Tag Archives: perspective book series

My Dream is Coming True…I’m Terrified!

This week, as of Monday, Amanda and I have been on Cloud 9. In fact, if there is a better cloud than 9, that’s where you can find us. Our first novel, Love at First Plight, the start of the Perspective book series is getting published. Our dream is coming true…and I am so freakin’ scared.

Love at First Plight published Perspective book seriesI know for a fact that I couldn’t have done this with anyone but my co-author. The rollercoaster of positive and negative stresses from having been let down by so many different people and so many different companies, and from having been thoroughly supported from our closest friends and family (and from some unexpected places, too), would have tested even the truest friendship. If I’d ever had any doubts in the strength of my friendship with Amanda, they’re certainly long-gone, now.

This book has threatened to bring out the ugliest in us, and has allowed us the opportunity to rise above it. At the risk of sounding completely full of myself, I’m going to declare that Amanda and I have done just that. We faced one challenge after the next, and now a story that we adore is getting started in a published book. I am very proud of our book and I am very proud of having survived the process of making it.

If you are a published author and you are reading this, my hat goes off to you. You have made it through a storm that cannot be understood by those who have not experienced it for themselves.

Notre Dame stained glass rose windowGetting a book published is like looking at the stained glass from the inside of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. It’s like crawling, climbing, and wriggling your way through the systems of tight limestone tunnels and vast caverns of the Mammoth Caves in Kentucky. It’s like trying a very good quality of chocolate for the very first time. It is like facing your fears, your insecurities, and your dreams, head-on, and discovering who you are when you reach the other side.

You can certainly imagine what all of those things would be like, but until you go through them for yourself, it is impossible to know the complete experience. Without fail, what you see, feel, hear, smell, or taste will be different, and greater, than what you had thought.

That’s exactly what this last week has been like for me. At first, I went through a stage of denial. After all, just knowing that Love at First Plight would be an e-book and a paperback didn’t create an immediate change in my life. Certainly, I felt excited, but nothing had technically happened, yet. I had bragging rights, of course, but there is still a lot of time left before the novels will be on the bookstore shelves.

That did move on to a feeling of excitement. Equally, I think that aside from being thoroughly ecstatic (and immensely impatient – I’m not exactly known for patience), the other reining emotion that I am feeling, at the moment, is terror! Since Monday, I have been very thrilled about the future of the Perspective book series, and yet, now that my dream is coming true, I wake up in the middle of the night, sweating, with a pounding in my chest. I love the book and its characters with every part of my heart, but now that world is about to be exposed to the world…that’s a terrifying thought!

It’s a great story. It really is. I wouldn’t have put my name on it and published it if I didn’t completely believe that. At the same time, I am aware of the fact that if I actually talk to people and tell them about it, then they’ll never be able to discover the story, for themselves! This places me in the spotlight, and as someone with a social anxiety disorder, that’s not exactly the most comfortable place for me.

There are few things that I want more in life than for Love at First Plight – and the Perspective series that follows – to be a tremendous success, but even as the hype begins to build among friends and family, I can feel a rapid heartbeat kicking in with every “tag” my name receives in a Facebook post.

Love at First Plight - Perspective book series 1I feel genuine excitement when someone mentions the Perspective book series page on that social network, but whenever the attention is aimed directly at me, I find myself shaking in my boots (or, more accurately, fuzzy purple slippers, since I don’t tend to wear boots when I’m at my computer). This is definitely something I’m going to need to work on if this book is to go somewhere. After all, I don’t think that the media would be satisfied with quotes taken from the book series Facebook page. I’m going to need to start being me, in front of real-live people.

This is going to be the most important “therapy” of my life. I need to ensure that people will hear about this book so that they can enjoy the world of Qarradune as much as I have for the last 14 years. I need to be there for Amanda and for Love at First Plight if I am going to keep this dream come true going.

It’s time for me to move beyond writing a strong female character who will take on the world so that she’ll achieve her goals and dreams. It’s time for me to become one, too.

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Plot Holes and Typos and Errors! Oh, my!

If you’ve ever edited your own writing, chances are that you have likely been amazed at the number of mistakes in your work. Even more maddening are the times when you continue to find glaring errors in what you had felt was a polished piece. Repeatedly spotting new problems in the same work starts to make you wonder if you are incapable of reading all of the words in a sentence or wondering if someone is playing a trick on you by adding mistakes on purpose, just to mess with your mind (and sanity)!

Importance of Editing Perspective Book SeriesThe continual discovery of new errors is a frustration that Julie and I have been facing since we began editing our manuscript. Although we knew that our first draft was far from flawless, I think what surprised me the most wasn’t the grammatical errors and typos that we found, but was rather the number of statements that were utterly nonsensical!

