Category Archives: editing

No Rest for the Wicked

In The Blood is Finally Here!

I am so excited that In The Blood, the first book in The Blood Royal Saga is finally out there for people to read and enjoy.

img_0117For those who are interested in purchasing a copy of In The Blood:

Trade Paperback ISBN: 978-1-947181-00-7

  • Amazon (Link goes to the US Amazon link, but if you search using the ISBN number, you will find the copy, no matter what country you’re in)
  • Barnes & Noble
  • Or you can request an order from your favorite local bookstore

Ebook ISBN: 978-1-947181-01-4
Available from your favorite online outlet

Autographed Paperbacks can be ordered directly from Eagle Heights Press.

I’ve been sending out a lot of signed copies, and it’s amazing and humbling to me how many countries it’s reached. I’m considering getting a big world map and pinning all the locations I’ve mailed to. Yes, I’m sending them out myself, so if you order one of these, I’ll be the one mailing it out to you.

It’s been a very long road to this day, but one week into the sales, and I’m pretty pleased with the comments I’ve gotten back. I’m hoping people find the book exciting and interesting and that they want to keep coming back for more.

I’ve tried very hard not to swamp people with too much advertisement. Some of it is necessary, but it’s hard to find a balance between simply sharing your excitement and feeling like you’re spamming people. I hope I am doing the former rather than the latter. No one likes constant advertising, and I don’t want to do that to my friends.

I know I can’t just sit around and wait for people to buy, however. It’s not just going to become a success without effort.

Help Spread The Word

Some people have asked what they can do to help me get the word out. There are a few things, if you’re so inclined:

  • Post about it on social media to help me find new readers
  • Write reviews on Amazon and Goodreads
  • Tell people you think would enjoy it
  • Request the book at your local bookstore

Those things will help more than anything else, and would be greatly appreciated.

Release Party

On July 15, I’m hosting an afternoon release party open house celebration at my house for anyone who is local. I’ve ordered a cake from The Upper Crust bakery in Columbia (LET THEM EAT CAKE) which I cannot wait to see (It’s supposed to look like my book cover). We will also have champagne, though there will also be punch and coffee for those who prefer it. So far, we’ve got about sixty five people or so who have confirmed that they’re attending, though there may be more.

At the party we will have special guest Marie Antoinette in attendance, and you can have your photo taken with her to celebrate.

With as many people as we are anticipating, we’ve spent a lot of time getting the house ready for the event and have purchased a canopy tent thing where I’ll set up outdoors to sign copies for those who want them. I’ll use the canopy for festivals and outdoor events later on, and may even take Marie on the road with me.

Camp NaNoWriMo and Sequels

Thououtforbloodcovergh this first week of July has been hectic, I still set myself the goal of doing Camp NaNoWriMo and using the time to complete revisions on Book 2, Out For Blood, before sending the book to an editor. I’m planning to finish my work on the book this month so I can publish the book by December, and even get a head start on finishing Book 3, Trial By Blood which I plan to publish in 2018. I don’t want to make readers wait too long for the sequels.

I’ve also made a mockup of the cover of Out For Blood, and I’m very excited to see it come to its fruition. I’m feeling more confident with InDesign, and I truly enjoy that aspect of the job as well. Though being responsible for every aspect of the project is extremely hard work and sometimes I feel like Dick Van Dyke’s One Man Band in Mary Poppins, it’s so rewarding to have every part of the project be something I had a hand in. Every choice has been mine, from font to layout to cover art. Having creative freedom also means creative responsibility, but it’s an aspect of the job that is extremely satisfying to me.

Public Radio show and Podcast

After meeting with the station manager of the local public radio station, KPIP, I’ll be hosting my own show regularly, and that will then be posted online as a podcast. The schedule has to be set, and I am still working on a title for it, but I’m really excited that this is a thing that’s going to happen.

One segment of the show will be me reaching a chapter of In The Blood a week. I intend to compile those once I’m through and put out an audiobook.

I’ve bought a microphone and headset to do the recordings, and the equipment will work on both my desktop computer and on my iPad. That means I can take it with me to events or on research trips and do recordings on the road as well. As soon as I have more information, I’ll be posting about that so people know where to listen in.

As part of the show, I’d like to host regular interviews with other writers as well, and if you’re interested in participating in that, please let me know. I’m happy to do that, and I’d love to hear from you.

In gearing up for that, as well as to prepare for other things I intend to write, I’m doing some research. Here are just a few of the things on my reading list. If you’ve got recommendations, drop me a line, and I’ll add them to my stack.


