30 September 2016

Vocation Has Arrived

Yesterday, I received my first shipment of Vocation, and I snapped a picture when I opened the box. This is the most exciting thing about writing novels--seeing three years of work finally in book form. My first order will be for local sales and give aways.




Again, my approach to book two will be very different than book one. I am a little more seasoned now, and I have learned what doesn't work. I'm still not sure what does work, but I definitely know what doesn't. And I have decided to try something new.

My first thought is to expand my readership. I need to focus beyond my local market, and I have been reading and researching a lot these past two years. I have some creative ideas on how to branch out. Again, I'm not sure what will work, so I plan on experimenting a little. I am in no way a marketing executive, but I realize, I need to take a more active role in getting the word out there about my writing.

I have also redesigned my blog. Have you noticed a difference? There is so much more I want to do with the design, but Blogger is a bit limited. I like the simplicity of Blogger, so I'm staying here for now.

Last, A Future Spring is reformatted, and I have corrected (I think) all those pesky errors that were included in the first publication. I have come to discover that I am not a formatter. I do not like doing it because I tend to be a perfectionist. I don't know enough about it to create a perfectly formatted manuscript, and to spend the time learning how to perfectly format a manuscript, will only take away my time and energy from my writing.

So for book three, I have decided to  hire a professional company to do the cover and formatting for me. I learned of this company through a writer friend, and they are just what I am looking for to polish my third manuscript. There are a massive amount of books out there to compete with, and there is no way I can really compete, but I can improve on what I have done, and with each book I will strive to do a little better. I'm excited about it. I've seen their work and they are very impressive. I have some really good feelings about Incorruptible. Just wait until you see the graphic I am using for the cover. I can't wait to show all of you!

Well, I guess that's it for now.


25 September 2016

Vocation is Published

After three years, Vocation is finally published.

I started writing Vocation in August of 2013. I began writing my second novel while my first novel was being critiqued. Three years later, it is finished, and there were times when I doubted this day would ever come.

Three years is a long time, and a lot has changed. I can say I am not the person I was, and I have learned a lot about writing, publishing, and my readers. I have also discovered what kind of writer I am.

However, the greatest lesson I have learned is--that I am a writer, and I always was. I just didn't realize it.

Book three (Incorruptible) is still flowing out of me. My creative flow was interrupted while I was re-formatting AFS and publishing Vocation, but now I'm back to writing again, and I am really excited about where this novel is taking me.

Now, I have to send Bridget, Philip, Mark, and the rest of my friends out into the world. I have spent three long years with them, and I am saying good-bye. It is hard because they are all a part of me.

You can find their story here on Amazon.

17 September 2016

I Must Be A Masochist

I had the grand idea of formatting not just my second novel, but going back and re-formatting my first novel. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Two weeks later, I am finishing up the tremendous job I was not really prepared for. Never let it be said that I do anything the easy way.

After reviewing the proof copy of Vocation, I had to correct some typographical errors and some formatting problems. I resubmitted the file. Now I await for the review again, and then I will once again, read the whole darn novel again to be absolutely sure that I am happy with the manuscript. I'm not talking about plot. I'm talking about grammar. I have discovered no matter how many times a manuscript is proofed, it still need one more proofreading. Of course, at some point, I have to resign myself to the fact that I am human, and unlike Stephen King, I don't have a publishing company behind me to do all these pesky editing things. I am a one-man production show, which limits me greatly.

However, I do not want my book to be viewed as amateurish, either. I am prideful and a mistake(s) in my book will nag at me, as it did for two years with AFS. So that is why I am revisiting my first book, and it has really been painstaking. But the work has paid off. It is cleaner, more concise, and I can finally relax a little--fixing those things that nagged at me for so long. The real problem came with the formatting for the Kindle version, and if I had read the step-by-step instructions, I could have saved myself a lot of pain, frustration, and time.

First, it was the Table of Contents--real easy to do, if I knew I had to do it. But I didn't even think of that--until it didn't show up in my Kindle book. Then it was the page breaks. Again, real simple to do, if you read the directions. But . . . I didn't.

The good news is . . . after two weeks of reading, editing, formatting, proofing, reading, editing, proofing, reformatting, I am just about ready. Just about? Well, I need to proof the proof one last time.

Now that, my readers, is the painful side of writing.

Now for the fun side . . .





Here are my two Morse code bracelets. I purchased them from an Etsy seller. Each bracelet spells out the name of one of my characters in Morse code. I won't tell you what they spell. It is a secret, but it is super cool to have my characters with me all day. They are like real people to me. And when I look at my bracelets, I forget about all the pain and suffering of formatting, editing, proofing, and reformatting because it is all about my characters and getting their story told!

08 September 2016

It's Been a Three-Ring Circus

While I was waiting for the specs for Vocation to be reviewed, I decided to reformat A Future Spring. I have said from the beginning that my first two books would be companion books, so I wanted to format AFS to match Vocation. The formatting for AFS was fine, but I wanted to get a little more creative with Vocation, so that forced me to make the decision to reformat AFS to reflect a more updated look. I also wanted to update my author bio and add an "also by" page to AFS. I guess I am looking beyond my local market now and focusing on a wider audience. 

I have learned a lot about writing, formatting, publishing, and marketing since AFS was published back in February, 2014. The road with Vocation has been much easier to travel because I learned from the mistakes I made the first time around. Now, it is time to go back and fix those mistakes, using the knowledge I have gained in the last two years. This, of course, turned into a tremendous task. 

While I was updating AFS, I was also working on Incorruptible. Then the proof copy of Vocation arrived, so I am dropping everything to review that. So right now, I am in various stages of all three books.

I am fairly certain that October will see the publication of Vocation and the revised publication of AFS. Then I will be able to refocus on Incorruptible, and I imagine book three will be a breeze with everything I have learned

Here is my proof copy of Vocation with her sister, AFS. A Future Spring is no longer an only child!