It is easy to forgive typos, laugh off word repetition, and shake your head at a massive run-on sentence. It’s even easy to accept certain grammatical errors if you don’t consider yourself a master of syntax. However, what I found particularly stinging to my pride was discovering that what I had originally thought was a powerful statement, turned out to be not only weak, but also didn’t make any sense!

If you’re a writer, you likely know that repeatedly proofing your work can be a real PITA (pain in the a**) and very discouraging, at times. Be that as it may, editing is an absolute must if you’re serious about producing something awesome that you will feel proud to share with the rest of the world. As a creative writer, you have to accept the fact that you will need to edit what you write, more than once and – more importantly – it is imperative that you have someone else proof it, too.

Whomever you choose to proof your work should be someone who not only has an incredible understanding of the English language, but he or she also needs to be able to work around/with your creativity. When writing a story, especially in the first person, not every character speaks or describes a situation or his or her surroundings using proper and perfect grammar. Some characters may be so rebellious that they will end some sentences in prepositions or *gasp* will occasionally split infinitives.

That being said, this doesn’t mean that you can continuously commit grammar crimes in the name of creativity. There is always a balance that needs to be maintained. In other words, if you’re going to flip the bird to syntax, it should be intentional and you should know why you’re doing it. Otherwise, you’ll be found guilty of linguistic ignorance and your sentence will be a grammar lesson that you’ll be wise not to forget.

Thankfully, Julie and I are very lucky to have a wonderful copyeditor who has exceptional grammatical skill and the ability to recognize that shackling some characters to every grammar rule in the book would snuff out their spirit.

Beyond the proofing done by you and your copyeditor, make sure that you let a few regular readers (you can trust) experience your work in its flawed form. They may not circle all of your typos, but what they will point out are plot holes, and parts of the story that they found hard to follow, hard to believe, or that simply didn’t make sense to them. No matter how great or small, almost all of the feedback that you will obtain will be valuable. It will help you to figure out what changes need to be made and it will put your end goals into greater perspective.

The proofing process of our manuscript has been a real eye-opener for me and I am grateful to everyone who has helped us along the way. The support we have received, as Julie mentioned in her last post, has been incredible. I hope you have an equally wonderful support team behind all of your creative endeavours.

Thanks for reading and all the best!

P.S. Thanks to my father-in-law for introducing me to PITA 😀

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Taking the Leap of Faith

…only to land in a net of support

 

Have you ever had a dream that was so close to your heart that you would give up every other item on your “bucket list” in order to achieve it?

If you have, then you know how important this first book (of our book series) has become to my co-author, Amanda Giasson, and I.

leap of faith perspective book seriesIf you haven’t, then you’ll just have to use your imagination for now, and when you do suddenly come across a goal that is means more to you than any other experience in your life, I hope that you’ll remember this post. No, that wasn’t my “subtle” way of asking you to please subscribe to this blog, but now that we’re on the subject, please feel free to do so if you want to continue to read about our thoughts and progress on the way to getting our book series published and becoming rich and famous 😉

We’re not quite there, yet, but we’re trying very hard and we’re making  promising progress. It’s a nerve wracking process! When you decide to try to turn a dream into reality, it means that you’re taking a massive risk. While something remains a dream, it’s “safe”. You may not have it, yet, but at least it remains on your list of things that could happen.

When you decide to actually try to achieve your dream, you’re essentially jumping off a cliff and are trusting that either the water below you will be deep enough, or that a net will appear and will catch you. If things don’t work out, all could be lost.

When Amanda and I decided that it was time to stop talking about getting our books published, and to start taking action to get our words onto real pages that you can find in bookstores, jumping off a cliff was exactly how it felt. Completing the first draft of the manuscript was a tremendous victory for us, as Amanda described last week, when she wrote “Some Success Lasts Forever”.

taking the leap perspective book seriesStill, taking our leap was a huge rush. Suddenly, we found ourselves mid-air, falling toward the unknown. We could only hope that it would work out; that the experience would be a successful one. We are, after all, headed into unknown waters in the most important undertaking of our lives.

That’s where the net came in. As we started to tell friends, family, and even blog readers and social media followers, about what we are trying to do, the support was nearly overwhelming. The thought of it moves me to the point that tears are forming as I type these words. Instead of calling us “dreamers”, looking at us with doubt, or telling us not to get our hopes up because the odds are against us, the support that we have received has been far beyond what I could ever have expected.

At no other point in my life have I been the recipient of such consistent, genuine, and remarkable positivity. Every “like” to our Facebook page or “follow” on Twitter, every person who smiles with interest and wants to know about how we’re progressing, and everyone who has enthusiastically told us that they can’t wait to get their hands on their own copy and read our story, has made an immeasurable difference to my confidence.

net of support perspective book seriesIn return, that all I can promise is that Amanda and I will do everything in our power to keep the books in our series fun, interesting, original, and entertaining. We will continue trying, and we will do everything to see our stories on printed (and e-printed) pages.

