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I was a listener before I was a writer, now I have a lot to say. I am a small business owner, a mother of two, and a wife to a wonderful man who tends to show up in my characters.

Entertaining Thoughts

I’m wondering when the other shoe is going to drop. I haven’t received the second set of proofs. I sent them back to the publisher on March 20, 2017. I’m in a partnership with my publisher and suspect that my work is on hold until the final invoice is reconciled. I wait with my ducks in a row in a stalemate on the checker board waiting to say ‘king me.’ This is like a dog on a leash in a dog park; straining the arm of one while trying to get at the other.

In the meantime, I’m researching, writing, reading, and trying to stay current with my media outlets. I have plans but unfortunately cannot do a thing until a date is set for the launch of my book The Summer Palace. I have been making connections in my community with local authors, book clubs, and attending meetings. The third novel in The Summer Palace series now has an ending, the scenes have been gone over, and scrutinized. I found timeline problems, changed my mind about a few characters, and I’m doing research. I’m also considering a fourth book for the series. That is a battle in itself. The decision, in the beginning, to go from a short story to a novel was easy. The second book in the series The White Towers (not a definite title) was a no-brainer, either was the third book, Kende Castle (not a definite title)  for that matter. I’m struggling with a fourth. I need to find the catalyst that seemed to come forth for the others quite automatically.

I have an epic fantasy saga in the works (Woven In Time). It is more in line with my other book Places You Will Be From and I’m not sure if a genre change would be the best course of action from here. I do have The Tea Room in the wings along with The White Towers to present to the publisher as soon as The Summer Palace hits the book shelves.

I’m now looking at a mid to late June launch. The delay is putting my life on hold I’m literally in the dog park looking for a space under the fence big enough to get my big carcass through—it’s going to take a little more digging.

I’ve been reading a great series The Serpent Sword by Matthew Harffy. I started the third book Blood and Blade and I’m reading it ravenously. It’s 7th Century Brittan, dark, graphic, but well written and narrated (an audio book). I highly recommend these books if you are a fan of Historical Fiction. The protagonist Beobrand is a troubled, reluctant, and likable hero. I recently found out that there is a fourth book to be released this summer, so if you start now perhaps you’ll be ready for the fourth when it comes out (I love when that happens).

My take on this entire process? Feast or famine. The long wait for the first set of proofs and the frantic days that followed ended in another span of wait-lessness. An author that writes a book, manages to get it published, and ready to take on the challenge of marketing is not faint of heart. It takes aggressive action, self-confidence, and persistence. So, the waiting and inability to take the bull by the horns is a balloon-deflating experience. Thereby, if you don’t channel your creative fire hose elsewhere during these times, well I can’t imagine the outcome. For me, rabid refocusing was an alternative. Again, this is my experience and perhaps this is not the way it will be for someone else that takes on a partnership with a publisher. I’m told as soon as I get the second set of proofs, review, and return them I will be contacted by the marketing team and my book will be printed within the month. Everything I have read says to be prepared. Therefore, have that hole under the dog park fence dug and make sure your collar doesn’t get caught on those little prongy things.

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

I heard that song on the radio moments ago. Tom Petty and the Heartbreaker’s brought back some memories and gave me the title for my latest blog. I am waiting for the second set of proofs and the final correction on the cover of my novel The Summer Palace. I have been waiting since I signed the contract last August. But, now, it has taken on a whole new dynamic. I am anxious to get started on the next phase of my journey – the Marketing phase. Since this is my first novel I have much to learn and I’m like a horse in the starting gate chomping at the bit for that gun to go off. Everything I have been juggling for the last months in preparation will be thrown up in the air as I dart out from beneath the falling tennis balls.

Once the proofs and the final cover are in and I can finalize them promptly; a print date will be set and the marketing team will contact me. But, I have no idea of what that entails. I have amped up my platform. I now have a website: I have a new facebook page: /sforrestnomakeo dedicated to my book The Summer Palace so FRIEND ME, and I have been faithfully blogging once a week right here LEAVE A COMMENT. I have a new twitter account @SForrestNomakeo so FOLLOW ME. I am getting a professional photo done and putting together a media package. I have a lot to learn and will share all when I learn more about the fascinating business of publishing.

