found.
Interior Design Proof. Wow – BookBaby did an amazing job with the interior design of my novel. As I scrolled through the .pdf in the two-page layout view, I kept whispering to myself, “It’s a book . . . it’s a real book.” The title page and the first page of each chapter were just perfect, and seeing my work portrayed so professionally thrilled me to the point of happy dancing around my kitchen. There were a few tweaks that I requested, so as horrible as it sounds, I had to choose “reject proof” and shoot it back to BookBaby. I’m confident that the minor details will be ironed out quickly.
Cover Design Proof. This was a tear-inducing moment when everything I conveyed to BookBaby was made a reality on the cover of my book. The picture they provided included the spine and the back cover as well. Again, all I can say is, “Wow.” I requested a minor modification on one small section, which required the painful choice of “reject proof,” but still, I was extremely pleased with how BookBaby captured my vision for the cover.
So, as the Design Team goes back to work on a few things, I have turned my attention to marketing research. What a trip that has been sifting through the “dos and don’ts” and “run screaming” world of marketing.
Stay tuned for more exciting Realm updates, and as always, thank you for taking this journey with me.
Have you ever longed for a dream project to become a reality all the while living in a state that hovers somewhere between excitement and fear? If so, then you’re probably an artist. And if you’re an artist, then you know that talking about what you’re going to do is where creativity goes to die and fear to thrive.
For writers, we often talk about all the great stories we’re going to write. Many of us even have a notebook devoted to story ideas where we jot them down so we can pretend to stay focused on our WIP. Then one day, when the guilt gets to be too much, we make the commitment to not just set aside time for writing but actually write.
We attend writers’ groups, join online writing communities, and scour the Internet for writing advice all in the hopes of producing a piece of writing worthy of publication. There are good days and bad days, and then one day, it all pays off.
Stepping out in faith has been a large part of my writing process, and I’d say finding an excellent beta reader was where it started. I have been blessed to have a beta reader who catches my mistakes, asks the right questions to keep my plot on course, and challenges me to see things from a different perspective. He also provides amazing feedback and encouragement.
Then there’s my editor, who is a Godsend. When I was feeling my most resistant to completing my own dream, she entered the picture as an answer to prayer. Her expertise and energy never cease to amaze me. Combined with my beta reader, I have two people in my corner who often believe in me more than I believe in myself.
My blessings don’t end there. My husband has been through every high and every low of the writing process with me. I know I sometimes take him for granted, but as soon as I remember, I express my gratitude. He’s so compassionate and forgiving that occasionally I agree with my mother: I don’t deserve him.
My son lies on the other end of the spectrum from my husband, but that’s not a bad thing. Sometimes, his tougher approach riled me up, but it made me strive to be a better writer and prove to the little upstart that I could finish. Besides, what kind of parental example would I be setting if I didn’t complete what I started, which is the whole point of this post.
It is my very great pleasure to announce that my novel, Realm, is officially in production.
Thank you, dear followers, for taking this journey with me. Stay tuned for all the exciting updates.
Shabbat Shalom to artists everywhere.
Every year I take the Goodreads pledge to read twenty-four books. This year, I finished with sixty-one books. This is a new record for me. I’m actually going to end with sixty-two as soon as I get to the one sitting on my to-be-read stack, but I’m also kind of a stickler about not counting a book until it is absolutely finished. You never know what could occur during the course of my day to prevent me from completing it. I wouldn’t want to offend the Goodreads gods or something.
I’m sure I’ve said it on my blog before, but I’m going to say it again: if you want to write well, you must read well.
Let’s start with quantity first. Get your hands on everything you can and read it. Books, articles, newspapers (do we still have those?), fiction, non-fiction, read inside your favorite genre and outside your favorite genre. Read, read, read.
There are going to be people who tell you what the best is by labeling it classic, best seller, or some other tag to entice you. That’s fine, give it a whirl. Remember, though, that the final decision is yours on whether or not the book deserves such high and lofty praise. Keep in mind, however, that good writing can occur even if you don’t care for and/or disagree with the piece of writing (fiction or non-fiction), so analyze every aspect of what you’re reading before bringing the hammer down on a particular work.
Now let’s talk about quality. The more you read, the more you will expose yourself to the good and bad in writing. Very soon you’ll be able to discern not just what appeals to your reading tastes, but what lends to the foundation of good writing. Again, this will only occur if you crowbar yourself out of your reading rut and into the vast libraries of the world. Keep in mind that the popularity of the book/how well it was received, the money it made, shocking subject matter, being written by someone the public did not expect, and the tale being turned into a movie are not factors by which one should judge the writing.
I’m not going to include the research, data, or links to posts about how much smarter one becomes by reading, but it’s true. It just is. Your vocabulary and knowledge will increase, and at the very least, you’ll spark new interests and have something worthy to discuss with other people.
So, I challenge each of you reading this to set a goal for the quickly approaching new year and get to reading. Take a moment to let me know in the comments what you read this past year, what you loved, what you hated, and why. Word of mouth is often how I find my next great read.