Sunday, December 19, 2010

News from the Woman Behind the Curtain

I know that it's been awhile. No, I didn't skid off of that high road and crash over the precipice. In addition to the usual chaos of the holiday season, I've been involved in a professional reinvention. Back in October, I talked about the restart of my career as a novelist. I figured it was about time to update everyone on the progress.

The cover artist has redesigned the covers for my books All Keyed Up and Key of Sea. We've agreed on the concepts and now he needs to finalize the designs. I'm really pleased with the new looks for the books and am looking forward to revealing them soon.

Likewise, I'm thrilled with the progress made by the company I contracted with to redesign my website. Again, we've settled on the design concept. Now I need to let them know what content to migrate from the current site, freshen up some material, and make some additional decisions.

So far, it sounds like other people are doing all the work for the restart. To some extent that's true. Now, I'm in the midst of my major responsibilities -- going through the books to fix a few things. Then I need to do the actual reformatting of the manuscripts to prepare them for electronic publishing.

Unlike some authors who do this when the books first come out, the last time I read them was when I did the final revisions for the original publisher. Frankly, the process of rereading them now feels a little weird. I bounce from pleased surprise, as in, "Wow. I actually wrote this? It's pretty good" to fretting whether the stories are truly good enough.

It's not unusual for writers to suffer from this fear and insecurity. I've read blog posts by fabulously successful, award-winning, New York Times bestselling authors where they proclaim that they suck. They don't, of course, they just sometimes think that they do, or are afraid that they do and they will soon be revealed as frauds.

Imagine for a second that the Wizard of Oz is a metaphor for a novelist's career. We'd be the guy concealed behind the curtain. The creative process would be Dorothy's journey to the Emerald City - sometimes the path is beautiful and filled with bright colors and interesting characters. Sometimes we creep through the dark forest, dodging apples thrown by scary trees, trying not to be captured by flying monkeys. Other times, it just gets so overwhelming that all we really want is to lie down among the flowers for a nap.

Well, I can't sleep my way through the process of checking my books. I've set goals and want these books to enjoy new life in e-publishing. To help the effort, I have already invested a good chunk of money in the covers and website. I want to, and will, push on and get the books ready to launch. I've gone through the poppy fields, gained entry to the Emerald City, and am putting my books through the buffing and polishing.

I've discovered a certain magic energy to preparing to release my books myself in the electronic publishing forums. Remember in the Wizard, Dorothy thought she had to do a whole bunch of stuff and rely on many others to achieve her goal.

Like her, I've discovered I have the power to get where I want to be all on my own.

Stay tuned . . .

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