The First Novel – A new direction

It has been a tumultuous couple of months. Despite some upsets, much good has come of them. Taking a break from blogging made me realize how much effort and time I had been devoting to thinking up new material to post about. I have been distracted from my primary goal: writing and publishing novels.

In redirecting my efforts, I realized I almost need to start over in this process. Four of my novels in The Bucks County Series are published on Amazon. The fifth is in the hands of my beta readers —that one can sit on the back burner for the time being. So far self publishing has proven to be less than successful. Why? Because all the marketing and promotion fall back on the author. I have neither the time or the stomach for it.

And that is how I fell into the trap of blogging on nearly a daily basis. I love writing —that is what I want to do. I was telling myself that a popular blog would help me to promote my books. That hasn’t happened. Granted, I’m also not hitting the reader in the face with book promotion every time I write a post. That’s how timid I am about marketing. What I need is someone to do the marketing for me.

Back in early 2015, when I finished my first novel, I tried finding an agent but my fragile ego couldn’t take rejection. After only six tries, I gave up and self published through Amazon. That is not how it works. Many popular and successful authors have been rejected numerous times —sometimes for years before an agent finally agrees to represent them to a publisher. I need to brace myself for this possibility and not let it derail my process.

I also realized that my self published novels need to be the very best they can be. If an agent is even remotely interested in your query and the first five pages you send along with it, they are going to look for you in the cyber world. They will find your Facebook Author Page, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, LinkdIn, and WordPress blog. They will find your Amazon and Goodreads Author Pages. They will see that I have four self published novels. These need to be ready for view —even a brief one.

With that in mind, I have revisited my first novel: Three Empty Frames.  Three Empty Frames_02_HR_front_2In three years since I wrote the first draft of this book, I have learned so much. Fortunately, I feel like the story is strong and it’s just the writing that needs polish. And that is what I have been doing the last couple of months —putting my efforts into making Three Empty Frames ready for an agent. And while I do, I am educating myself on the query process, taking webinars on finding an agent and reading everything I can about how to do this successfully. Hopefully I won’t have to wait years for someone to take a chance.

Making Tea…

Adventures in editing. 

I have another opportunity to share a blunder in my writing. I have mentioned before about how meticulous I am about research, yet I’ve made an error in something so simple I never considered looking into it.

In the recent reposting of my installment of Here Lies a Soldier: The Letters and the Locket, I describe my characater Meredith making a cup of tea. I am a tea drinker, have a pot, a strainer and a collection of loose tea, therefore I had Meredith make the tea the way I would … in the United States. *buzzer sound* 

One of my dear friends, who is English, pointed out to me that in England, everyone uses an electric kettle not a stove top kettle. Additionally, it would be far more realistic for Meredith to use a tea bag for a quick ‘cuppa’ not the loose tea that I described.

This might not seem like a big deal, it’s a little detail not even important to the plot. So why make a fuss? Because it is one of those tiny brush strokes on the larger canvas that can add to or detract from the larger picture. I will be returning to that section and editing accordingly. 

This is the kind of thing that makes blogging and its community of writers so absolutely priceless –getting feedback like that. I for one, am eternally grateful!

Broken Bread

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been doing some reading, some thinking regarding the novel in progress. Prior to this mulling over of things, I had a conversation within the comments of a post about putting this entire novel out on a blog –a novel which I will publish on Amazon when it is complete. The commenter was very surprised that I was posting it for all to read; after all isn’t the idea to get everyone to buy the book? And the answer to that of course is, yes. Therefore, I’ve come to some conclusions.

I consider my compensation all of your lovely comments and feedback. In posting it here, I have worked out some issues with the story and I do consider all of you my beta readers for this project. I will finish the novel here for all of you to read. It would be rather rotten of me to stop now, with only the last loose threads to stitch up. However, little by little, I am going to begin deleting the older excerpts and eventually the page. By the time Breaking Bread is finished, there will be nothing left but crumbs. I am very appreciative of all your support and helpful comments. Thanks a million times over.

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