Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Second and Third Novels

     Well, it certainly has been a while since I have blogged anything at all. But I am happy to say I have gone through the first edits on my second novel. This novel is about a serial killer who stalks a family. Then the wife and oldest son are kidnapped by the serial killer.
     I had first titled this second novel An Awakening. But I have now changed the title to You Are Mine. The editor I have found has given me a lot of good tips and suggestions. I have incorporated most of them into the changes and love the story more now. I tend to keep things short and sweet. Which does not really work when one is writing. So I added more content. I have a struggle with showing and not telling but I think it has come together really nicely now. I wanted to show that the Collins family are Christians. I wanted to show how their faith keeps them strong through their ordeal. But I did not want to get really heavy handed with the Christian aspect. I would like to be able to reach out to not only Christians but non believers. I have sent my book back to my editor to go through the changes.
     Then I am really not sure what my next steps will be. Should I do the self publishing route? Or should I try to find an agent? I will be attending the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer's Conference in May where I could try to talk to an agent. I am still undecided about all of this. Thankfully I have recently joined a number of writer's groups in my area and will be able to think about this with other writers.
     Now while I am waiting for the second edits on this second book, I have begun work on a totally different novel. It is a ghost story. It is about a Christian woman and her daughter who move into a haunted house. The woman's friend, husband and daughter move in with them. I have watched a lot of ghost stories and wanted to show how a Christian person will deal with something like this. I am debating about how far to take the hauntings but I am just on the second chapter of this book.
     While I was going through the edits on the second book, I had already started work on the book that will continue in this series. It was through the edits that made me decide to split this third book into two novels. The one book will deal with the Collins family and the Grifton family meeting and helping each other through the healing process of what happened to them in the earlier books. The other book will then continue with Rachel Grifton becoming an archaeologist and going on digs to find artifacts from the Bible.
     So I have my work cut out for me. Now I just need to buckle down and write. Which I will do. Later today.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Onto Book 2

     It has been a while since I have written anything on my blog. Well, to be honest in January and February, I have had cataract surgery on my left and right eyes. I have also had foot surgery after breaking a small piece of bone in my toe which dislocated a ligament. The bone was taken out and the ligament reattached.
     I did send my second novel to an editor. She has done the edits and I received it back around Christmas time. So I have been working on the second book. I am almost done all the editing and want to send it back to the editor for another look through. I am quite excited with the editing and the changes I have made. It has made me rethink the story for the third book which I am now going to split into two books.
     The second book is about the Collins family who is being stalked by a serial killer. Rebecca Collins and her son Benjamin are eventually kidnapped by the stalker. I had the Collins family and the Grifton family meet in the third book, then had the oldest Grifton daughter go on an archaeological dig in the Qumran Caves. I have now decided that both the Grifton and Collins family need to meet and get to know each other and help each other heal. Both families have had quite traumatic experiences and I think it would be a good storyline about how they learn to come to terms with what has happened to them. I will then continue with the oldest daughter and the rest of that story in the fourth book.
     I am also now looking at having my website reworked. Let's just say I am terrible at marketing. I would rather just write. I can get so distracted from my writing (stuff happens) but I have been so much better at working at my writing lately. I have found someone who I feel confident will make my website better and who will help me with marketing. Here's hoping.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

So What is Happening?

