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Critique Partner

That’s a tall order. I thought I had two after attending a networking meetup in CT. It is a tall order and a definite commitment. If you consider when a reader sits down, plugs in, or fire’s up to read your book they are investing several hours perhaps an entire weekend to enjoy your craft. There are so many variables as well. The genre for one. I don’t read horror. So, my time is precious to me and I just wouldn’t waste the time. A good book (my opinion) however I would feel satisfied and most often wish there was more.

I found a third critique partner and she read my MS#3. This poor MS has been around the block. Several times. Subject to a professional edit, always on the back burner, at least 50 queries have been sent out. The last batch of Q’s went out at the end of October 2017. Nothing. Do I want to bother to drop any one of the eight agents an e-mail. “Did you forget me?” or “I’m sure it was an oversight and the query I spent several hours preparing must have slipped off your desk and is under the printer collecting dust.” Not to mention the months–years it took to write the MS. This poor MS has been ignored, passed over, and dismissed. My critique partner loved it. This rant is only to show that if you can only get someone to read your work, then there’s a chance one of the characters, scenarios, or bit of dialogue will get under someone’s skin. Getting that to happen is the million dollar question. I’m rejuvenated by the extremely positive review my MS#3 received from someone whose opinion I respect. I will meet with her and discuss the MS (I love when that happens) I know what I have to do. The book is worthy, maybe the Q has a problem, the description needs tweaking, and my bio sucks (not much I can do about that) the work is good. I know that now. I knew it then, but the writer is always the last to know that the writing is not that good. Get people to read your MS. I find that is the hardest part. What’s a book? Something you buy and put on the shelf until a rainy day comes along. When the mood moves you. When the buzz comes along by word of mouth. When the Book Club chooses a book and you have a month or so to read it. It’s a pastime and I want it to be more.

Anyway, this little distraction from the real work at hand. I just completed Book #3 in The Summer Palace series. Presently titled Brumal Castle (not to be confused with Book#3 I mentioned earlier). I’m building scenes for The Summer Palace Book #4. The final and last chapter in the series, no title yet. Book #2 in the series White Tower is at the publisher waiting for me to sign the contract for another partnership. I was hoping for a traditional contract, but Book #1 is still in  the early stages and has to prove it can bring in the sales. I’m like a juggler in the circus tossing fire balls up in the air expecting to catch and release each and every one before I scorch my hands.

So, I gear up for another round of Q’s. Only this time they’re going to be better. Because the work requires it.

All About the Critique

Since my book was published, I have been trying to get the word out. Since there are genres of books I don’t care to read, I understand that my book has a certain audience. Most of the feedback has been very positive. Then, there are the few negative comments that give me pause. Of the sixteen readers at two different book clubs one was very  hostile, two were very critical of the syntax but still liked the book. Thirteen readers enjoyed the book thoroughly and gave rave reviews. Now, I’m having to learn how to be a little more assertive, for one of the criticisms was wrong the word was not misspelled. I assumed the word was looked up before the criticism was made. Typos happen, but there was no typo in that instance.

So, after writing the book and getting it published there’s the marketing and promotional aspects to consider. Now, I’m becoming a public speaker and preparing for another Book Club review. I was not prepared to defend myself at the last Book Club review in which questions were asked that led me to believe… they didn’t read the book or looked at it with the wrong attitude. Thank goodness for the great reviews, for it puts it all into perspective. I looked up some questions to ask at my next Book Club reviewers specifically when the author is present. These two are from LitLovers.

9. If you could ask the author a question, what would you ask? Have you read other books by the same author? If so how does this book compare. If not, does this book inspire you to read others?

10. Has this novel changed you—broadened your perspective? Have you learned something new or been exposed to different ideas about people or a certain part of the world?

Something to consider. The reader wants to know the genre, the POV, a little about the author, the style, and the reason for writing the book in the first place.