Amazon is a whole new world, now, along with purchasing books and such from the online giant.  I now will build an Author’s Page as soon as I have a book available for sale. Then I need to solicit reviews and sales, and I will need to push all my family and friends who want copies (bless them) to Amazon or the brick and mortar book stores so I get credit for the sales. So, if I have a launch event and offer signed copies… how does that work? BYOB (Bring Your Own Book) most likely. I will let you know.

I have attended three local author events and attended one RW meeting and plan to attend another this weekend. It happens to be Jay’s (my spouse) birthday and we plan to make a day of it. Not sure if he’ll enjoy the Romance Writer’s meeting in a town outside Boston but he is the Marketing guy and we’re a team. He’ll most likely be on his iphone more than usual.

In the calm before the storm I’m READING: HEREWARD the END OF DAYS by James Wilde, WRITING: KENDE CASTLE the third book in the Summer Palace trilogy and not doing much ARITHMETIC I’ll leave that to my marketing expert.

Marketing 101

I’ve been doing research, viewing webinars, and building a more solid platform for myself. It seems if I thought my days were consumed with writing, editing, and reading, then… wait a minute, for the launch of my book. I’m so glad I set goals for myself last fall and have edited and finalized one WIP and written the sequel to the book I now await and have completed 50% of the third book in the trilogy—The Summer Palace, White Towers, and Kende Castle (the latter two titles are not final). For, now, I’ve read, the days are not long enough to market a novel properly. The publisher will help, they have all the connections and know-how, but don’t leave your heart and soul’s desires to someone else. Accept and appreciate all the publisher and distributor can offer, but be diligent with your own effort.

I have this blog and try to maintain it weekly. Since I’m in the throws of getting my book out there I need to do at least that much. I now have a website I need to glean more e-mail for my launch. Thanks to you I have quite a few from this blog, but I have started a newsletter which I have posted on my new website and ask visitors to subscribe to my Newsletter: ScriptNews Monthly. I have an e-mail account for all correspondence for my book: sforrestnomakeo@gmailcom (I just checked it to make sure it’s taking mail) so, I anxiously await.  I need to get professional business cards and a professional head shot to build a Media Kit which can be sent out at the push of a send button.

I also need to contact those that can assist in getting the word out about my first novel about to be launched (that sounds so good) as soon as the final set of proofs and cover are approved. Then a date will be set and ore-ordering can commence. The internet is full of suggestions for anything you can google. Marketing Tips, what an author should know about launching a novel, etc.

If you’re not a burgeoning author or enjoy writing and considering a leap of faith I’m not sure what this blog has to offer other than the occasional excerpt I include (gee, I haven’t done that for awhile). I am going to elicit a contest to suggest names for the last two titles of my trilogy, perhaps, that would be a good time to add a chapter, for how can you name a book you have no knowledge of? Not sure about that right at this moment.

I have also attended a few author events in my area, listened to readings from the promotion, and purchased two signed books. I also attended a Romance Writers meeting in CT and met with several authors who have books in print. I downloaded one of them and am reading the Kindle version on my phone. I like audio books for I’m somewhat vision impaired, but with a glass and my bi-locals I am able to read the text on my phone.

Speaking of reading, I have come across a great six-book series Hereward by James Wilde. Hereward the hero, is right up there with; Uhtred of Bemmenburg from the Last Kingdom Series by Bernard Cornwell, Sigurd Haraldson from the Rise of Sigurd Series and Osric Blood Eye from the Raven Series both by Giles Kristian. Since the third book in the Herewald Series is not available on audio I have downloaded it to read on my iphone as soon as I finish reading Annie’s Heart by Barbara Edwards. So far it’s a good historical fiction takes place in the Mid-West after the Civil War. Barbara is one of the women I met in CT last weekend at the RWC. I plan to leave a review on Amazon once I have finished. That is what I can do to help a fellow author and hope others will do the same for me when the time comes.

Another important note; everything I have done to date, especially here on this blog is to document my journey and share it with others if what I have done, and the successes I have enjoyed can be of any help to someone else then it was worth the effort. Also, the content is great to copy and paste into my newsletter, the Q’s and Synopsis’, etc. I have written can have sections copied and pasted into interesting (hopefully) content as well. Keep in mind the wealth of all you have done to date and ease your burden of coming up with new copy for your continuing journey. Until next time… keep writing.