     You may be wondering what is happening with my book - The Goblet - and myself. Well, not much of anything with The Goblet. It feels like Tate Publishing has effectively turned its back on me. I tried to email them several times and have had absolutely no response. Nothing. Nada. Nichts. I have been dropped off the face of the earth.
     So, after attending the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer's Workshop in the spring and being, kind of, determined to self publish, I am now very determined to self publish my next books. Book two is done. I have contacted an editor and she is now going through and editing this book. I am not certain about the title of this book. This novel will be part of the series with The Goblet. However, this second novel is very different from the first book. It is about the Collins family in Maui, Hawaii. The family is being stalked by a serial killer with a cliff hanger ending.
      I have started work on the third novel for the series. This book brings the Collins family and the Grifton family together. However, this novel is focussing on Rachel Grifton who has now become an archaeologist. She meets a young man, Wade, on a dig in Israel. They decide, together, that they wish to search for various items from the Bible. They are helped by Wade's uncle, Richard.  They start their search in the Qumran Caves in Israel. I am not finished with this novel and I am not quite certain how to end this novel. I am still working on it.
     But then I started work on a fourth novel. This novel will not be part of the series. It is in a totally different direction. Still faith based but it is a paranormal novel. I have been fascinated with the many paranormal shows that are on television now. One day I was watching a show with a friend about a family who was being terrorized by a demon in their house. The family fled the house. I was quite angry about this and my friend asked what else the family should do. I said it wasn't right that the family leave and let another family go through such an ordeal. I said that I would stay and fight the demon. My friend just laughed at me. I became indignant and said that I would have help from above on this. Which started me on my writing of the fourth novel.
     So, as you can see, I am keeping busy writing. I entered the 50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading contest with The Authors Show. I am a finalist but was advised that there is a fee to continue with the contest. Great. I am trying to decide if it will be worth it.
     I am also now in the stages of looking for a web designer for my website. Going the free route, by myself, hasn't provided me with much advertising or luck for my book. I just don't have the smarts to figure out all the SEO's, the social media sites, the linking of all of it, how to get a proper contact sheet and do updates. I just don't have the time. Between riding my horse, keeping a house, and all the other things I need to do in a day, my writing has been suffering. I keep picking at it but I just am not devoting enough time in the day to writing. I suppose my fear is, is there anything more to this than what I have already done?
     I want to keep writing. I have so many ideas in this head of mine. I would like for more people to read my books. And my blogs. There is a fear of the unknown. But if I don't keep going, if I don't keep writing, I don't want to ever say, I wish I would have given it a better shot.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

My second novel

     I am currently editing my second novel. I have titled it "An Awakening". However, the more I get into my book, the more I do not think this title is appropriate. I am thinking of "Something, something Innocence" or "Innocence Something something". I think I will wait until I have the book edited before I make that decision.
     This second novel was written years ago. I am now revising, editing, etc. It is going to have a Christian base. But it is a thriller. It is about a serial killer. On my first draft, I did not get into the serial killer's mind too deeply. I fleshed out the victims and their thoughts. Now I am developing the victim's thoughts more and treading into the serial killer's thoughts.
     How does a Christian person write a thriller? How does one get into the mind of a killer? It is not easy. However, since I believe in Jesus then I certainly do believe that Satan is in our lives as well. There is good and there is evil. We humans can be easily led astray by evil. Evil makes promises that humans just can't resist. We struggle with good and bad choices every day.
     Unfortunately, I have seen the dark side of people. I have been in the middle of it and seen, first hand, what bad things do to good people. Then there are just bad people who let evil rule them. People look for quick fixes. They look for the easy way. Life is hard and making a good choice is very difficult. Staying on the right side, the good path is not easy. But it is a choice I have made.
     I can understand anger. I can understand how people get led astray. Watching a person let their life spiral downwards is difficult. However, there is not much anyone can do if a person does not want to change or help themselves. From my experience, unless a person realizes God is real and choose to have God in their life, they will never change.
     Writing about an evil person who is a serial killer is difficult. It brings up many memories and hurts. But evil is around us. It cannot be ignored. I have chosen to write about it. I have also chosen to write about how people with faith, handle that evil. I choose to write about people made stronger with their faith and how they come through the very difficult road in front of them.

