Today is the day! Secret Matilda is available at Amazon in both Kindle and Print!
After getting attacked by the ship that has been chasing them across all known space, can Jacquie and the crew find a way out? What are Mr. Leon and his soldier genorgs up to? Will Dr. Wyeth finally get her hands on Lieutenant Galena Chadov? All I know is that there is something strange afoot on the M33 destroyer and even stranger things in store for our intrepid crew!
There is only one more book to go and the story will be done! Woo! 2022, I’m looking at you!
Sometimes listening to music makes the writing process easier. I really find that it helps with the editing process. For this series, where music is integral to the story, I’ve created Playlists. If you missed it, here is that post again. Well, I did it again on the ole Spotify! Do you want to give it a listen? Here ya go!
When I first received the lengthy corrections from my editors, I wasn’t too concerned. At a glance, it looked like there was less red ink than there had been in say… The Matilda. Some sections looked like an absolute breeze to get through while others indicated more of a knock-down-drag-out fight. But with it in hand, I can make progress!
And progress was made…
It took a while (some were an absolute fight… I’m talking tooth and nail here), but all those corrections are done! By the way, can we give some love to the editors? No matter how many times I’ve read my work, I still miss things. Some things are as simple as a missing letter (on vs. one), others are more involved from beginning to end (why is everyone sighing? Why, Jon, why?). I can’t thank my editors enough for the time and focus they take to help my little stories move right long.
Timing is everything…
After all that, I found some spots that need a little more and I have plenty of notes on how to fix this. And, lo and behold, my last beta reader sent me a pile of constructive criticism! Some of it hits on bits I found while others are new and shiny (like diamonds). I’ll be going through the story with a fine-toothed comb and making the last alterations and corrections and then prep it for print.
Secret Matilda is so close to being ready!
Oh! Last but not least, I just found out this morning that I will have a table at Mile-Hi Con! I’ll post more about that as the date gets closer.
This is going to be a short one, but the edited book has arrived! And it’s huge! I mean gargantuan! There is a lot of red ink! And if you haven’t figured it out yet, that’s where the quote above came from.
Needless to say, I have my work cut out for me. But the end result is that much closer for release. Now I have to lock myself in for the next bunch of weeks to get this done!
After I sent off Secret Matilda to my editors, I jumped headfirst into the rewrite of book 5. Now, it’s not completely written, so this one is a partial rewrite-slash-new stuff experience. I guess I can’t stop myself from trying new ways of doing things. Spice is the variety of life or something…
It was great fun! The story is cranking right along and ideas for what to add to it flourished non-stop in me olde skull. Everything was moving right along and then, 100+ degree days… I don’t know about other people but writing in the summer after working a full day is not easy for me. Toss on 100+ degrees where my office can get into the mid 80’s and it just gets harder.
So, needless to say, work on book 5 has slowed down.
But that’s alright! Just because it’s taking a little longer just means there is that much more blood, sweat and tears involved in the process. I mean, I’m pretty sure I’ve cut a finger or two while working on this. But sometimes, you’ve got to step away for a little. If for no other reason than to clear your head. Luckily for me, a family trip back home was already in the works.
We landed and drove until we hit the beach. It was wonderful to see (and be in) the ocean again. There was a lovely walk in the warm rain at night, fighter jets flying overhead, a concert, good food, coffee and all that. I’m a sucker for old wooden ships and I finally got to see the recreations of the Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery. They were beautiful.
Then I went to rivers I grew up near and got to wander the beaches amongst the driftwood and shells. I was lucky enough to catch sight of a cast of fiddler crabs as they broke for the trees. And I ate oysters, so many oysters fresh from the water 10 feet away from me.
On top of all that, I got to swim in a mountain lake that had, and I kid you not, an ice cream boat! You hear that telltale music and you perk up like a kid and around the bend came the boat! Another boat pulled up alongside and ordered some ice cream and then disappeared around the bend. I’ve never seen the like!
We flew out of Richmond after some history walks and excellent coffee and tacos and back home we are. It was good to be back and I feel refreshed!
