Sunday, May 3, 2015

On Writing: My Fearless Journey & Epic transformation...

I'm getting ready to go through the final proofreader's edits for Isolt's Enchantment and the moment feels quite momentous.

Last October, when I was collaborating with Billie Limpin on the first book in our Magic Cupcake series, I connected with editor Vince Dickinson. I immediately recognized that his tough stance on things like structure and action balanced my storytelling weaknesses. I'm big into characterization, authentic motivation, dialogue, and world building. So Vince's masculine editing style turned out to be the perfect compliment to my feminine writing/storytelling style.

(Okay, is there such a thing as a masculine or feminine style of editing and/or writing? Oh, yes. I believe there is. Our experience of gender filters the way in which we perceive the world. That does not mean that all women see the world in the same way, or that all men see the world in a diametrically opposed way! Indeed, it's quite complex when you begin to make room for the realities of people like Bruce Jenner whose masculine body houses a feminine psyche—and vice versa. My point is: Vince's editing style feels polar to my innate writing style, and with his editing, my stories feel—yes—much stronger!!!)

So...after Billie and I published Cupcakes & Kisses in December, I made a hard, but I believe, very sound decision. I decided to have Vince edit everything I'd written to-date. Well, I began this "project" with high hopes and much enthusiasm. But I'll be honest, it has been a long and emotionally painful haul.

In August of 2012, Half Faerie Publishing released it's first book: Nandana's Mark. I'd say it had mixed success. Readers in general connected with the characters and the story, while fantasy readers appreciated the world building. However, we didn't realize at the time how much we had to learn about publishing...which is a distinct endeavor from writing.

Since then, we've been working hard behind-the-scenes to produce the highest quality reads that we can. As well as diving deep into the process of cover design, we scavenged all my book reviews (I admit it!), and I dug in to work harder on my craft. Editor H. Danielle Crabtree played a huge part in the initial success of my fantasy series, The Queen of the Realm of Faerie. It was after a long discussion with her, that we made the difficult decision to unpublish the first three books in the series in January of 2014, and transform the story into a trilogy of three epic books, Daughter of Light.

It was another hard choice to send Vince Half Faerie along with Isolt's Enchantment and Half Mortal earlier this year. But we did that, because we want the trilogy to be cohesive, not only in story, but also in style and voice. Vince made very, very minuscule edits to Half Faerie. (What a relief!) But when I received his feedback, I committed to doing one final revision of that book. Which is now finished. I began, in a few minutes, to correct the scattered typos that remain in Isolt's Enchantment and Half Faerie, I am so excited! Because ... that means ... from this point on, we'll be moving forward with a wonderful fantasy series that I trust readers will love.

And it also means that ... Half Mortal is finally coming in July!