Yet Another area of ignorance

Shocking? When I wrote my first novel I had no idea… ! It reminds me of the day when I was a typesetter and layout artist (yes, that long ago). Then, they brought in the Macs. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. History repeats. I wrote my novel and then had to figure out what I had in my hands. I wrote two more novels, getting better all the time (I hoped). My fourth novel was picked up and is currently being published. What inspired the content of this blog was the free webinar on Marketing A Novel I sat in on. After learning the method of better writing and then the seemingly insurmountable task of getting a publisher to look at it. I now find I am responsible for marketing it as well. The publisher is in a position to do a great amount of the marketing, but as an author I also have the responsibility to pursue yet another aspect of getting my novel into the hands of readers.

One of the things I came away from the webinar was that there are so many experts out there offering a formula for a successful run at getting a book published. Including myself to an extent. I remind the reader that I am only blogging about my experience, whatever luck I possess, and effort I put in. One hundred authors/experts will give you one hundred different views of their path to getting their book published.

Marketing is my husband’s area of expertise, lucky for me. I rely on him for this third prong of my journey. There are many hands out there willing to take your hard-earned money. They may be perfectly justified to do so considering the supply and demand element of capitalism. In my experience the most helpful donations I made to the cause was in professional editing. I listened to every word they said; I bought the tools they recommended, took to heart their constructive criticism, and focused on the job at hand. The fee for the book launch extravaganza was double what the full-weekend one-on-one with a highly successful professional editor was. (I didn’t opt for that one either). I started with a short story and paid a reasonable amount for the edit. I then had a partial MS edited. I was so far off the mark that the editor was able to put me on track it was after that I decided to settle on The Summer Palace as my do or die novel and make it the best work of art I could. The common denominator between the two experiences was that they both felt I had what it took to write a good novel.

We finalized the cover for The Summer Palace. I decided to do the original artwork to eliminate copyright fees and legalities. I was very happy with the results and so was my production manager. I’m waiting (again) for the second round of proofs. As soon as I approve and sign off– it’ll take about one month to print. So, hence, the marketing issues looming up at me. As a result of the marketing webinar I now realize I probably should have started months ago. Three months is the recommended time to do a launch justice. I have less than two. I think. I have to rely on e-mails I have collected, facebook friends and family, and I need to find others who can influence buyers of books and get them to steer toward mine. Then I’ll need to set goals and commit to marketing efforts at least two times a week for a solid year–promotional emails, book signings, interviews, etc.

I am now glad I set some goals for myself to finish the two books and start a third while I waited all fall and winter for the first set of proofs from the publisher, for now my mind is preoccupied searching for local book clubs, networking with local authors, and establishing myself as an author as well as a writer.

Older and Wiser

Shortly after my last post I received the first round of proofs from my publisher. Now, I am a little wiser as far as this process goes and can share some things. The files came to me in Word with all the capable tools for marking up proofs. It was a pleasant experience, after the learning curve. I happened to have had an edit done earlier to a short story I wrote, so I was somewhat familiar with the process. It took about five hours to go through the 71,000 some odd words. Then I settled in to re-read the MS which I haven’t looked at in six months. After I sent in the MS originally I found a few typo’s that I made and winced. Well, there were plenty errors: glaring ones, simple ones spell check didn’t pick up on, and punctuation. The book was styled: indents, title pages, and em dashes. So, now, I have a keener sense of how my publisher formats their books. This is good to know as I write the sequel and other novels for publishing. I hope they like what else I have to offer them.

Getting back to my point. I took me four days to go through the MS. Remember, before I ever sent in my MS I spent four months; reading, re-reading, and editing my novel. (Does it ever end?). It takes a lot of discipline to leave well enough alone. However, I did find some edits that needed to be made even at this point. So many questions are now answered. I wasn’t sure if the proofs would come in as hard copy or in an e-file that was not familiar to me. I work on a Mac and was able to convert the Word file over to Pages and get through it. I feel so much the wiser.

The waiting issue? More waiting about one more month to see a second set of proofs; from writing incessantly to reviewing the MS first set of proofs my mind has had to shift. I haven’t written in about six days. There is also a cover design but it hasn’t been finalized yet. Marketing is a big part of the story yet to be told. These days it’s up to the author to be savvy about getting the word out about their awesome novel in my case, it’s The Summer Palace. I will also learn about that part of the process as we proceed.

Please keep the comments coming. I appreciate all you have to say.