I recently watched a video on Classic Style given by Harvard professor, Steven Pinker. In short, the writer sees something in the world the reader has not. The writer positions the reader to see it through her eyes. The reader and writer are equals and the style is conversation. I relate to this. This is why I write. Just as I molded my story into a Literary Historical Fiction genre, for I had no concept of target market or chosen genre at the time; I want to believe that mine is a Classic Style of writing, always improving and sharing. I’m a teller of stories and was a listener before I was ever a writer.

I’d like to share another few paragraphs from my book The Summer Palace by S. Forrest Nomakeo and hope you take the time to read my book. Escape, Explore, and Enjoy. It is now available in paperback on Amazon.com and e-book format on Amazon.com and B&N.com. In the UK you’ll find it at Amazon.co.uk and at AustinMacauley.com.

***

She climbed into the sledge and covered herself with blankets, and the driver patiently looked to Mitia who signaled his promise not to keep them waiting any longer than necessary.
She didn’t know what had happened. William’s hold on her made her think of Wiley. She hadn’t felt anything close to that with Mitia, and why not?
Why can’t I love him? He surely deserves it. What is wrong with me?
Mitia had climbed in beside her, but she didn’t notice, for she was so far removed from the joy of the day. He nudged her and she came away from her cogitation as he burrowed himself in beside her. She shoved the strange feelings away, as she was apt to do, and was able to be in the moment with Mitia.
“Mitia, you were like someone else today. No wonder you spend so much time at the office your work is your life. We should do this more often,” she said.
She rested her head on his shoulder. His nimble fingers inside kid gloves stroked her hair that spiraled out from inside her sable hat.
“Katia, what happened back there?” he asked
“Mitia, I’m embarrassed to say, but there are no secrets between us, right?” she asked. “It’s William, when he helped me down… I saw and felt Wiley’s presence. Those feelings of love and loss, that I managed to bury deep inside, rushed to the surface like a flooded plain.”
“He has that effect on many people, Katia,” he said firmly grasping her arm. “It’s love.”

***

Critique Partner

I had networked and found two CP’s. One has since opted out, too much of a commitment, and I haven’t heard from the other. It is a daunting task to read one’s work and share your own. Ever since my MS saw the light of day, I have been dying to talk about it—all of it. Until recently, I had only been able to do that with my loyal and devoted sister, Catherine.

Christine met me for lunch and had recently read The Summer Palace we agreed to meet for a different purpose. She is going to read a WIP… a burgeoning CP I hope. Still, the conversion was invigorating the subtle queues she picked up on were amazing. She payed attention and even pointed some things out to me I hadn’t realized.

Some people simply love to read and it’s our job as writers to supply them with worthy prose.

The Weeks Flu By

I never remember a flu like the one that hit our home two weeks ago. However, I did manage to crawl out of my house and attending the networking meeting in Connecticut. It was well attending knowing how difficult it is to get people together these days. The organizer saw a real need in the community for such a gathering. I ended up with three contacts. Two of which have agreed to be Critique Partners. This is untrodden soil for me and I look forward to the experience. Neither partner writes in my genre and my horizons will be broadened by reading theirs. So far, I have only heard from one and I sent my MS along. Places You Will Be From is currently out on query with no responses since the end of October. I’m hoping to find out what might be a good reason for this poor book not to rise to the surface.

I have several appearances planned for the next months, book club reviews and signings, a trade show (just because), an Author Fair and US launch of The Summer Palace. Since the book is still listed as ‘temporarily out of stock’ I have been using my personal inventory and plan to replenish it when Amazon.com kicks in.

Another excerpt from The Summer Palace:

As they pulled into the entrance of the Summer Palace they noted two carriages. The first one belonged to her Tsyotsya Ludmilla immediately recognizable by the Baron’s insignia on the door, but the other was not familiar and had no distinguishing marks. Moments later, after discussing who could possibly be the owner of the second carriage, a young man and an older gentleman came out of the Manor House and climbed inside.
Katia waited with Mitia until the two gentlemen were gone from the estate. Recognition slowly dawning in her mind.
Katia turned to Mitia and said, “That was the arrogant boy from the Inn on the day of Annushka’s wedding. Whatever was he doing here?”
She pushed herself back against the cushioned seat her hands palmed against the upholstery. When she finally moved to exit the carriage, Mitia stopped her placing his hand on her arm. She was surprised by the gesture.
“Don’t worry, Katia, for it’s not as it seems,” he said.
She was grateful for the calming effect his voice had on her and his touch served to remind her of her duty to him in the way of a proper goodbye.
“Of course, Dimitry Vasilovich… Mitia, you’re right,” she said, “I’ll reserve judgment until I get the full story. Goodbye and I thank you for your kindness. I hope you know how much this day meant to me.”