My alpha reader got back to me and dropped the list of “corrections”, “doesn’t feel rights” and “this is missings” in my lap (There were other things in there too. I mean in the list, not in my lap… I think). I whipped through that pile as fast as my addled brain could handle. And then I went back over it with less addled brains. Oh, brains…
I fine-tooth combed it too! I caught a lot of little things sprinkled throughout and its all in the hope that the editor’s pen of red death leaves fewer lines, circles, and x’s in its wake. I’m sure I will be proven wrong, but hey it can’t hurt to try, right? I feel confident! (though I may have jumped the gun, but I sent it out to my beta readers with that “not edited” quantifier.)
Rewriting this one was an interesting experience to say the least. That continuity check will live in infamy in my mind for a long time to come (and finger’s crossed it won’t ever be outdone). I’m biased but I think it was worth it. Even with the corrections list, my alpha reader said it flowed well and already wants to know happens next!
As I look out at the blanket of snow, I realize I’m going to have to strap on some boots and get to the shoveling. “But it’s warm in here!” I cry. “I don’t wanna!”
The world waits for no one or so I’ve heard. 2020 has really kiboshed my normal idea of plans in general, so I’ve kind of fallen off the rails. Sure, I stuck to my writing, but I’ve let other things settle to the wayside. Like, how does someone go on vacation? Do we actually go to places or is it like a Total Recall sort of thing? Are sweatpants still considered formal wear? You know… stuff like that.
And other things. I am plowing through a bunch of courses on advertising and quite a lot has changed since last year. One activity I haven’t jumped on terribly well is getting reviews. In the beginning (oh, silly me), I thought it was more of an organic thing and while that is true, it is harder to get a foot in that door when you only have a few books out.
While I wait on my alpha reader for Secret Matilda, I am researching the whole “getting reviews” process. Lo and behold, there is a thing called ARC or Advanced Reader Copy which I did not know a thing about. There are many services out there that offer readers for these Advanced copies and I am late to the party.
So, here I am getting into the whole ARC process and realize I haven’t checked for reviews on my books for a long time. Oh! By the way, you can sign up for the ARC for The Matilda on booksprout. For those interested, click on that blue word.
As I peruse for reviews (that is fun to say!) on different sites, I came across reviews for all three books in the Matilda series on goodreads.com from Dr. Susan and… Wow! If I needed a lift, her reviews gave it to me. I can barely focus on the task at hand because I am wiggling in my seat as I try to write this! Thank you, Dr. Susan! You made my week if not the month!
Whew! I had to go stare out the window at the snow again to calm down.
I am back into the breach of classes! A little over three hours to go… with some uh… shoveling in between.
Has it really been almost two months since my last update? Wow, I knew I’d lost track of time, but I hadn’t realized it had been that much time.
Well anyway, after weeks of checking for and catching continuity errors and the book is done! Whew! You have no idea how much rejoicing there was. I don’t think I shut up about it for hours (to be perfectly honest, I’m still making noises). Now, it’s off to my alpha reader so that they can catch all the things I couldn’t see through the crack of my swollen eyes!
A random bonus point from all that continuity checking is that I had to double-check everything I’d written for Waltzing Matilda as well. So, I’m already knee-deep into the next one!
The plan is to pound away at the next one while I wait for those corrections. Once I get those, then it’s back to Secret Matilda to finish prepping it for the editors.
I can’t wait to see what I missed! (a little editing humor at the end there. Because why not?)
I think I can see the finish line… of the first lap…
Remember when I said progress is progress? Well, even slow progress is still a step forward. My progress for this one slowed down quite a lot, it even came to a halt a few times. What with the holidays, the insurrection, and that good ole virus lurking around every corner, the Covid, I’ve got valid excuses, right?
But that doesn’t mean I should have let it get behind and I did let that happen. I expected I’d be further along than I am (I also need to remind myself of holidays and adjust my expectation on progress around them, but that’s another story). So there I was and oh, that crazy work, life, work balance had to take a swing the other direction.
But it’s all good! I had to buckle down for the past month (but is there really all that much going on besides all the madness?) and that lovely first draft is close to becoming a solid second draft.
I can almost taste it… like ozone and metal forks.