When we do, we will never forget the support that we received so openly from everyone around us – in the real world and the digital one.

…Here come the tears again.

I guess what I’m trying to say is this:

We are taking the leap, but you are providing the net.

Thank you.

 

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Some Success Lasts Forever

It feels amazing to complete a goal, doesn’t it? To finally bring that long-term goal that you thought you’d never see to the end, to fruition? I’m happy to announce that just over one month ago, I achieved this exact success. I have to say, it feels incredible!

Success is possibleAs my fellow writer in crime, Julie B Campbell, has already revealed in the blog she posted last week, we have successfully completed the first draft of our manuscript. While it is flawed and still needs a lot of work, before it becomes a truly polished piece, having this first, and most important step (in my opinion), behind us, was the real achievement for me.

We’ve been writing this story, in some shape or form, for 15 years. Finally completing the first official draft of our manuscript is a success that will stay with me forever.

Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean that I have any intention of stopping now that I’ve crossed the finish line. Like many others, I have big dreams and I fully intend to chase after them. That said, ultimately, whatever may happen from this point forward, I know I can hold my head up high because I completed a goal that was truly important to me. I didn’t just talk about something I had intended to do that I never saw through to the end – I actually did it. I have finished what I had started.

As you likely know, if you’ve ever strived to complete a goal over the long-long-term, it isn’t always easy. You second-guess and doubt yourself countless of times throughout the process. You ask yourself if it’s worth it. You wonder if you will ever get it done or if you’ll have to give up on it, as has been the case with so many other goals that have come before and after it. But you can’t give up on what you love and on what you truly believe is great.

I never gave up. I am so proud of myself and proud of Julie for pushing forward and completing the first part of our grand adventure. The hardest part – finishing what we started 15 years ago – is now behind us and an exciting journey filled with new and exciting goals is in front of us.

I hope 2015 will be a wonderful and productive year for all of you and I wish everyone success at completing a personal goal, no matter how big or how small it may be. Julie and I have every intention of making this an amazing year for ourselves and our precious project.

I’ll write more again soon. Like Julie, I’m looking forward to keeping you up to date about our progress and sharing my experiences along the way 🙂

Take care everyone, and thanks for reading!

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Writing is Hard!

Back to the drawing board…

We’re back! I’m sorry for disappearing for a full year, but until now, there hasn’t really been much to post. I’m excited to say that this has now changed.

Perspective BooksSo here’s the scoop…

Amanda and I used 2014 to take our book (yes, that same book that we talked about through all of our previous posts) and start it again. Our intention had initially been to edit what we had and to see what we could do with it. After giving that a try, we realized that a “simple” edit just wasn’t enough.

That first draft was far, far too rough. So instead of trying to work with a deeply flawed manuscript, we started again. We went back to the drawing board. We held on to our characters and to the core plot of our story, but we essentially gutted it and began at the beginning. Now, we have re-written everything and we have a first draft that we can work with.

To be fair to ourselves, the original story was written nearly 15 years ago. We’ve come a very long way since then, both personally and in terms of our writing careers and abilities. So instead of trying to stick to what we’d originally written, we decided to take that foundation that we loved (and still love) and apply our decade-and-a-half of added experience to it. If I do say so, myself, it’s now on the way to being truly great.

The process reminded me of the house that had belonged to my Great-Aunt Marge. It was well over a century old, and my family loved how quirky it was. We had to sell it, and when I found out that the new owners had maintained its exterior but had essentially gutted it, my heart broke a little…until I saw pictures of the changes they’d made. Holy macaroni! The new owners completely embraced the age and style of the home, but gave it the modern touches – and level floors – that it desperately needed. Now, I only wish that I could buy it back 😉

In my opinion, that’s just what Amanda and I have done with the book. We held on to every part of it that made it great, and scrapped all of the sloping floors, the crumbling plaster, and the ancient carpet. Now, it’s something even more special and we love it to bits.

So begins the editing process…again. That first draft says everything we need it to say, but we’re now busily tweaking it so that it actually says it in English!

To motivate ourselves to get the job done, this time, we’re getting back to blogging and will be posting updates of our progress over social media. If you’re interested in following our progress, feel free to join us at:

Twitter (@Qarradunebooks)
Facebook
Google+

Thank you, Reader, for sticking with us! Aside from our own obsession with the fantasy world that we have created and the characters who live within it, you are the reason that we work so hard to bring our book to reality.

With luck (and a lot of hard but wonderful work), we’ll soon be telling you where you can actually read this book that we’ve been telling you about for so long.

Come back often, check us out on social media, and please feel welcome to subscribe to this blog so that you’ll always know when Amanda and I have added something new. Please, feel welcome to start commenting again, too! We read every comment and would love to hear your thoughts on what we’ve said or on the progress that you are making on your own creative writing!

See you again, soon!

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