So, anyway, that’s what’s happening with me this month. It’s likely to keep me very busy. It’s a good busy, though, and I’m loving the work.

I’m looking forward to having a little time to go on a holiday this fall, though it’s likely to be a working vacation. So much I want to do and only so much time!




Exciting News!

I’ve kept it under my hat for a month, wanting to wait till there was something definite to say, but it’s time. People have been asking me about the book, and I’m ready now to talk about the reason for my delay.

In September, I made arrangements with R.J. Cavender from The Editorial Department to annotate my manuscript of Ma Chère Antoinne. Yesterday, I got them back from him, and I don’t think I’ve ever made such a great investment in myself.

Annotation, for those of you who don’t know, consists of notes that are made throughout the document. I’m notorious for annotating my books at home (though never library books, I swear), and it’s the same technique I use when grading papers in my composition classes. Some of the notes are corrections or suggestions while others are reactions to the text. It’s a way of interacting between reader and writer–a conversation.

I think if I hadn’t had the experience of giving just these kinds of notes to others, I’d have felt very defensive and frightened at the prospect of reading through 265 pages of someone else’s commentary on my work. But setting ego aside and seeing the annotations as a conversation rather than a threat makes a potentially anxiety-ridden situation into a learning experience that can be transformative.

Having the right editor makes all the difference. That sounds obvious, but it truly isn’t.

I’ve seen “editors” who simply marked sentence level issues but who never really appeared to engage with the text. That’s not editing. That’s proofreading. I’ve also seen “editors” who try to force a writer to give up his/her own voice in order to make the content fit their own desires. That’s not editing either. That’s rewriting.

Good editing, just like good teaching, engages in a conversation with the writer, reacting to what is working right as well as to what isn’t.

The best situation is when an editor’s sensibilities match those of the writer. They just “get” it. They understand the writer’s intent and help hone the text to achieve that goal.

That’s exactly how I feel as I’m studying the notes. I couldn’t be happier with the work R.J. did for me, and I can’t thank him enough for his attention to detail. I’m only just starting Chapter 6, and I can already see how much cleaner, tighter, and better the text has become. Not only that, but I’m starting to internalize the lessons I’m gleaning from his notes, and that is a gift I will carry with me always.

All this means that Book 2 is on hold while I complete my changes. But after learning what R.J. has to say, I’m confident that Book 1 is going to be vastly improved, and the things I’m learning will carry over into the rest of the series.

By nature, I want what I want when I want it, and I have a hard time waiting patiently for the things I’ve set my mind on. I’m most impatient with myself. It’s easy for me to become annoyed with myself for not being able to complete a project as quickly as I’d like. However, when it comes to my writing, I remind myself that the wait will be worth it, both for me and for those who will read it.

Writing a book is like deciding to run a marathon. It’s not something you can just wake up one morning and do. It takes training, time, planning, dedication, and a willingness to accept that natural talent on it’s own isn’t going to get you to the finish line. It means getting up every morning, even on the days when you don’t feel like it, all with the belief that the achievement will make any short-term hardship fade in time.

Writing a series is like running a series of marathons back to back. That is what I’ve taken on.

So please be patient with me. I’m running as fast as I can. And I promise to make it worth the wait.

Revisions, Revisions, Revisions

I did it! The whole thing is done!! 

Now the real work begins – fine tuning it until it’s ready for submission. 
I already completed global edits, reading through it three times to check for plot flow and storyline detail consistency. That leaves proofreadung and final editorial additions/subtractions/changes. 
For me, the best way for me to ensure that I catch every error is to read it out loud. If I stumble over my words as I read aloud, then there’s something wrong that I need to fix. Generally it’s a typo or missing comma, but I sometimes also catch repeated words that need variation in the text or fixing voice to make each character sound distinct from all the others. It’s meticulous and time consuming. I have a week and a half before the conference. Good thing I have taught writing and been a tech writer and proofreader in my past. I have the experience to do that sort of work quickly. 
I know that any publisher will want to have their own editor go through it if they plan to accept my book, and if I decide to self publish instead, I’ll hire someone to do that for me. Even award winners need an editor. But my whole life has been preparing me for this, and though I know some people groan at editing work, I really actually enjoy the process. To me, that’s what makes the difference between a good story and one that knocks your socks off. I’ve seen typos in famous people’s books, and those errors really stand out to me. I don’t want that to happen to people reading my book. I don’t want any errors to distract the readers and pull them out of the story. 
Wish me luck! 


Editing is Happening…

Just printed my book, all but the last four chapters which are still in process. Starting editing/proof reading today.