He gently kissed both her cheeks. She watched him leave and she put up her hand. He parted the curtain and waved back.

I have been overwhelmed by some of the positive feedback from readers who posted on facebook or text. I ask all happy readers to post reviews on Amazon. It has been a giant inhale since my book was published because I did what was not expected. I had no beta readers, writer’s club advice, or Critique Partners to field my MS. My sister is the only one who truly read the novel before it was printed.

As I go along on this journey I find support groups and other sounding boards to bounce ideas off, but I had no idea they existed before my recent endeavors to market my book. The meeting I referred to earlier, had several reps from writing groups looking for ideas to improve their process, make connections for speakers, and present samples of what has been written.

Honestly, if I was aware of such critique groups I may not have forged on as I did. The query at the agent level I thought was the first critical review. I wrote veraciously for two years, stopped along the way to send out a few ‘Q’s’, and listened to the criticism. By the time the fourth book was written I was ready to try again and found success.

Advice:

Try.

 

Inundated… with snow

It has been over a month since my book was launched in the UK. I’m still waiting for the paperback to be IN STOCK at Amazon. There are sevaral orders pending and I’m anxious for them to receive the book. The e-books on both Amazon and B&N are available for immediate download. I did receive my first Amazon Five Star Review. Thank you so much. Please keep the reviews coming. Hearing that readers liked the book is heartwarming even in this storm hitting New England as I speak.
Now, you can order a signed copy of The Summer Palace on my website: sforrestnomakeo.com I have advance copies to fulfill the orders but at some point Amazon.com will receive books from the distributor and I will be able to replenish my inventory.

I’m including another few paragraphs from The Summer Palace to pique the interest of readers who may need a little preview of my work.
Excerpt from Chapter IV
The following morning, Wiley looked into the face of the man he had attacked in a moment of rage. His eyes diverted to the floor, his hand flexed, and his feet swapped position against the wooden planks of the farmhouse kitchen. After they broke their fast, Wiley struggled for the words of apology, but they didn’t come.
“Thanks for the food,” he said. “Come on, Henry, let’s go.”
Henry shrugged and shook his head. Wiley’s inept response resonated with the people gathered about the kitchen. He hesitated for a moment knowing what he should have said and what he wanted to say were polar opposites. He decided it was better to say nothing.

I’m looking forward to attending two book club reviews toward the end of this month. The reactions to my book are coming in and so far they’ve been positive. I’m grateful to all those who have purchased the book and find the time to read it. As I mentioned before, it’s an honor to have someone sit and dedicate those precious hours to my story and hopefully they come away with a positive response. I received a Kindle Fire for Christmas and downloaded my book to read through one more time before the reviews so it’s fresh on my mind (it should be etched on my mind). My point is that Alexa found my book for me in my library and proceeded to read it. I had no idea the Kindle had the capability to do that. The narration wasn’t that bad. There were some places where she gliched but I was impressed.
I plan to get an audio version of The Summer Palace produced and wait to hear from my publisher and will certainly share my experience with that endeavor. Since I listen to most of the books I read I’m anxious to offer my book to those who prefer audio.

My writing groups are fun and I find really creative and talented people who love to write. I am inspired on my journey to improve my writing. My search for beta readers and critique partners hasn’t gone so well, but I’m attending a meeting in Connecticut on January 14 to network with local writers.

I’m still reading as well. I just finished Kindred by Octavia E. Butler. It’s a wonderfully creative time-travel take on the horror of slavery from a first person point of view. I have recently become interested in this subject after watching ‘Finding Your Roots’ and learning the personal history of slavery in this country. It has worked it’s way into some of my creative writing and one of my online friends recommended this book. Currently, I’m enjoying re-reading The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley.

