30 August 2016

Book Three Has a Title

Finally, book three has a title. It is a title I have been avoiding since I began writing the novel back on June 18.  But I have come to learn that novels have minds of their own. They fool you into thinking you are in control, but you are not. They are in control, and we, as authors, just have to give in, stand back, and let it happen.

So, book three will be titled, Incorruptible. That has always been the title, really. I just couldn’t admit it. 

There are several reasons why I fought against this title. First, there are several books already claiming the title on Amazon. Second, it is too much like Vocation. Third, it seemed too simple, and I was looking for something more sublime. But then, I gave in because it is the best title, and like Vocation, Incorruptible carries with it more than one meaning. It is simple yet complex, and ultimately, I am happy with the title.

Incorruptible now has a word count of 68,000 words, and I still have a lot of story to go.

I also received the manuscript for Vocation back from my proofreader. I have been working on the revisions, and I should be done this week. I am also in the process of formatting Vocation. In some ways it is a simple process. In other ways, it is a difficult process. Every time you change a font or change spacing, you have to go through the whole manuscript again to be sure it all flows right. I admit, I am a bit of a perfectionist, and one line out of place will nag at me, but when the process is over, I will be very proud of myself.

Finally, I snapped this photograph on the way to work today . . .

Fall is coming! I know some people will find it sad because summer is ending. So, I leave you with a quote from my soon-to-be published, Vocation.

"All life is a series of beginnings and endings. The seasons change, but so does all of creation. And she, as part of God's creation, was about to embrace a beginning in her own life--and an ending."

19 August 2016

Formatting Vocation

One of the last steps in self-publishing a novel is to format the manuscript into a file compatible for print and ebook distribution. In the past, I have hired someone to do the formatting for me. For someone well-versed in computers, the process is pretty simple. My formatting expert can usually have my files back to me in a few days.

With Vocation, however, the timing is all off. It seems I am surrounded by teachers, and they are slaves to the academic calendar not the Gregorian. My proofreader is a teacher and needed to proof my manuscript during the summer months. That step worked out pretty well. I happened to have my manuscript finished in June. 

The problem is my formatting expert is also a teacher. We are now about to enter the most hectic time in any teacher's life, and I just don't have it in me to ask him to format my manuscript. It just wouldn't be right.

So I had to make a choice. I could either wait until things die down a bit, everyone eases into the new school year, and push my publishing date back another month or two (ugh!), or try to format the manuscript myself. After a lot of thought, I decided to try and format the manuscript myself.

Now, I consider myself to be of an average intelligence. Yet the thought of formatting puts fear in me. I'm not sure why. I publish through CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing, and they have clear, concise directions--step-by-step. I have downloaded the instructions, and I am ready to go (more or less). Yet I still have the notion in my head that I can't do it. Why? I have no clue.

Still, the more I think about it, the more I feel I need to do it. It will give me a sense of accomplishment, knowing I have gained a new skill. It will also bring me one more step closer to being a truly independent author. 

I'll keep you posted.  

02 August 2016

A Tale of Three Novels

Yesterday I received feedback from my proofreader. She is the first person to read Vocation in its final form. She said she loves it! I don’t know how to describe how that makes me feel.

These last few weeks, I have had the feeling that the manuscript was just awful. There are a few reasons for that. I have lost all objectivity. After two years and five revisions, I just can’t see the story for what it is any more. I remember the struggles I had while writing it, so it will take a long time until I can read it as a reader instead of the author. This book, more than any other, will have emotional baggage attached to it, but it will also carry with it a special meaning too; it gave me courage to overcome my fears.

My proofreader will be finished with Vocation in a week or two. After that, I will revise it one last time and send it off to be formatted for softcover and Kindle. I hope to publish in September.

I am now 40,000 words into book three. I am amazed by that. I have a lot more of the story to tell, and I am guessing I am about half finished. That makes for a long book! I still haven’t hit a wall, and I keep expecting it, but maybe I won’t really hit a wall. I never did with A Future Spring.

So which book is my favorite? Well, I imagine being an author is like being a parent. All my books are my favorite—just like all your children are your favorite. Each one is different with a different personality.

I love A Future Spring because it was a fulfillment of a life-long dream. I wrote it in secret, which makes it special. I wrote it not knowing if anyone else would ever read it. I don’t really believe in “art for art’s sake.” I believe art is meant to be shared. I believe it unites people in a unique way. AFS was a dream shared.   

I love Vocation because it gave me courage, and it proved that my first novel was not a fluke. I have emotional ties with the main character that I don’t share with any other character. Vocation represents a long, hard struggle. I came through to the other side even stronger. 

I love book three (I really need a title) already because I think it is the first novel to really showcase my unique writing voice. I am writing it with true freedom. I no longer care what people think. It's all about telling the story not about how it will be received. My loyalties lie with my characters now. I especially love book three because it finally proves (to me) that I am an author.