Thursday, June 19, 2008

Another Step Up - with picture

It's been brought to my attention that I've sort of neglected sharing my journey over the last year. I brushed over copy edits, galleys, filling out art fact sheets and everything else that's happened in the process of my first book going from idea in my head to words on a printed page. I'll be honest and say I'm not sure why I didn't mention all these things. Probably because I was worried about baby goats or new donkeys. Or maybe it was because once I marked those things off my to do list something else was immediately there to take its place. But there's one step that I can't ignore.

My author copies arrived this week.

And there is no feeling in the world like holding your first book in your hands. DH has been amazing, talking it up to everyone he knows. I honestly think, if it's possible, that he was more excited to see that box arrive than I was.

So it's real. There's no denying that my book will be hitting the shelves in just over a month. Yikes!

On another bright note, I just signed my second contract. Afterburn (the tentative title) will be released as one of a twelve book military series within the Blaze line. Writing about an Air Force pilot and the daughter of an Air Force General was challenging but I've enjoyed every minute of it!

And, since I brushed over everything, if anyone wants to ask any questions about the process - copy edits, line edits, art fact sheets, bios, marketing or anything else - fire away.



MaryF said...

I have a lot of questions but since I am the midst of my own self induced writing hell all I have to say is...

It is SO COOL that you have your books :)!! And a second contract!!! Woohoo!!!

Now, give me some time and I will pester you with questions. (so brace your email inbox...!)

Playground Monitor said...

And where's the photo of you cradling that baby in your hands? Hmmmm?

Maybe you could explain the difference between copy edits and galleys?


birdzilla said...

I would be more worried about an emu showing up out of the woods.
There also is the venture of PC and I starting a bee hive colony.

You did say fire away at anything.

Yes, my friends in the neighborhood are all giddy about the book. And yes, I thought it was extremely exciting to actually see all of Instigators hardwork (crabiness, evil stares during interuptions, and fatigue) to be right there in front of me.

Anonymous said...

Yes, please share a picture of you and your new "baby". And congratulations!!!! I can't wait to pick up a copy.

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Congrats, Instigator! I like PM's questions.

And I like Zilla's description of your hard work. :)

Instigator said...

Well...I'm going to ignore Zilla's description of my amazing work ethic :-) (although if I'm being honest, he's probably right). And the discussion on bees. That just sounds like an expensive hobby to undertake (prove me wrong and we'll see...)

The difference between copy edits and galleys. Well... My copy edits looked like the book in my manuscript form with notes in the margins on story continuity, changes to word choice and corrections for my atrocious grammar. It was marked up to hell and back but almost every last one of the suggestions made the book better (and we all know I didn't question any of the grammar stuff...) I maybe had about 20 or 30 changes to the changes that I requested.

My galleys were the typeset pages with each line numbered down the left side of the page. My understanding is that this is where the line edits were done. However, unlike the copy edits there weren't any notes in the margins so I really didn't notice what (if anything) had been changed. I caught a few mistakes that I had made during this read although nothing major. I had no more than a handful (maybe 5 or 6) changes that I requested. I do know that at the galley stage there isn't much time or room for major changes - read whole paragraphs. This is the time to adjust one or two words in a sentence because they've gone wrong somewhere in the process.


Problem Child said...

As long as the bees live at your house, 'Zilla, I'll back the idea...

~who also has galleys to do~

birdzilla said...

Woo Hoo!

A friend has 2 established colonies that he will give me. That takes care of the expense part. Waa Haa Haa.
Upkeep is minimal to none. The colonies can go in the very back pine thicket in the woods by the stream.

Instigator said...

Uh, I said prove me wrong and WE'LL SEE. :-D What about the smoker equipment? And the suit you need to handle the bees properly?


birdzilla said...

All the equipment is taken care of.
I would have to have the entire setup in place at home to prove the validity of the operation.

I guess...HERE WE GO.

Instigator said...

You keep forgetting the WE'LL SEE! You're as bad as the girls. Maybe does not mean yes. It means further discussion is necessary before I say no.


Barbara Vey said...

Congratulations and I'm with everyone else, where's the picture?

Rhonda Nelson said...

Give up, Instigator. I think 'zilla's going to win this one. :-)

Congratulations on your author copies arriving!

birdzilla said...

Thank you Rhonda :)

See Instigator...everyone supports the bee project.

Angel said...

I might keep him hanging out of spite for bringing home a donkey with no warning. ;) Let him sweat it a little.

I'm so excited that the book is finally here! I can't wait to see one in person.

Throughout this crazy ride, what has been the toughest part? The most exciting?


Sherry W. said...

Congratulations Instigator! And yes, we need a picture.

