But the truth is, all that has changed is it is a day closer to January 14th, the first day to enter the Amazon Novel Award Contest. $50K isn't a bad cash advance if you are grand prize winner. And $15K is nothing to shake a stick at if you are one of four 1st place winners. And you know the rule. You have a heck of a lot better chance of winning if you enter than if you don't. So, of course, I will enter knowing full well as a first time author I haven't a snowball's chance in hell of even placing against seasoned veterans. But dreams offer encouragement, and you never know. So join me. If you are a first time writer, gird your loins, put on your full armor of courage, and enter your first book. And YES! Watch for "A Deadly Suggestion" to hit Amazon's ebook list February 1st!
Below are prior posts which we lost but have recently recovered!
The Editor Has Left The Building . . . no, she left the corrections!
At last! The first part of "A Deadly Suggestion" has been edited with line-outs, changes, etc., and a wonderful critique of my style. This is the moment new writers hate, love, and learn from if they are smart. Now, I'm not claiming I'm smart, but I think I have enough marbles rattling around in my gray matter to make me realize the editor has several points. If you'd asked me a week ago what POV is, I'd have told you I thought it stood for "Poured Over Vodka." However, it was graciously pointed out to me that it stands for Point of View, and I'd better figure out what it really means. It means the difference between a good writer and a bad writer.
And then there is my description of a suspect being enraged. It would have been better served had I said, "The suspect shoved the table away, knocked over his chair as he stood, and screamed. 'Damn you!'" Then the audience would make their own decision he is enraged.
So, 'nuf said about my foibles. I am receiving reviews now, the first two are posted. It's what every author lives for.
My Heroine is really a real life villain!
So you lay awake at night concocting great character names that will fit your heroine, your villain, your victims, your innocent bystanders, the cat, the dog, and the wacky linchpin witness. You're set. Your characters have names that fit their personalities. You're at coffee with your new editor discussing interesting aspects of your murder mystery thriller. Then you tell her a jarring discovery. Just before you left the house for your all important meeting with her, on a lark you Googled the full name of your heroine and gasped when up popped her alter ego. That's right, my lovely lemmings. Your heroine actually in real life left her seven children alone with no sitter and they died in a fire in their Chicago apartment. Your Super Woman is also a very famous photographer living in Florida. The dilemma? Do we change her name or not? In talking with my editor, she mentioned it's a common problem and when she writes her books she Googles the name first, just to make sure there isn't a real life axe murderer attached to the moniker she's spent her sleeping hours dreaming up.
Feedback from pre-publication readers
Probably one of the biggest thrills is receiving reviews on my book from friends and casual acquaintances who have read the pre-edit book, both to give me productive criticism and to give a review. It's heartening when they take the time to read my book. But what really gets my heart flying is each time they say they couldn't put it down. I've had three of those comments now and the book is still at the editor's.
What do I find out through such critiquing? Well, the tortoise shell cat I referred to in my book needs a sex change operation! I referred to it as "him," but I have been told that tortoise shells are only female. I spent hours and hours researching everything in my book, but the sex of a particular cat never crossed my mind! This is one of those blunders to be learned from, and a hint to other new writers that the smallest detail can be a huge gaff.
The Journey Begins!
Tomorrow I meet with Pam Beason, author and professional editor. I feel if I have any chance at all of finding my way through the amazing jungle of book publishing, I need someone who has experience. Two years of hard work, a two-year hiatus, and now one reread followed by this upcoming meeting, and I'm really excited about the possibility of being published. I've had two reviews by friends who love thrillers. One said all she could say was, "Wow! When does the next book come out?" The other started reading the book at 9 AM and sent me a text at noon asking how long the book was. She loved it so far and didn't want to stop reading. Then she sent another text when she finished my book at 1 AM in the morning stating she couldn't put it down. Her only comment was that she was sure I didn't realize Tortoise Shell cats were only female and I had identified one in my book as "he." Cross your fingers for me!