The Not Waiting Continues

Another two weeks has passed, it’s becoming a pattern these two week intervals between blogs. I shot an e-mail off to the publisher for a progress report. My MS is being formatted and I need to give them more time to get through the proofread, and then I will get the proofs in the post.

But, I’m not waiting, I forge on. My Tea Room novel is growing by leaps and bounds, but I have hit a few snags. Timeline errors and my plan for the book has shifted somewhat. Originally, I wanted to get into the mind of my main character and look at the world from her limited POV. I have drifted away from that and now I need to reassess my reason for writing this story. How does she exist? How does she get through her days? This is coming from a twenty-first century woman trying to understand a seventeenth century woman. Are we that much different?

By the way, I am reading a book (audio) Rise of Empire by Michael J. Sullivan, I am thoroughly enjoying the second book in the series the Riyira Revelations. It’s an epic fantasy and very well written and amusing. I thought I would add that into the mix.

Anyway, I am working hard and not being distracted by outside influences. It seems to be working for me. This blog is my story of how I got to where I am. Last year at this time; I was entering contests, writing short stories, and building a platform to market myself. This year I am strictly writing and time will tell if I have found the answer to my dilemma of getting my novel published.

I have always believed in fate and not fighting against the set backs I have encountered. If you’ve been reading my blog you will know that I have had rejections that took the wind out of my sails (about three days to recover). It’s therapeutic to step back and look at my work trying to understand why others don’t see what I see.

I was lucky, my MS hit ; the right place, at the right time, and read by the right people. I heard that mantra over and over, and it’s true. Don’t give up there is someone out there who gets the message you are trying to send.

One day; I was on one side of the wall, the next day I had scaled it, but got hung up. Now, I’m not quite sure what I will find when I eventually free myself and fall into the partnership I have formed with my publisher. Again, the more time that goes by I start to wonder about those questions … How much are they going to edit my work? The common errors I make, and I know I make plenty, but will I be able to learn to avoid them in my next novel? What does my production person think of my novel? I plan to learn from this experience and write more smoothly … get right to the point before I spend months cleaning it up. I’m sure different publishers have their own criteria and way they do things. I will have to learn that as well.

This was the fourth book I wrote and it was a gamble to set my sights on this one and stick with it. I’m not sure if the first three will ever be published. I plan on writing more novels it’s a creative outlet that I had no idea I could channel until I sat down to write. Was it good enough? Besides the editors at the publishing company there was only one other person who read it; my dear sister, Catherine. She thought it was good enough and made me believe it. Now, others will believe it as well. The Summer Palace by S. Forrest Nomakeo watch for it — Spring 2017 at a bookseller near you.

So, my advice. Write it, live it, breath it, and surround yourself with loved ones, and believe in yourself.

Time Flies

It has been almost three weeks since my last blog. I have to continue telling my story, because, it is only partially complete. Perhaps, I will never be done. Last blog I mentioned the contract I received. I sent it back immediately on August 23. I received a questionnaire and a request for pen name and actual title I want to use. So many options. My name is twenty one letters long. Too long I figure for a normal paperback sized book. I had to shorten it somehow. What gives? My first name which has some nostalgia connected. My middle name which is actually my maiden name which I changed when I was married. Or my last name, my spouse’s name which I have had longer than my own name. I decided S. Forrest Nomakeo would be my pen name. The title Summer Palace was already decided, but what about a sub title? A Path to Destiny, Unbridled Destiny or A long way home. I decided no subtitle, so simply Summer Palace.

The questionnaire was thorough and the fact that I had queried this book, written a synopsis, formed a log line, and biography–was a great help. So I suggest when you complete your novel get to writing those necessary bits of information. It may actually help you with your story. The questionnaire took a few hours, but it would have been a struggle without having those thoughtful considerations of my story in place.

I am now waiting for a first set of proofs. I have been assigned a production person and have been in contact with the production department. Right now, my hands are free. Tomorrow will be one week since I sent in the required questionnaire and name confirmation.

What I did next, with the help of my sister Catherine, was to make a plan. I’m giving myself six months to complete two novels. Both of which have been completed and sent out and refused or rejected by agents. I hate to admit it, it hurts to admit it, but I can almost see why. After learning more about the technical aspect of writing, I’m assuming this because my novel was picked up, and applying it to these other two books I believe they have become better and still a hell of a lot of fun to write or re-write in my case. After the six month time frame I may be too busy to write for a time. I’ll need to dedicate time and energy to marketing my book. Yeah! I’d love to send a second novel to the publisher on the heals of the first one. Not sure what their thoughts will be on that, but I must be prepared.

I had been spending time reworking my third book, but its a sci-fi time traveling fantasy far too different from my Historical Fiction Romance that is being printed. My second and third books (part A) are more along the Historical Fiction genre and will fall in nicely after Summer Palace. In the questionnaire I sent in I was asked to supply a vision for the cover of my book. Being a designer I couldn’t resist that one They may or may not take a suggestion, but they wanted to hear my thoughts. There are so many issues to be excited about, but I have to wait patiently. No one likes an antsy client.

When I wrote my first book Woven and had it out on queries only to wait three or four months to receive no reply, which means no in this industry. I didn’t–wait that is. I wrote my second book. And when Woven was sent in to an agent as a partial MS another month of waiting. I continued to write my second book Tea Room.

When I received a no on the partial MS I sent it into the book Pipeline thinking perhaps it had enough story to be picked up there. So queries went out on my second novel and I started to write my third story a Historical Fiction called Curious Allure. Which I eventually separated into two books. The aforementioned and The Places You Will Be From. Places as I refer to it is the Sci-Fi Fantasy I mentioned earlier that I had worked on for the past month, but have since put it aside to finish Historical Fiction books two and three.

So, that is where I am. Waiting but not waiting. I’m building an arsenal for my panser attack. To all of you pantsers that write like me what you have at the end of your writing frenzy is a Sketch Draft. A wonderful thing and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Us pantsers have to stick together. If you have a solid beginning, middle, and end, that is about 40,000 or 50,000 words, then you have what you need to end up with a 70,000 to 80,000 word novel once you go in and embellish, outline your characters, describe your scenes, and develop dialogue. Don’t forget proofread. It must be your best effort. Granted it will be morphed by an in-house editor but it will be earlier for them to sift through if it is written well. N.B. I worked for four months perfecting my MS. However, after that I slammed the cover and sent it out. I was second guessing small details and decided that that was enough.

Again, I recommend the Novel Maker’s Handbook by Diane O’Connell. If you’re like me it made sense.

Looking at the word count and being mindful that I have to get back to finishing my novel–I will sign off. I will keep you posted on my progress and all the exciting anticipatory fun of getting a book published and all it entails.