Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

"You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write." ― Saul Bellow

YEAH!!!!  It's real!  My book is real!  Like I can hold it in my hand, real. You have no idea how excited I am about this.  Omg.

hahaha yeah, I'm pretty excited :)

Ebooks are available now, hard copy after I finish proofing and sign off -- probably another week or two.  Pretty stoked that I can type my name into Amazon or Chapters and have it pop up.

And when I posted it on Facebook, the response was amazingly supportive!  Wow.  I'm a little overwhelmed by that.  It's almost as heartening as all the people who showed up for our spring work party -- I almost don't even know how to respond.  Thanks seems insufficient.  Amazing.

So anyways -- I have it sitting next to me.  Am totally thrilled with how it looks.  LOVE the cover.  So yeah, all-round excited.

Of course since launching it last night I've found half a dozen typos *sigh*  But one of the advantages of e-books is that you can update with fixes :)  And by the time the print one is out in a couple weeks, it should be set!

It's been an interesting experience.   Writing it, well...  The first chapter was my second ever Friday Flash and it kinda went from there.  I learned really quickly that if the story comes to me and I write it down when it does (there's a reason there's a pen and paper next to my bed!) it'll flow well and not need too much help.  If I try to "make something up"?  Less good.  Where said story comes from -- I have no idea.  Just sometimes the characters tell me what's up and other times they don't.

Anyways -- eventually it was written, in large part due to nanowrimo a few years back.  Then it was ignored.  And I started a new business.  And it was ignored some more.  And every once in a while I thought of it, but mostly...  Well...  It was ignored.

But then I randomly decided it was time to do something with it.  So I pulled it up and reread it and was rather appalled.  hahaha but I fixed it and got a few people to read it and fixed it some more.  And then it was time to find an editor.  Somewhere along the way I'd become facebook friends with another author (India Drummond) who's been quite successful but also seems very willing to help out the newbies of the world.  She connected me with an article she'd written on finding an editor and, more than that, gave me contact info for hers :)

I did a fair amount of research, talked to several editors, got samples from a few.  One I had high hopes for really didn't end up working for me at all.  And in the end, went with Susan Gottfried -- who India had previously recommended :)   And this was the really fun part of the experience.  Because it turns out, I've never had any actual writing instruction.  All the writing I've ever had critiqued has been academic; I can write a really solid academic paper.  Turns out academic and fantasy don't bled well *g*

Not once in uni did I take any form of creative writing, and when I started this project I wasn't really connected with any other writers online I could bounce things off of.   Susan went all out on my manuscript and I learned so much from her.  But even more impressively, not only did she gently -- and sometimes not so gently >;-P; I swear I could see her eyes roll from the other side of cyberspace -- critique the work and offer suggestions on how to fix it, but she did it in such a way that *I* rewrote it.   She didn't take it over or re-write it for me or insist it had to be a certain way (as was occurring with the first person), but instead would tell me what the issue was and leave me to my own devices on how to fix it.  Or occasionally "How about X?" where X would be something so simply brilliant it made me wonder how I didn't see it in the first place.

Anyways -- suffice to say it significantly tightened up my writing and turned it into something I could be proud of.  I also find I hear her voice (ummm the one I made up of course since we've never actually spoken) in my head as I'm writing now.  "Show don't tell" is a favourite.  And "Just use 'said'" hahaha oh dear.  Looking forward to the next level of help whenever I send her my next project.  I'm pretty sure she's also taking new clients at the moment, so if you need an editor -- give her a shout.  She's great with newbies :)

So then I had a book to work with.  Or rather, a stack of papers with writing on them.  Well if you have a book, you need a cover.  Ummm right - remember any artistic ability I have comes in the form of words...  Creating a cover?  WAY beyond me.  But there's a fantasy artist I've been following on Facebook for a long time -- Claudia McKinney.  So I contacted her and sure enough before too long I had a cover.  And I LOVED it.

BUT...  It had no text.  So Claudia put me in touch with Ashley who for typography and soon I had a cover!

Then it was on to learning how to format for various ebooks, more proofing, getting a print copy (still proofing that), learning about US tax numbers, signing a variety of contracts, and all sorts of fun.   I'm quickly seeing why so many authors are going to ebooks only -- significantly better royalties :)  Which of course makes logical sense but there's still something about actually being able to hold a book in your hand.  So I'm doing both :)

But finally, the end result, is up!  Woohoo!!!  And I gotta say, the whole journey has been *amazing* and I've met -- well online met -- so many incredible and totally supportive people as a result...

This whole post could actually be summarized in one word:



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