The Life of a Writer

I am a writer. Soon to be an Author. Pe,rhaps, I’m already one. Not sure what the qualification is. Doesn’t matter, for I feel like one. I have become insular, writing constantly, and quite boring at social events. I set goals for myself. Last year, at this time, my goal was to get published before my next (monumental) birthday). I fell short by four months. Those four months were spent doing what I am still doing today– dedicating myself to my craft, constantly at it, and not doing much else. Oh, I step away for coffee, bringing my daughter back and forth to school, and making dinner. After the goal I had set for myself was reached I decided I needed to complete a WIP that requieed much editing and re-writing, and I threw in the project of writing a sequel to the book currently being published. I reached that goal and then some. I decided the series would be a trilogy and that is 50% completed.

I realize when the proofs do arrive I will be going through my story again with a fine-toothed comb with time available for little else, hence the writing frenzy I have been engaged in. I do love this earlier stage of writing. I am writing scenes but being careful to keep within a time sequence. I have learned to avoid mistakes that catch up in the editing stage causing major re-work, but then again there are plenty more mistakes to go around.

That reminds me. I went back and read some of my earlier blogs. So many mistakes, but I decided not to edit them at this point. It’s a reminder of how raw I really was starting out. And still, after all this time the editors at the publishing company have their own style that is inherent and no amount of my re-working and sweating over commas and participles will gel. That is the point I was at when I submitted Summer Palace after four grueling months of re-work. I was adding commas during one pass and removing them on another. I closed the cover (so to speak) and sent it off with all the necessary attachments. Of the ten queries I sent at that time only two were responded to. One was a hit. Within two weeks of sending three sample chapters a request for a full MS came through.

Summer Palace was originally a short story. I wanted to enter a contest and asked my sister for a prompt. From one line, a mere suggestion of a story, a stand alone novel turned into a trilogy.

Now, if they react to the sequel as they did to the original, and so on, it’ll be the best news I’ve heard in about seven months. The protagonists Katia and Wiley are fifteen and seventeen years old respectively. In the third book they are mid-thirties. The setting goes from Russia in the first, to Poland in the second, and Hungary in the third installment. Each book spanning about eight years average from the end of the Seventeenth Century to the beginning of the Eighteenth Century. It’s a love story wrapped up in Historical Fiction. So much uncertainty from wars, slavery, and childbirth to contemplate.

I am intrigued by Eastern Europe in this time period. In my research I run across people, places, and things that inspire me. It is the passion for these things that come through in my stories, keep me writing, and creating characters that might have lived then working their way through each crisis. The odds are against Katia and Wiley every step of the way. Read about their lives and the interesting people they meet along the way, places they make their own, and lives they influence.

Thanks again for comments and keep reading the blog for updates and the final announcement that the book is in print and where you can pick it up.

Tidying Up

I am at a crossroads. I have finished two novels during the publishing phase of my first novel. I thought I would clean up my workstation, take a breath, and clear my mind.

In the past month, give or take, I have heard twice from my production manager at the publisher. Nothing new, the MS has not gone to proofread as of today. On a positive note, my goal of two more completed novels by this time has been reached. I have written the sequel to my novel Summer Palace coming to a bookstore near you May 2017. The Tea Room, women‘s fiction complete at 78,000 words is also in the wings.

I enjoy the comments. However, of the 565 registered users only about half are legit. That is one problem with having an open blog. I plan to run a contest to name the other two novels in the trilogy. The name of my first novel is Summer Palace, based on that the second novel is now called Autumn Place the third in the series is called Winter Dwelling. I want to put it out there that I’m looking for suggestions for the second and third titles. Summer Palace is etched in stone and cannot be changed. So, based on that I’m looking for suggestions. I want to wait until the first in the series is printed so I can offer a signed copy of Summer Palace by S. Forrest Nomakeo as a prize. So hang in. I figure this exercise will help me to distinguish my real commenters from the robots and spammers that slipped by my screening. On that note, some of the comments come in various languages and unfortunately, I only read and speak English of the American variety. So, if you have sent comments in a foreign language I appreciate your input, but can’t read it.

I have started the third in the series and I’m not planning a fourth at the moment. I have two other novels I’ve started but are WIP’s. As I’m tidying up, I’m contemplating what my next project will be after I’ve completed the trilogy.

