No, not to the New Year, but to the release of The Healer’s Garden. Tomorrow, December 30, sometime before evening on the east coast, Healer’s will make it’s debut appearance on the internet!
And to be honest… I’m a little nervous.
My debut novel. I’ve dreamed about it, hoped for this time to come, celebrated each step along the way, from receiving the contract from Liquid Silver, through the edits, straight to approving the cover art, and it’s been one heck of a ride.
And now it’s finally here.
I can’t help worrying how people will react to my baby. I love this story. I love Jahara and Brenimyn (so much so that I’m plotting a second book). Their story is a sensual journey of love which carries with it questions of equality among the sexes. Questions that I hope make you wonder about your own place in the world and how you react to those around you.
It’s also humorous and sad and suspenseful and uplifting — I hope.
But I guess all that remains to be seen as the reviews come rolling in over the next few weeks. Ah, reviews… okay, I’m really nervous now!
I had the privilege of teleconferencing with a group of writers with disabilities the other night. They have recently published their first book Behind Our Eyes available through Amazon. It’s an anthology of short stories, essays and poems, many of them based on their own experiences of living with disabilities. (Yep, that was indeed a shameless plug.)
It was a wonderful conversation and we spoke about several aspects of writing. But the one thing that we spent a lot of time on was point of view (POV). This sometimes can be a difficult concept to master as a writer.
POV is the person experiencing your scene. The one who holds the video camera showing the reader what is happening. The question arose as to how a blind character would “see” the world. The fact is… they probably wouldn’t.
This character wouldn’t be describing someone’s clothes or how the puffy clouds floated across the cerulean sky as they sat in the outdoor cafe. A blind character would hear and smell, perhaps touch and experience the world around them from those senses. A writer needs to be mindful of whose head they are in.
An engineer isn’t going to notice his girlfriend’s house is filled with various species of potted plants. However, he would notice that her computer is old and needs to be updated. But a landscaper would surely notice how she hadn’t taken care of her flowerbeds and that they’d gone to seed.
Another thing you can’t do is jump out of your POV person and tell the reader something another person is thinking. This is called head-hopping. How would your character know what someone else was thinking? They can however “see” that the person they’re talking to is pissed. How? Show your reader how the person is crossing their arms, or how their brow is furrowed. Your POV character can interpret body language. You do it all the time.
I like to think of writing as an actor would think of portraying a role. I crawl into the head of my character and experience and react to everything through their eyes.
I love the look of Christmas. The snow weighing heavy on the trees. The lights twinkling. A cozy fire burning in the hearth. Wrapped gifts under the tree. Smiling faces of children staring at Santa in awe. It’s beautiful.
I want that.
But then reality rears it’s ugly head and shows up at my house! The first week of December I beg my man to drag the boxes and containers of Christmas paraphernalia up from the basement. *click* See garland spilling from boxes stacked in front hallway.
Then we bundle up and head over to the local boyscout troop Christmas tree lot and pick out the perfect tree to adorn our living room. *click* See Charlie Brown tree sitting forlornly in stand sans lights and bulbs, loosing needles faster than Santa can make toys to put under said tree.
By mid December I can proudly say, all boxes are back down stairs, Christmas decorations adorn the house, the tree is no longer naked and *sigh* it looks so purty… for about a day.
Then the Christmas shopping begins. We live essentially in the middle of nowhere, so our shopping consists of one major day at the big “city” and in one fell swoop–it’s done! *click* See bags and bags of unwrapped gifts sitting under Christmas tree. *click* See living room doors shut so teenagers can’t see purchases and mother can’t see beautiful decorations.
Now the rolls of wrapping paper lay about. In the next few days, children will schlep home from college. *click* See downstairs bathroom stacked with all the clothing they own. *click* See dishes piling in the sink as wrapping gifts takes precedence over all other household chores.
You know, my Christmas may not be the Currier and Ives versions of the holiday, but it’s mine none the less. And in reality, I wouldn’t change it for anything.
So what kind of snapshots describe your holiday?
Now, isn’t that just about the sexiest thing you’ve ever seen?
I am just so excited. It’s the cover for MY BOOK… just not the official cover. The Liquid Silver logo still needs to be added to the top. Oh, but I’m so excited I couldn’t wait to show the whole world!
All the credit for this design goes to Anne Cain who very patiently kept tweaking the design until I was happy. Oh, and I am happy!!… Happy dancing all over the house!
I know it’s November. I get that. But come on! Winter arrived with a vengence before it’s official start date. Isn’t there some natural law against that? Al Gore’s been sharing the woes of global warming all over the world, but I’m thinking Mother Nature sort of missed the boat with Maine.
