One of the most important things I ever read on the Internet was about the toughness and loneliness of the writer's life. How you are rejected, time and again, and how to beat the discouragement you may feel. I have even blogged about the ways I shrug off the disappointment and soldier on. And the single piece of advice that rang true for me was this: Write a book, try to get published, and while you are waiting for that to happen, write another one. And another one.
Happily, even though doing that is completely harder than it sounds, I've been able to do just that very thing. I keep at it, knowing that while I may never get rich at this, I am getting good at it and I am getting happy at it. I now have six published books (six!) and besides my kids, nothing gives me greater joy than looking at them all lined up in a row, like pretty flowers in a garden of my own making. And as the Head Gardener, (or Landscaper for the PC crowd), I decide what gets planted next, which seeds can be watered with the flow of words, and which lovelies are ready to be dressed up and showcased for all the world to see. And so, I have a new flower for the yard.
WATERDANCER, published with Musa Publishing house, will be released on September 7, 2012, two months from now. It occurred to me some aspiring writers might want to know what my whole process for the publishing is, laid out step-by-step. So, here it is:
I submitted the completed, edited, properly formatted manuscript to the publisher on September 30, 2011. I had one book already placed with the publisher, so predictably, I felt I had an edge. But, make no mistake, the manuscript I submitted still had to be ready, in every sense of the word. I felt it was, and still do feel quite proud of the story. But, when I submitted it, I was nervous and doubtful, like I always am, of my own talent and ability to entice on a query.
On October 13th, the head editor requested the full manuscript. A week later she offered me a contract. I signed and was given my release date of 9-7-12. It seemed a long way away, but I was over the moon with the acceptance. I had four others planned for release anyway, to keep me busy.
I released my two self-published adult horror collections, TEETH and TALONS, and WAY PAST MIDNIGHT, and Astraea Press released EVERSPELL, the sequel to SPELLBOUND. Musa also released my MG horror, THE DETENTION DEMON. So, I was busy!
My edits for WATERDANCER began in May. I completed two rounds of content edits and the manuscript has now gone to the last edit round, Line Edits. Next step will be the cover design. I'll keep you updated as to how this goes. I have submitted my own ideas and some free images that embody my ideas.
I have experienced a couple different ways of being published, and I am happy to answer any questions you may have. Funny thing about being an author, after the joy of typing The End, its pretty much perfunctory following that. The steps are always the same: Proof, edit, proof, edit, tighten, organize, format, then proof and edit a couple dozen more times. Have people read it, people NOT related to you (trust me here, Mom will love everything you write...not a good foundation for truth there) and then proof and edit it again. Also, spell-check is NOT your friend.
I will next update after the Line Edits and cover designing. And look for WATERDANCER coming 9-7-12, and any of my others that might interest you. And tell me about yours, too....I read as well!