An e-mail blast is scheduled to go out. I hope you enjoy the content and continue to check in. I appreciate comments and look froward to hearing from you.

To be or not to be — Published

My focus has changed since my book was published almost one month ago in the UK. Recently, my book has become available in the US on Amazon.com the e-book and now paperback (listed as out of stock), but still available to order. I placed an order myself and am anxious to see how long it actually takes to get to me. BarnesandNoble.com has the nook (e-book) version only.

I am now focused on the readers and potential buyers of my book. My book is currently being read by two local book clubs and two more in the next months. I find this is a good way to get some real feedback. These people are serious about the books they read. I’m honored to have them choose my book and let me sit in on the critique. “You must have thick skin.” “You are so brave to put yourself out there.” Are some of the comments I hear. I want to write a good book. One that will warrant the time and energy spent on reading it. Hence, the title of this post. There are a lot of people that love to write. Only some of whom want to see their words in print. That’s how I started. Simply telling a story. Then, I got the bug to be published. If you’ve been reading my blog you know how headstrong I can be. How I barrel into things and worry about the details later. Not sure if that tack is right for everyone. Where am I going with this? I guess I’m trying to say that if you think your writing is of value, then you should endeavor to share it. I want to hear what people think of my stories, and I don’t want to write something no one wants to read. I’ve mentioned before that I have a hard time getting people to read my first drafts and manuscripts. I suppose no response from agents may be a hint that my writing needs improvement, a change in genre, or a trendy theme. I have been there many times. A novice writer is encouraged to keep trying. I have sent out many queries on several of my stories and except for The Summer Palace they have all been rejected from query letter, to first few chapters, and partial MS request.

Another component is time. How much time do you have to devote to your writing. If you write for your own enjoyment, then it cannot be a full time venture. My success with The Summer Palace came from eight months of total devotion to the story. Four months to write the raw story and four months of review and edit—strict eight hours a day only taking time out to make sure the family was still there. With my first three books I had been distracted by social media, contests, and lack of knowledge of the business. By the time my fourth book was written I had figured it out and did none of those things for months. That’s what I attribute my success to. To be our not to be — published. Before I received word that my MS was accepted and I received a contract, I wasn’t sure if I had what it takes. I had inklings from partial MS requests and professional editorial advice that encouraged me to keep writing. I had to find out what made my ‘good writing’ good and how to bring up the rest to match it. My big professional edit wasn’t about periods and commas and grammar it was about content and characters and prose. When I was finished (is a book ever really finished?) I wasn’t sure if my editor would own up to the fact that it was edited, for after all was said and done the periods and commas do matter.

I ended up doing the artwork for the cover of The Summer Palace and being personally responsible for the final edit. Adding to the eight initial months it took to foment the book I took ten days to go over the final edit. Forward and backward (how I found some glaring errors). I suppose you do have to have some courage to take on such a task. How many times does someone have to tell you… you suck before it sinks in? After all, look at all the great writers. The smile that broaches your face when you close the cover after a good read. I have been there. About chapter 30 of 35 when you realize the story is coming to an end and you want more. You almost want to dwell in the story that you hope won’t end. The remedy? Read more books by the author. That doesn’t always work either. There was something special about that particular book; those particular characters in their particular place. What makes us great at what we do? Passion and the fact we never give up? Experiences of a lifetime that bubble up in a media that you unexpectedly have a handle on?

To be our not to be — published. That is a good question.

End Of the Year

What a year it has been. Plenty of ups and plenty of downs. All in all though, I have accomplished what I had set out to do and you can read all about it in this blog that has documented it all.

What have I learned this past year?

Strive to be your best. Produce your best work and leave nothing to chance or anyone else. As much as possible, be informed and never stop trying. Heading into 2018 I can now say I am a published author. It’s something I never thought I’d be saying until three years ago. I told a story and thought to get it published. I’ve learned to be self-sufficient and proactive. I have to learn… and you will too, to be a spokesperson for the work. Getting readers to pick up your book is what it’s all about. Why is this book so special? Catchy title? Colorful cover? Great description? What’s the buzz word? What’s the log line?

