From Conception to Publication

Good Friday folks!  Welcome to my 100th post!

As you can see, I have a new layout.  I love it, it’s so pretty and the navigation is good too.  I decided that since I’ve taken a new step in my journey my blog needed a new look.  It’s much nicer than the last, although I do mourn being able to put my own picture in the header.  Haven’t figured that one out yet.  Or if I want to.

Five sales now!  😀 This is the short link for anyone looking to pass my book around:

Someone asked me on one of my recent posts how I got a book to Kindle.  It’s a hellish process really, one that’s incredibly rewarding at the same time.  I can’t speak for everyone about the process but this is mine.

Writing always starts with inspiration for me.  Inspiration for Highland Wolves came from a tragic event (which I will detail as much as I can in a moment), for the Mazrakir series (which will be extensively revamped in the next couple of years) it was the desire to tell my Coven’s history; fictionalized but they are our stories.  My other writing is all because of some inspiration or another.  It’s harder for me to take an assignment and write.  I have to have a LOT of leeway and even then, inspiration needs to strike.   Some of my best writing HAS been forced.  One of my favourites, laughably, is an essay I wrote in Grade 12 English.  The task was to take one character from Shakespeare’s Macbeth and write a 1,500 word essay about them.  I chose Lady Macbeth, the woman of maybe half a dozen total lines but immense influence.  

I got an A with some real insight (for an 18 y/o) and a LOT of double talk.  *laughs*

Anyway, Highland Wolves.

In November 2008, the people Liam, Marcus and Chelle are based on were out and about.  They got caught in the middle of a very bad thing while they were out one day.  It was totally unexpected but G & C died and D was badly injured.  They saved his life.  But it was a crushing blow to our collective group of friends; of which I am the only one who lives out of physical reach.  I couldn’t go to their funerals or help D through his intensive recovery but what I could do was write something to memorialize them.  

Nearly four years later and it still hurts enough to bring tears to my eyes.

So I started a short story called Highland Wolves.  Why?  Because they live in the UK and this group is thick as thieves, like a wolf pack. The short story demanded more… more plot twists, more character development,  more action, more sex, more violence.  More.   The characters wanted more. 

Then at the last minute, when I thought the book would be over – and a stand alone story – someone went missing.  Jsut poof, vanished. Et voila, un deuxième livre.  A second book.  I got partway through book two and there was suddenly a plot and a theme for book three!

But book one is what we’re talking about. Book one took me almost two years to write – I had life going on, one that mostly sucked – but I persevered and got it done.  Then I started the editing process.  Ran through it a couple times and went “Well, this is done!”  

How *do* you spell that buzzer noise?  The “You are incorrect, Sir!” noise.

 I got told so by more than one publisher.  I also got told to essentially do a complete rewrite and close the third person to one person.  I still don’t know what’s wrong with an omniscient view as long as it’s cohesive.  The third person books I like most tend to have that this is what he’s feeling, this is what she’s feeling vibe about them.  I refused to change my style and that knocked me back for a while.

And then I got a rejection that mentioned the editing.  In depth. 

So that got me editing again.  Totally paranoid about it.  So paranoid it stymied my ability to move forward.  I set a goal to submit it one of the Tor imprints and… totally chickened out.  I used the excuse that I couldn’t afford to print and ship it (Tor only accepts paper manuscripts, or did at that point).  Lame, yep.

As my followers know I recently wrote an investor proposal (it worked out to be somewhere between $2,000 and 2,500) but I couldn’t find the balls to follow up on it.  Or move forward in any way.  Then an article came my way about Amanda Hocking.  She’s a very popular paranormal author who, in only 18 months, went from broke to $2.5 million in 18 months AND a contract with a traditional house.  What did she do?  She put it up on  Kindle-Amazon (Kindle Direct Publishing specifically).  

I don’t know what marketing she did.  I don’t know what she did after clicking on the go-ahead for that final step to make it live.  I really don’t care.

I was inspired by her story, exasperated with myself, fed up with being broke and fed up with being a coward.  (I don’t expect her success, but even a fraction of it would be lovely)

That’s what this holding pattern has been about – cowardice.  Why?  I think I have a great book.  My regular readers, assistant editors (all of whom are amazing, but two more than the rest because they ARE nitpicky enough to make me want to strangle them) all think I have a great book.  But what if the general public doesn’t?  

Okay, the general erotic-paranormal crowd.  

What if all the work I’ve put into it has been virtually worthless?

Nope, I can’t say that.  It’s a wonderful memorial to C & G.  They are so alive in these books.  All of us are.  

So Ms. Hocking’s story inspired me and within 48 hours Witch Hitlist was live.

So here I am, feeling intense pressure to succeed but it’s pressure I’ve created so I’m ignoring it.  I did what I set out to do when Highland Wolves became a book named Witch Hitlist and the first in a series. 

And all of it, all the angst, all the work, everything has been because I loved those two people and to help those of us who helped survive remember them with humour and love.  Marcus and Chelle are more and different and yet still the embodiment of C & G.  

I, for one, am proud of myself for accomplishing this goal.


7 thoughts on “From Conception to Publication

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