I would like to start by saying “Thank You” to Urban Fantasy Reviews for having me as a guest on their blog. I appreciate the opportunity.
I am coming up on the launch of my second novel in the Remnants of Life series, Witches. It actually launches on Saturday, December 1. I’m very excited about it and just did an interview with our local newspaper today. The reporter asked me a lot of questions about the process, so I thought I would address that in this guest post. It seems to be something that many people are interested in and I believe like my books, that I have an unusual story…so here goes.
My basic story is not that of rags to riches, that would just be too easy. I have written my entire life. I have always enjoyed jotting things down and I recall spending an entire day, at a family gathering many years ago, using a paper plate as my easel to paint a picture with words. I created a story where everyone present had a part, some good and some bad. I have just always written things down, usually in some form of fantasy.
When I first began to think of Legends of Darkness, the first book in the series, I didn’t see it as a series. I saw it as a single book with an unusual story. I wanted to create something different from everything else I was reading. I wanted to incorporate different things into the storyline. I remember thinking how awesome it would be to have a book that incorporated a little history, legend, and myth all wrapped up in a storyline that would be unique and unusual. That was my goal, to create something different. I had the book brewing in my mind for a year or so before I ever wrote the first word. I couldn’t find my beginning. Finally, the beginning of the book presented itself to me and I began to write. I’m one of those weird old fashioned people that have a computer, but actually enjoy the act of writing on paper with an actual pencil. (Yes, I really said pencil. That’s what I use for my original manuscripts.) I was about halfway through the storyline when I pulled out another notebook and started keeping notes in it also. There was just so much more to the story that wouldn’t fit in the story of one book. My characters began to take shape along with other creatures that I knew I could use later. So, at that point I had two notebooks with scribbles that nobody, and I do mean nobody, could ever understand. In my mind it was taking shape as a series though. I would wake up in the middle of the night with an idea and pull out my notebook to jot a reminder. By the time I was done with Legends of Darkness, I had the whole series drafted to be a five book series.
I have been asked if the series stays on course with my outline, as I write each book…the answer to that is “Not completely.” As I write, things change. Sometimes they are small details, and sometimes entire characters die, for one reason or another, but the actual plots of the other books have remained the same. So far the biggest changes have been in the worlds that I’m creating. As they grow and my world building talents evolve so does the future of the books in those particular locations. By the way, I love the world building aspect.
I write my first draft on paper then for the second draft I transfer it to the computer. On my first novel I did so many drafts that I lost count, probably somewhere around ten. On the second book, I did six rewrites. I have heard authors say that they don’t like doing the edits and rewrites, but I really don’t mind it. I like adding and taking away from the story where it is necessary.
I was one of the lucky people that found a publisher in a fairly timely manner. I finished Legends of Darkness in July of 2010 and I was officially picked up by Blackwyrm Publishing out of Louisville KY on September 5, 2011. I looked for a little over a year. I had sent out many query letters and got just as many polite rejections in the way of form letters. I got a little discouraged and then I would revamp my query and send it again. It was a rough process, but I still consider myself lucky. I actually pitched to Blackwyrm at Fandomfest in Louisville KY in July of 2011, which was a year after Legends was done. I attended Fandomfest in Louisville and was able to get a spot in the “Pitch Your Project” session that they held at the convention. I got the chance to talk with them over the course of the weekend and felt really comfortable with the company and their selection of very talented authors. I was thrilled to be accepted by them. I am very pleased with how Blackwyrm is growing and the quality of the books that they put out. I feel like they take great pride in everything that they put their name on and as an author that is very important to me.
If you would like to know more about me, my writing, or my publisher, here is the links to the sites:
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