For two days a storm has been hovering over the state leaving snow, ice, and cold in its wake. A friend wrote a wonderful letter recently about how snow put her in a good mood. She loved the flakes drifting down like powdered sugar, coating the trees until their bows bent low with the weight of it. How in the morning, the sun glistened off the pristine flakes to glitter like so many diamonds.
Oh, it makes for wonderful prose, but the reality ain’t so pretty!
Reality: Shovels breaking from overuse (today). Scrapers that can’t cut through layers of ice on your windshield (yesterday). Stubborn snowblowers that balk because there’s one hundred feet of snow two feet deep between your car and the plowed street and the engine hasn’t even cooled from the last two feet it cleared. (And let’s not even get into the four foot snowbank created by said plow.) Bulky coats, boots, gloves, scarves, and hats that make you feel like sausage filling as you squeeze behind your steering wheel. Never mind the cars that groan out complaints when you turn the key or skate through intersections.
My friend is completely mistaken. Snow is bad. Very bad. It comes too soon, lasts too long, and is just plain messy when tracked through your kitchen.
Global warming? Not here in northern Maine! So what’s it like where you live?
Okay, the secret is out… I have a split personality. I’ve tried to hide it, but then thought, oh what the heck? come out of the closet and let people know.
I write romantic suspense under the name Kara Dunn and erotic suspense under the pseudonym Nina Pierce. I wanted to keep them totally separate, not let them play with each other as the case may be, but eh hem… nope, they wouldn’t have any of it. They each have their very own distinct website, but blogging? Well, they just wanted to do it together.
Which means, when you stop by this blog there could be posts on writing or something new on erotica or just ramblings about my family or where I live.
Actually, it’s nice to stop pretending that Nina is some wanton 20-something sex kitten. (Oh, shoot, just blew her cover!) Or that Kara doesn’t have a very healthy sex life. (Married to my high school sweetheart for 23 years… umm, yeah, we still tango… but don’t tell the kids!)
Anyway, it’s nice to have it out there. It gets a bit confusing now and again trying to remember who’s name should be signed at the bottom of the email. But it’s nice to know, here, at my own blog, I don’t have to think about it, I just can be “us”!
Okay, so there seems to be a whole bunch of writers in my world going through the editing process. All with varying degrees of satisfaction.
I just finished my first set of edits on The Healer’s Garden. (Not that there will be more, just that it’s my first time, anyhoo…) It was a relatively painless process of skimming through the novel, fixing poor word choices, and tightening purple prose. (I gave up on commas and let my editor deal with my pepper shaker method of distributing the little buggers in my writing.) Two days later I had the final manuscript sent back to my editor. If I understand correctly, it went to the proofers and then it’s off to the printers.
Now, my CP on the other hand, is in the beginning stages of edits and she’s tearing her hair out. She has a major cut in her word count (which didn’t come as a shock to her as the original manuscript tipped the scale at nearly 150K), but her editor has asked her to revamp several characters including the hero.
Then there’s a blogger friend who just finished the edits of her crime novel and though I don’t have the specifics, it sounded like she had some word count issues and tightening and had to revamp some scenes.
Why, do I mention all this? Because I envy them. (Ah, did you see that one coming?)
I just can’t believe that my first novel wouldn’t require some major revisions like scene deletions or character development or… I don’t know, something. Sure, I had two other authors and a friend read through it and offer suggestions and I did a major rewrite myself, but I’m still a little noodgie. Is my book truly the best it can be at this point?
Do I trust my editor. Absolutely.
Do I trust my own talent as a writer. Not even sort of!
I think I would be sitting more comfortably if I had gone through the hair-pulling, keyboard-banging, late night frustration of being forced to look at my novel through fresh eyes.
And maybe I’m just being paranoid.
Either way, my edits are finished and my novel is out of my hands. I get one more look through when I get the galleys, but if I understand correctly, no major changes can be made at that stage of the game. It’s basically a check for spelling. (I think.)
Anyway, I’m just curious how your edits went or what you expect when you get them. Do tell.
However you found your way here…welcome!
I am new to the publishing world. I sat down to write my first novel about two and half years ago. That draft still sits under the couch in a lovely binder and may never see the light of day! It was such a learning experience going from “Once upon a time…” to “The End”. I tripped and stumbled, but each time I hit a road block, I picked myself up, dusted off the confusion, and kept going.
It is said that 150 MILLION AMERICANS
WOULD LIKE TO WRITE A BOOK.
15 million start. 1.5 million finish. 150,000 submit. 15,000 sell.
Not only did I start, I finished, submitted and sold! I’m pretty proud of that fact. My debut novel, The Healer’s Garden will be a molten release from Liquid Silver Books in early 2008!
I’m going to use my blog to share with you my frustrations and celebrations… all my experiences as I continue to build my writing career.
Please come back and join me.