Thursday, June 22, 2017

EPIC Finalist Update

Last March I was notified by the Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition that my coming-of-old-age novel, "Old Ways and New Days," was a finalist in the contemporary fiction category.

EPIC recently announced the winners in the 17 categories in its annual competition for ebooks and my novel didn't make the list.

My congratulations to CJane Elliott for her coming-out novel, "Sex, Love, and Videogames," named the best in contemporary fiction. 

It was an honor for me to have my novel considered for the award. Simply being one of three finalists was gratifying.

Click here to see the list of all the winners, including Ariana Awards for best book covers.

EPIC is now accepting books through July 15 for its 2018 competition. Visit the website for more information. Best of luck to those who decide to enter their novel. 

You might also want to consider joining EPIC and be part of a network of authors, publishers, editors, and others in the industry.

Until the next time . . . .


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

South America Destinations -- Rio de Janeiro, Iguassu Falls, and Buenos Aires

My wife and I recently returned from a wonderful vacation to Brazil and Argentina.  We made stops in fabulous Rio de Janeiro, powerful Iguassu Falls, and beautiful Buenos Aires.

We've visited Europe in the past, and while we love the Old World, we decided to expand our horizons by traveling to our neighbors to the south. It was well worth it. Simply unforgettable.

We got to see and experience some things about each place, but more than anything, it whetted our appetite to return to South America to take in more that the diverse continent has to offer—natural wonders, historic sites, and the people.

Here are a few images from each of the places. I'll be writing more about each destination in upcoming posts.

From Rio:

Copacabana Beach

Cable cars to Sugar Loaf Mountain

From Iguassu Falls:

A view from Brazil



A view from Argentina
  From Buenos Aires:
Colon Opera House

Obelisk 
Until the next time. . . . 




Saturday, June 3, 2017

Progress Report-—Back to the Manuscript (Editing-Submitted)

I completed the edits, revisions, and rewrites to my upcoming novel. My editor will receive 190 pages this morning, and then forward it to the publisher, who will have someone proofread the 94k words.

And then it will come back to me in the galley proof for one last read. It will be the last time I can make any changes to the manuscript. 

But there's still more to do in the interim before the novel is released on Nov. 1. I'll have to work with the design artist on the cover, write a synopsis for marketing and promotion, and take care of dedication and acknowledgements.

In the meantime, I'm going to take a short break and then begin work on the third book in the Old Ways and New Days series. 

Until the next time. . . .



Monday, May 29, 2017

Progress Report—Back to the Manuscript (Editing Update-Part Two)

I've spent the past month going over edits on my next novel. I'll be returning it to my editor in two days, then await the galley proof for one more read. 

The past few weeks have been grueling at times, especially when seeing things I wish I had caught before sending it to the publisher. That's a big reason to have an editor. They fix things you think you see and take away things the readers shouldn't see.

She also made recommendations on dialogue, scenes, and body language—and a few other things—that she believed would strengthen the story. Some I accepted, prompting a few rewrites;  and some I rejected because I felt didn't reflect the characters' personalities (only the author truly knows the characters although editors can flesh out more information).

I also found a few other problems that I was able to correct while reading the manuscript two times.

Once I finish with the galley proof, I'll turn my attention to the third book in the Old Ways and New Days series. 

Until the next time. . . .









Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Progress Report—Back to the Manuscript (Editing Update)

I'm still plugging away on the edits to my latest manuscript. As mentioned in my last post, it's not something I truly enjoy but it has to be done.

Making the edits
The time-consuming and intense process basically involves rereading the 93k words to accept or reject edits, consider suggestions, and answer questions on such things as timeline, characters, and scenes. I can usually spend about five hours daily, with a short break, focused on the manuscript before my head feels like it is spinning in all directions.

The deadline for returning the manuscript is June 1. I thought I would be finished with it this past weekend but now it looks more like next weekend. 

And even then, I will probably sit on it for a few days to mull over parts before clicking the send button. 

It's a slow undertaking but I want to be satisfied (as much as an author can be because we're never totally satisfied) with the final version that will become a published novel.

Until the next time. . . . 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Progress Report--Back to the Manuscript (Editing)

After sitting on the edits to my manuscript for a week, I finally opened the document and began work on it.

As mentioned in my last post, I have to be in the right frame of mind to delve into edits, rewrites, revisions, recommendations, and such. It can be a humbling experience as well as edifying. 

I try to approach it in a positive manner. I know the editor is seeking to make the manuscript the best it can be because her name will be stamped on it. And I want the same because my name will be showcased on the cover. But most of all, I want it to be the best possible read for those who will purchase it.

The novel-to-be is about 190 typewritten pages. I was able to cover 17 pages, taking nearly 3.5 hours. So do the math. It will probably take 30-plus hours to go over the entire 91,000 words.

I hope to increase my output, spending about five hours a day. If I can do that, I should be able to return it to my editor early next week, if not sooner. I'm not in a big rush since we set a June 1 deadline. Another reason I want to get it done, sooner than later, is because something could come up in the meantime that could push things back. Life happens.

Not only am I making or considering suggested edits, I'm rereading the manuscript for the tenth time to make sure it flows, catch any typos, and anything else that might pop up.

Are you wondering why can't I do more pages? I must confess that my eyes can't go much longer than five hours. They get heavy and tired. And I get mentally exhausted. I believe most authors would tell you that this is an intense process. 

And now back to the manuscript.

Until the next time. . . . 


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Progress Report -- Back to the Manuscript

About two months ago I emailed my completed manuscript to my publisher.  Yesterday, it came back with notes and edits. 

So it's back to work. 

7th annual Authors Fair in La Grange, Ky.
I must admit that I was kinda enjoying the break from the manuscript. I attended three book-signing events in April, selling a few books, expanding my network with other authors, engaging new readers, and making a few friends. 

I haven't opened the documents. I told my editor that it will probably be a few days before I delve into the contents that contain edits, suggestions, and grammatical and typo fixes that should tighten and strengthen the story. 

So why haven't I started the editing process? 

I need to be in the right frame of mind. It's not something that I can do for a few days, take a few days off, and go back to it. Once I get started, I go from beginning to end. I have to stay focused. I find it mentally exhausting, even though I know there will be a degree of exhilaration when it's over.

The novel, a sequel to "Old Ways and New Days," is scheduled to be released on Nov. 1. I don't plan to sit on the edits very long (maybe a day or two) because I have other things to do between now and then, such as work with the publisher on a cover, marketing and promotion. 

And once I finish the formal editing phase, which includes reviewing the galley proof,  I plan to start on the next book in the series. So I have lots to do. Now to get focused.

Until the next time. . . .