One Word That Describes Your Book.

A word that will become synonymous with your book. A word that can appear—should appear in all your advertising headlines. I write to entertain myself… is that my word? entertaining. I hope readers will be entertained by my novel. I’m asking them to spend many hours reading it. I’m hoping they’ll get lost in the adventure… is that my word? Get Lost? For one thing… that’s two words and another telling people to get lost is not always taken in the way it was meant.

Read my book because it will (fill in the blank) you. (fulfill, engage, challenge, release). Release your inner Katia. How about Escape? rather than Get Lost? sounds better it’s one word… I may have just worked it out.

Read my book and ESCAPE to another time and place. Follow Katia as she finds, loses, endures, and pursues her love through every obstacle imaginable. The people and places along the way that shape her decisions and give her hope. I chose a random paragraph from The Summer Palace to help inspire a decision to read my book.

“I have a plan to take care of the Rostov boy who’s betrothed to Katia, I know his father, General Vasily Rostov, very well, I can get him to have the boy bring her here to the Inn. Pavel can give her the message and we will see where that leads us. The Baron can’t argue if Dimitry Rostov should insist on an outing with his daughter, for she’s betrothed to him, as long as they don’t find out what our actual plans are. Fiona, your son may have been a stable boy, but now he is a soldier. Furthermore, if he is anything like his mother he will persevere.”

One thing I’m lacking is hearing opinions from readers. I have trouble getting family members to take a few quiet moments to read my book.

family member

“I’ll read it when it gets printed.”

me

“It’s printed.”

family member

“When it’s available online.”

me

“I give up.”

Granted, not everyone is a Literary Historical Fiction reader. What I said before about being proactive… find people that do read the genre. Book Clubs have people that read for the joy of it and enjoy the critique. I have my book in the hands of one local book club and I will attend the critique at their meeting next month. This could be painful. Maybe I should rethink this. Too brutally honest? not honest enough? that’s the risk. Who wants to write a book that’s not worth the read? Maybe if I ran the wagon load of characters off the proverbial cliff I could fix it in the sequel. Maybe I should wait until the newspaper or e-magazine skewers me in print. So far, in my endeavor to market my book, I have joined two writers’ groups one online and the other at the local library and one book club; I can honestly say that I would listen to them. They are all passionate about reading and writing and I certainly don’t feel I’m wasting my time. I find it quite entertaining. There’s that word again. I have read two books for the book club I now belong to. Charlotte by David Foenkinos and News of the World by Paulette Jiles. Both good books which I would not have read. I look forward to the critique of the latter at the end of the month.

I just finished reading Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley the first in a series that I’m looking forward to reading. I really liked this book about six sisters named after the system that contained seven stars which they were all named after—minus one. A story within a story after Mya goes in search of her family (No spoilers here).

My writing groups are keeping my writing skills homed after editing and proofreading The Summer Palace Series books two and three for the past few weeks. I was able to order The Summer Palace online in the UK and received the four books in ten days which was good considering the time of year the only setback was the cost of shipping. The paperback is still not available on Amazon.com but the kindle version can be downloaded for a mere $4.95 and if you’re so inclined to do so and really enjoyed the book, leave a review and watch for events in W. MA in the coming months.

The Low Down

I’m not sure how to tell you to avoid these things, but I walked right into it. Sometimes I think it’s better to be reactive—you may get discouraged otherwise if you think about it too much. My book was released, but only in the UK. The domestic distributor has not done their part. It seems I will have to have a separate launch date for my US readers. My book, The Summer Palace is available in paperback and e-book at the AustinMacauley.com UK website under New Releases or under authors under Nomakeo. The price is $13.95 US dollars and $4.95 respectively. It costs almost as much as the book to ship to the US. I am asked to check Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com for the availability of my book. To date only the Kindle version is available on Amazon.com. I have ordered books through my publisher and the website and hope I receive copies of my book to honor the commitments I have made and keep my sales going in a forward direction. I will have to guard them with my life until it becomes easier to get them. Currently, I’m in possession of five books which is no way to start marketing a new release. Not sure how to avoid such a thing in the future. I was told the launch of my book on November 30, 2017 would include all outlets but that didn’t happen. My fault for being too trusting? However, it’s times like this that test your mettle. My publisher is trying their best to get the domestic distributor going and I have ordered books through the UK for limited local distribution.