I did something different with Autumn Place I wrote it as scenes not in sequence as I did the first one. I didn’t understand the concept in my earlier works and I’m not convinced it’s something I want to continue. I found myself repeating portions from scene to scene and had a bit of re-positioning and editing when I was done. I believe I wrote cleaner, not sure if that was a result of the method or I might be getting better at writing. When I read that a writer needs to write and only write to be succesful. I raised an eyebrow. But, you know what? I find he was correct. Life gets in the way. Not everyone can drop everything and sit in front of a computer 24/7. But, that is the formula, I am convinced. When I’m writing, truly writing nothing else matters. It’s a lonely world outside the page. That is the intensity, in my opinion, to do your novel justice.


If you can it would be good to stock away some money for your WRITERS FUND. Work ten years, save, write four years. I have someone who supports my efforts. I have a business which lately I haven’t been involved in as much. My husband has learned to build a website and send e-mails. In the early days of website construction, knowing html was vital – not so much anymore. He is excited for prospects of marketing a novel. However, if my novel wasn’t picked up five months ago, I’m not sure if I would still be writing. I have spent a bit of money along the way as well. Conferences, contests, manuals, and professional editing. Let’s see –$5,000.00 ballpark.

If you’ve been following me from the beginning, then you will know that I started this endeavor with no idea of what I was getting myself into. I didn’t plan, I hadn’t written much previously, and I knew nothing of the business. I could write for fun, which is how I started, but after a year of writing I wanted my story to be told, my characters to real, and my novel to be read. Two years and one month later, I’m on the brink. On this side of the wall; it’s surreal, jumping up and down enthusiastic, and reactive. On that side of the wall (where my MS is currently); it’s real, methodical – crossing t’s and dotting i’s, and dedicated to the novel/author at hand.

After I made the decision to pursue a publisher I was steeped in the tea of the publishing business (I now drink quite a bit of tea – coffee only previously) I listened to all the suggestions and that is mainly why I started this blog. To market my book. However, it’s hard to market something that doesn’t exist anywhere but in the pages of a  MS. So, I plan to have a contest and talk about my women’s historical fiction with romance elements Summer Palace by S. Forrest Nomakeo that takes place in 17th Century Russia complete at 71,114 words. If you enjoy my blog, you’ll love my book.

Proofs are coming so is Christmas

I have been laboring over the fact that the waiting for proofs from the publisher is killing me. I am ignorant of the process. From all I have read you can expect to wait two years from signing a contract to getting an actual book to hold in your hand. Delays in contracts, edits, and communication are all factors.

Christmas has come and gone and I’m still waiting. As I keep mentioning; this blog is meant to document the process and so far patience is the key word. I ran across this forum which is a few years old but certainly still applies.

I found it to be very helpful each case scenario is different from my own experience so far, but the bottom line is the same. Patience. I sent a query along with three chapters to a publisher last July. I was asked for the complete MS in August 2016. I signed the contract and submitted a synopsis, author’s bio, and suggestion for a cover by September 12. So, after reading the article and comments I find I am not as far behind as I thought. I wish the publisher could give a better idea of the process in the beginning. I was told nine months. Which is perfect, but I wish I had a little more communication with my production manager. Always pleasant and reminding me to e-mail any questions and also reminding me to be patient. I don’t want to be one of those clients who badger them to the point of annoyance, but I also am so excited and bursting at the seams.

I don’t know what’s happening to my story. Is my sequel building on characters that have changed or entirely deleted? When can I submit my next novel? Am I making common mistakes that I could be correcting as I write this new one?

In three months I have sent three e-mails asking for a progress report. As of my last e-mail that was responded to my MS was still in ‘house styling’ mode and not handed off to proofreading. That was in October 2016. I waited two more months and sent an inquiry shortly before Christmas but haven’t heard back.

If you read the article using the link above you will know my experience is not so different from some, but entirely different from others. I found it comforting to realize that I am still within the time frame discussed in my contract.

So, in the meantime I have finished another novel The Tea Room and in the process of completing another. I am about 75% done with my WIP Winter Dwelling, the sequel to Summer Palace which is the book being published now.

I am writing constantly during the day and reading voraciously especially fantasy fiction at night.

Pure Writing

Good thing I reviewed my last blog, for I was about to repeat most of what I blogged last time. The only change is … my sketch draft is about half way done. PURE WRITING — I love that phase of the process. Putting down the words with little thought about serious details, those names and places that are ironed out later. It’s the raw or pure thoughts that come into view, onto the keyboard, and ultimately on the screen. I work in Pages mostly; the mac equivalent to Word. For submission purposes I simply export in the proper format.