Friday, July 4, 2014


     I have told everyone I am working on my second novel. The editing part of it. It was written years ago and I am now editing again. I am trying to work on the third novel. Both of them have no titles yet. The second one I titled An Awakening. But I am not so happy with that title.
     I really like this second novel. I like the story line. I like the characters and I am trying to use all the tools I learned from the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer's Workshop. But I keep hesitating to go back and edit it. There are a couple of things I need to change but for the most part, I hesitate.
     How does one know when enough editing is enough? I have taken this manuscript to a number of other writer's workshops. I have had this manuscript edited by different writers. I had first pegged it as a general fiction thriller. Now I have shifted it to Christian fiction thriller. The characters have not changed and the story line has not changed. Just the ending has changed. Also, I am involving Christian faith more heavily in my story line. In the end, it is their Christian faith that helps this family get through a horrific time.
     I still hesitate in the editing part of this second novel. Another title I am thinking of, is using the word Innocence in the title. But I procrastinate and hesitate. Since I am now going to go the self publishing route, I will need to find a good editor. I can also make all kinds of excuses about editing.
     Seriously, though. When does one know that enough is enough? I am plugging away one more time at this novel. Then I will look for a good editor.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

To Self Publish or Not?

     If you can't get a publisher to accept your book, then it just isn't worth publishing. A well known author made this comment (not word for word) at a writer's conference I attended recently. This comment left me thinking about my options.
     Then another author said that the wave of the future is self publishing. He cannot understand how traditional publishing companies are not better preparing themselves for this new trend.
     All week I was absorbing and listening to the advice of many. Many people from traditional publishing houses, from vanity press publishing houses and from self published authors. By day three of the conference, my head felt like exploding.
     I had started the conference with questions. Do I need/want an agent? Do I try to pitch my novel with a traditional publishing house? What do I need to do next with my second and third novels? How do I go from here? While the publishing company I signed up with for The Goblet did a great job of editing, the book cover and the book trailer, I have not had much contact with them lately. It seems like I have fallen through the cracks because my book has not taken off in sales. I have been left alone with the marketing of The Goblet.
     I did get valuable advice from several workshops at the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer's Workshop. I did learn several items on improving my writing skills. I also did learn several valuable options on marketing which I am now trying to implement. But I have been left on my own for all of the marketing.
     After listening to all the advice and culling through it, I am fairly determined that I will self publish my next book. The top piece of advice that I came away with on self publishing is to not skimp on the editing. Get a good editor. Also, Amazon's self publishing company does offer the best value and the best resources for self publishing. All I need to do right now, is go back through my second novel, use the tools I have learned and then look for a good editor. Then onwards, tally ho!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Social Media Sights

     Before The Goblet was published, I was busy setting up and joining as many social media sites as I could. Whatever was recommended by anyone, I would jump on the band wagon and get myself signed up. I did not always read through all the requirements, but by golly, so and so recommended it so it must be a good site. Mistake, mistake, and big mistake.
     I just wanted to do everything I could to get my book out there. Unfortunately, according to the latest tally, there are approximately over 1 million books being published every year. I think I fell off the band wagon due to overcrowding. Not only that but signing up to all these social media sites and every other site for authors, was more time consuming than I had realized. It left me with very little time to work on my blog, to work on my books and have a life. I jumped off the band wagon willingly.
     Now I am scaling back my efforts. I recently closed my account at LinkedIn. Yes, there were a number of groups for authors. There were many times when people would start a discussion asking authors to post the name of their book. By the time I would get the link and think about adding my name to the list, I was number 542. I would then stop and think, okay? Who is this benefiting? Who would actually look at the books? Other authors? Or potential readers? I was getting lost in the crowd. After talking to a number of authors at a recent writer's conference, I felt my decision to close the LinkedIn account was a good one. My inbox has been greatly reduced in emails.
     LinkedIn did have one or two good groups that would talk about writing. There were a number of writers who would ask valid questions. Responses would be good. However, once again, by the time I got the link, I was number 124 and I felt like my comment would not even be seen. I would read through all the comments and, at times, wonder, wow! talk about egos!
     LinkedIn is a good site for people who are looking for jobs, to develop their careers and to network with other professionals. I am not saying authors are not professionals but I am not certain LinkedIn is the site for authors or aspiring authors. It just felt like the sales on Black Friday. Very intense and I was getting knocked down and pushed out of the way.