I usually barge my way through life and figure it out later. That has been my method. When I was a typesetter and they brought in desktop publishing I didn’t have enough sense to balk. Some did. I dove into it and figured it out as I went along. Same with writing. I tell stories and then I figure out how to make it readable. Same with desktop, if I only knew what I was getting myself into I might not have started, some never do.

I was a listener long before I was a writer perhaps that is where all my stories come from. I have passion for history and passion is key to writing… I’m convinced of that. I didn’t target an audience or plan a strategy, but I can certainly see a point for that. You must respect your audience and mustn’t trip them up with more information than they need or sentences they can’t read. Certain genres require shorter books… fantasy books are usually 80,000+ words. You need to know where your book will fit in a book store. I hadn’t figured that out either. Today, I know my book is a Literary Historical Fiction but I kind of squeezed it in there because it made sense—hindsight.

As I mentioned before The Summer Palace is my fourth book. Book One Woven sits in a box collecting dust all 180,000 words. Book Two The Tea Room has recently had another rejection and it too sits at 77,000 words until I can find a Critique Partner or beta readers. Book Three Places a Science Fiction historical fantasy at 67,000 words has been out on query for about one month and one half with only the sound of crickets in my inbox. Needless to say, it was a thrill when The Summer Palace was picked up two weeks after submission along with nine others (After four months of intensive reconstruction). Never heard from the other nine.

For the Spring of 2018 I have a US Launch planned and an Author Fair at a local library. There are many tools for new authors in your local communities and I was happy to realize this. Book Club readers have been so receptive and they read for the joy of it. It’s great to see how a book impacts the lives of others and I hope my book will be well received.

One More Day Until Publication

 

I recently read a book in which the subject is about a club you never want to belong to. The authors who get a book published on the other hand is a club I have been actively trying to get into for almost three years. On November 30, 2017 I will officially be a member of that club. I feel so joyful today. I recently joined a local writers group and book club two separate groups both with talented and articulate people. I recently read that marketing your book is very important but WORD OF MOUTH is a much stronger vehicle. It has been a most pleasant experience friendly, encouraging people in both groups. People that love to read and those who love to write. My kind of people. I’m also reading books I would never have chosen for myself and broadening my world. Today’s group considered and chose my book The Summer Palace to read for the next book of the month I am honored and crave the feedback. Tommorrow I will deliver twelve books to another book club. It’s wonderful how receptive these avid readers welcomed my book sight unseen and I hope they aren’t disappointed. So far this new phase of the process has been a positive experience.

Thursday, my book will be available to purchase. There are three ways to purchase my book The Summer Palace by S. Forrest Nomakeo AustinMacauley.com, Amazon.com, and Barnes and Noble in Western Mass. and online. Amazon and B&N may state that the book is out of stock because they need to get orders in order to place an order so don’t be discouraged so by ordering from AustinMacauley.com (UK) may be the most direct way if you absouletley mus t have the book right away… and I can understand your reasoning for that. The Summer Palace by S. Forrest Nomakeo because there are other books by the same title but this book is yellow and the only one that bears my name.

OTHER BOOKS

It was one month ago today that I sent my third book The Places You Will Be From out to query. Since my initial blog I have received no word from any of them. That is why you must never wait; keep on writing, reading, and dreaming. I’m still looking for a Critique Partner of Tea Room my second book and it sits in the crock pot on low.

Now I have several clubs I’m proud to be part of. Check out the local library website and join a writers or readers book club. That’s what I did.

Did you get the e-mail?

So far I haven’t been able to write while listening to my playlist. I’m trying it now. I’ll see how it goes.

