After a favorable response from Southwest Writers Conference I considered the real possibility that The Stone’s Blade was publishable. I worked hard to finish the full manuscript. What was once a stand alone piece became a series after my daughter, Kristina, read it at my request. I felt that there was something missing or something more that could be done but I couldn’t quite figure it out. Her simple comments opened up a completely new batch of ideas and transformed the story line.
Now I had so much I could do and the side and back stories are fascinating. Of course to integrate her ideas I had to revisit the manuscript and make innumerable changes. All of which were fun and I then rushed to bring about the conclusion of the first book, now titled, The Blood. I gave this “new” manuscript to Kristina to read and she informed me that I had rushed through the last three chapters and had to go back and rewrite them. That was completed almost three years ago and I started sending it out to agents. I spent the better part of two and a half years working on query letters, brief synopses, and researching agents. Most of these queries seemed to disappear into a black hole of no responses. A very few came back with standard “not interested” comments or “not accepting any new authors”. I finally located one who seemed to be perfect. According to her website she wanted a science fiction/fantasy with a romantic element. I spent six weeks researching her and writing/rewriting what I thought would be the perfect cover letter for my submission. What did I get back? “Sorry, I don’t work in that genre.” I checked her website and my submission several times to try and figure out where I went wrong.
After a few weeks fuming I decided that I would publish it myself. At least then I could share a few copies with family and friends. What was interesting was that as soon as I decided to self publish things changed; that was just over one year ago.
Since then I have joined Colorado Independent Publishers Association (www.CIPA.com) and connected with an amazing group of intelligent and supportive people. I now have an editor who is coaching me through editing this first manuscript so those that come after it will be better. I have a book cover designer who is excited about the story series and has great ideas. I am so fortunate to be where I am today.
At this time I am about half way through the editing process (for the fifth and what feels like the most intense time). If any one thinks that editing is a one time deal they’ve got their head buried. I am learning so much and actually enjoying it!
I must do justice to the characters who have stayed with me over the years by bringing their story to life. To make this the best possible effort, I will continue to work and write and learn about this entire process. I am hoping The Stone’s Blade: the Blood will be published by the end of 2013.