Ok, you said fire away. I am where you were a few years ago when you realized this was something you wanted to do. I read articles, take online classes and in general just try to soak up all the information I can on the writing process. Does any certain instructional book, website, etc. come to mind that you thought was more helpful than others?

On a side note: When I was growing up I had an uncle who had the honey bee setup. He loved it.

Smarty Pants said...

I have to admit I'm siding with 'Zilla. They say honey bees are dying in record numbers and being replaced with really aggressive ones. It could cause our entire ecosystem to collapse if they became extinct. Not that 'Zillas hive will counteract that, but the more bees, the better (as long as no one is allergic).

What has been the most surprising part of the last year?

And post the picture! I know you have one.

Jen said...

WOOHOO!! Congrats, Instigator.

Kathy said...

Woo-hoo! I can't wait to see your book, Instigator!! Congrats! I'm so excited for you. :-) Please post a picture!!

Bees? All I can say about that is... Yikes! My DH is very allergic. :-(

The process of getting your next book published seemed to go pretty fast. What was different about this next book compared to your first one?

What one important piece of advice you would give those of us trying to get that first book published?

I bet you want to go outside and scream your excitement to the world. If you could hand this book to one person, from the past, present or future, which person would you choose? (other than Zilla, of course.)

Piece, out!

Mark said...

Congratulations! it has to be an awesome feeling. Soon you will be able to blog about the suffocating feeling of being buried under piles of money!

Instigator said...

Okay, picture attached :-) I'm not including the one of me holding a book because it's a bit blurry and didn't edit well (and I didn't have any make-up on and the shirt I'm wearing makes me look frumpy...)

The toughest part? The waiting. There's nothing about this business that moves quickly... unless you want it to move slowly and then you need it done by yesterday. Patience isn't one of my virtues so this part has been hard for me. But I'm learning to deal with it. Maybe. Hopefully.

The most exciting? You might think it would be holding my book in my hands and while that was fun it wasn't as exciting as getting the phone call that I'd sold. Maybe because I've been working on this book so long and am currently pulling together projects 3 and 4... I guess in my head my obligations for this one are almost finished. I do reserve the right to change this answer, however, when I see it on the shelf for the first time :-)

I think the best instructional/informative thing I've learned is to trust myself and my instincts. It took me a while to figure out where I felt comfortable, where my voice fit. But once I found Blaze I knew it was right. Although, my editor strongly suggests Story by Robert McKee. I have the book and have begun reading it (and liked what I've read so far) but haven't been able to finish it because of other obligations. And the Discovering Story Magic workshop. I tend to throw the concepts out the window once I start writing but I definitely use them as I'm pulling together my ideas into a coherent plot.

The most surprising part? Well, everyone says selling your book isn't the cure all for everything. You replace one set of problems for another. And they're right. The problem is I didn't realize what those new problems were going to be :-) Nothing I can't handle or deal with...just different things to worry and stress over. Of course, if they weren't there I'd probably just make something up to stress over anyway. I work well under pressure.

Hey! Aren't you guys supposed to side with me? Isn't there a female code of bonding ethics or something :-) I'm can't believe I'm outnumbered. HERE! Although, I think I will take Angel's advise and make him pay for a donkey a little while ;-D


Problem Child said...

It's easy for us to side with 'Zilla. None of us have to live there. We just bring the kids by for field trips... :-)

birdzilla said...

This bee colony adventure has gone wild. Placement would be on the back side, noone would ever know they were there. It takes a good 15-20 minutes to get there.

Thank you SP and PC for the support. As for Angel, I can not post my response here :)

Regarding the picture attched, where is it?
Your clothes did not look frumpy?

You are perfect however you are dressed. (Did that help)

Instigator said...

You are a sweetheart, Zilla. Hearing you say that makes me happy. But that doesn't make it true :-)

The difference the second time around was I hopefully had a better idea of where I was going and how I was planning to get there with the story. We'll see though, I still have revisions to come :-) It's entirely possible I've completely missed the mark.

Advice? Don't give up. This business takes guts. There are plenty of people willing to tell you how wrong/bad/inept you are (even after you've made that first sale). Don't let them take your confidence or joy away.

Wow, that last one is a hard question. I'm not really sure. I've always been a GWTW fan so maybe Margaret Mitchell.

From your mouth (fingers) to God's ears, Mark :-)

Thanks everyone for sharing in the excitement with me! The joy wouldn't be nearly as sweet without the wonderful friends I've met here.


Angel said...

Somehow I knew my response would not win me any points with 'Zilla. ;)


Nicola Marsh said...

Congrats Instigator!

I still get a thrill each and every time a box of books arrive, an absolutely surreal moment where I hold it in my hand and think 'huh, did I really write this?'
I love it!

Enjoy every moment of your fabulous journey :)