Well, it happened I received my 20 complimentary advance copies from my publisher. A banner day. Seeing the book and holding it in my hand was a great feeling. I shut the musci off can’t seem to concentrate with it on. Anyway, I’m relying on the fact that my book will be available as promised on November 30, 2017. Although, my book isn’t in the system yet. Not sure how this will all work out but I will keep you informed.

I sent out my first e-mail to this list. I hope if you are a registered user you received a notice about the upcoming release of my book The Summer Palace and I’m entering into the marketing phase. I’m trying to line up book club events, and handing my copies out to people that have been encouraging me throughout the process. The event I’ve been planning, the big event, is temporarily scheduled for February 2018. A little later than we expected but to do it right I need a few months to plan. In my networking plans I reconnected with one of the editors of one of my books. The author of The Novel Makers Handbook, Diane O’Connell replied to me right away. I have mentioned her book in this blog  before but I must say again how much the book and its author helped me in my quest to get my book to the level it needed to be to be published. If you are in any stage of completion of your MS I highly recommend this helpful tool. In fact I went on Amazon and gave her a review. Speaking of reviews on Amazon, I have developed a policy for myself. If I can’t rate a book at five stars or even four—I won’t leave a review. A three star review leaves a negative connotation and I made that mistake once and won’t do it again. So, as important as these reviews can be I believe it’s better to leave no review than a mediocre or poor one.

Still, things are not happening fast enough. It’s a true exercise in humility. I sit to write and order my characters across the continent, I decide what they’re wearing, what color their eyes are, and even whom they might fall in love with, yet I’m totally at the mercy of someone else who doesn’t think my book should rise to the top of the pile, answer my e-mails immediately, and produce a timeline. However, I do believe there is a lot of grey area between what I expect and what is professional and courteous.

A Really Big Shoe

Remember my recent post about waiting for the other shoe to drop? If not, you can find it in the archives not so long ago. Shortly after my last blog, I received the proof certificate to sign off on the cover and text of my novel The Summer Palace. I have since been assigned a Marketing Coordinator and the plans for the publication of my book are in motion. I’m still not sure about when I’ll receive the advance copies or exactly where my book will be available for purchase on November 30, 2017, but I will keep you posted. I have compiled an e-list from this blog and you should be receiving a notice when it becomes available to purchase.

HOUSEKEEPING

Between the date of October 26 – 28 2017 I sent out eight queries on my book The Places You Will Be From the same book that was turned down by another agency. I reported that I heard back from two agencies so far, one was an auto-reply and the other was a rejection. I have heard nothing from the other six since. That was roughly two weeks ago.

When I signed off on the final copy of my book I received a questionnaire from the Marketing Department. Because I had done my homework, I was able to fill it out and send it back the next day. I had mostly everything in place; a professional photo, a media kit downloadable on my website, a synopsis and jacket description, a good basis for an e-mail list from this 2-1/2 year old blog, and a podcast and ten questions from an interview. I also had to come up with a list of booksellers, media, and organizations that could be contacted about my book.

In the long stretch of time between signing a contract and signing off on my book (14 months and counting) I kept writing and looked into what would be expected of an author in this final phase of production. I’m in a much different place than I was six months ago when I thought my book would be published. The delays and waiting were draining (I don’t recommend doing that). This next phase, going out into public and talking about my book will be me out of my box. Looking at the top of this blog, you’ll see I was a listener before I was a writer none of that says media personality. In the last month of filtering through The Summer Palace I have become re-acquainted with the story—word by word. It still thrills me to see how all the words combine to express what was in my mind. I do hope when a reader sits down with my book that the hours they spend with the words will be meaningful and memorable. A book is a real commitment by the reader and an honor for the author.

Speaking of which, I have been immersed in the Drenai Series by David Gemmell. I am currently reading The First Chronicles of Druss the Legend book 6 out of 11. I have enjoyed each and every book so far and I highly recommend them. He’s a one of a kind storyteller.

So, the other shoe has dropped and it’s a really big one. It will take me on an adventure that I will be happy to share with you.