Several comments I’ve received have common questions … like, ‘how long have you been blogging?’ It’s been 1-1/2 years since I started this blog when I was in the process of pitching my very first novel. The main purpose of this blog is to document the steps I have taken to attain my goal of having a published book. It’s a very simple design using themes available through wordpress. So thanks, for the positive comments. So far, I don’t have guest bloggers, videos, or links. I concentrate on the content alone.

As I said earlier, I am in the same situation I was a month ago. I’m still waiting to hear from the publisher. It’s tough waiting and wondering what my MS will look like when I do received the first set of proofs. I have a feeling when I do see the proof it will be a whirlwind trip to the final product. I have already considered cover artwork and sent in some suggestions. They may have a completely different concept and I am very anxious to see the ideas.

What else have I been doing lately? Reading, writing, not much arithmetic. but I have come across several great reads. A couple epic fantasy fictions; The Cycle of Arawn by Edward W. Robinson, Everything by Michale J. Sullivan,  and Winter’s Fire by Giles Kristian and  the latest Historical Fiction from Bernard Cornwell The Flame Bearer. By the way his latest book (10) in the Last Kingdom Series is everything I anticipated it would be. Uhtred of Bebbanburg … well, I won’t be a spoiler here, but it was a great conclusion (?) to the series and now that I have a tad more understanding of all that goes into writing a novel he deserves props for bringing this massive series to a conclusion.

In researching my latest novel, the sequel to Summer Palace, I have been reading Poland by James Michener and The Enemy at the Gate by Andrew Wheatcroft. All adding inspiration to my sequel Winter Dwelling. I have found writing to be an alternate creative outlet for my reckless self, and there is also a more decisive component which is not so much my forte, but is absolutely necessary to corral all those ideas into a readable and organized final product.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

The Process

I’m gearing up for what’s to come in the next few months. I am anxiously waiting to hear from the publisher who I’ve partnered with for my first novel. The first step “house styling” is a monumental task. Most likely the most time-consuming step in the process – I gather. As I know from my last correspondence with the publisher my MS has not gone to the proofreaders yet. I plan to contact them again mid-December and I hope the proofs will be on their way to me by that point.

I am thrilled beyond measure to have success with my fourth novel. My hope is that you will enjoy the story as well.

Summer Palace is a Romance Fiction with Historical Elements. Complete at 71,114 words.

Set in a tumultuous time in Russia, before the reign of Peter the Great, a young man rages against the new man in his mother’s life. Fiona Breuder is a strong woman who has kept the family together after their father abandoned them, and is horrified to find that her son harbored such ill feelings.

Wiley Breuder is sent to work the farm of Herr Brom and soon discovers his love for horses and the simple joys of life it offers. One day he finds a servant girl in his stable and is moved by her simple request to ride a horse for the first and last time.

He soon discovers her true identity after befriending the heir to the Summer Palace. He must elevate his station in life or lose Katia; the one person who touched his troubled heart.

Wiley and the Baron’s son join the Russian army and are immersed into the horror of seven years of war. They aren’t heard from until Pavel arrives home, years later, wounded, and is cared for by Wiley’s sister.

Wiley is given up for dead, and Katia finds herself betrothed to a man she doesn’t love. Despite the devastating news, she makes the fateful decision to find him, but she forfeits her life by disgracing her family and sets off to find the boy who sacrificed everything to win her father’s approval.

Please watch for it this spring.

In the meantime, I have finished my third novel after a complete reconstruction it is ready to be presented. The Tea Room is a Historical Fiction complete at 76,231 words. It also is set in Russia in the 17th Century with all new characters and circumstance.

I have started to write a sequel to Summer Palace for now I’m calling it Winter Dwelling but that may change. I am again enjoying the early stages of writing a novel. However, I am now much more aware of the process and hope to avoid some of the errors I made in my first novels. The errors I refer to are the hours of work that come with getting a ‘sketch draft’ (which is what I call my first draft) ready for publishing; format, structure, syntax, pov, etc.

I have set goals for myself and I’m happy to say I’m on target  give or take a few months.

Originally, I planned to have my novel in the process of being printed by my substantial birthday in April 2016. I was devastated when the irons I had in the fire grew cold. However, I didn’t give up and emerged myself in a re-education and re-edit. Four months later I sent out the query and was happy to receive an offer for my story. My second goal was to have another MS ready in case my first story went over so well they’d want first option on another. As of today, I have reached that goal.

My next goal? I’d better get on that. Four published novels by my next substantial birthday? Let me sleep on that.