Saturday, May 16, 2015

"The Mermaid and the Unicorn" - first printout is HUGE!

One Alpha reader gets a print out copy. Fun to see the book take physical form, even if the size is pretty daunting!

I know you're wondering... why is Matt's name first when I'm doing the majority of the writing? Here's a post he wrote about coauthored books. He's absolutely more than an editor on this book (and we also need his name to be first on every book in this multi-author series so that they're shelved together in bookstores and libraries). Basically, we plotted the book together - there is no way I could have come up with a plot this tight on my own - then for the past three years I would write a section, send it to him, he'd make a few tweaks and comments, then I'd implement his comments and write more. There's a few sections he's rewritten already, and I'm sure there will be many more bits when we get into draft 4... my 'this is my baby!' author side hopes it won't be too much, but Matt's changes always make the book stronger. Certainly the whole world of the ruahim is his brainchild, he is a fantastic worldbuilder and this series is only going to be as strong as it is because of his guidance.

He is an excellent editor, btw, if you can employ him, you definitely should! I'm very blessed that with this series he just takes a cut of the royalties and I don't have to pay him out of pocket.

Friday, May 15, 2015



I just finished the latest draft of "The Mermaid and the Unicorn" and have sent it off to my alpha readers (see previous post for what those are).  My body is dead and I don't want to type again for the rest of the weekend, but expect blogging to resume next week.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Mermaid Muse

I am trying to conserve my typing strength for "The Mermaid and the Unicorn" editing right now. (It's due to Alpha readers on the 15th, which is already a week later than I'd originally hoped). Thankfully I've got this little mermaid come all the way from Florida to be my muse. :)

What's an Alpha reader and how is it different than a Beta reader? I like this definition:

"Beta readers, as you know, help authors refine their work by identifying where things aren’t working, clumsy language, and various other problems in a manuscript.  Alpha readers also help authors, but their focus is more specifically on the story, plot, and characterization.  Alpha readers are the first readers: they provide the first feedback to an author on whether a story is working." ~ From UndiscoveredAuthor

Friday, May 1, 2015

A Librarian For All Seasons

As my frequent readers will know, I work hard to make it clear in my reviews what sort of content might be red flags for different readers. As I've grown up, so has my reading, but there are still some types of books I just will not write about here because of the number of teens I know read my posts.

Reading this article (and the comments) was eye-opening - my experience has been through conservative Christian lens, and that's what I highlight on here because I know most of my readers affiliate themselves this way. It was interesting to see how conservative Muslim and Jewish readers could have even stronger feelings about content that wouldn't even blip my radar screen.

"These teens may not read much of anything from the YA area, either. They might voluntarily skip from the children’s room to reading “classics” such as Jane Austen books, not realizing that the YA section also contains great choices. These adolescents may even have become convinced that the public library is not for people like them".

I remember being a preteen and struggling with this. Of course, fifteen years ago the whole genre of YA was just really starting to take off, so there simply were not as many books between the "Middle School" and "Adult" gaps... but I know the teen section always looked freaky to me (ha ha).

And honestly, when I picked up YA fiction, it was often beyond what I was comfortable reading. And yet I was a pretty advanced reader (I read 400 page Tudor biographies when I was 11) so novels with (what seemed to me) age appropriate subject matter, were just not as challenging and engaging. The internet was just being born then, so it was harder to find reviews and suggestions than it is now. I know conservative teens today can find many great resources (hopefully my blog counts as one to you!) to help them navigate the lines of their own comfort zone as they mature in both age and subject reflection. In high school, I was behind what most of my peers would be comfortable reading/watching. Now, I'm ahead of many of my conservative peers. There's nothing wrong with any of these comfort zones, as long as you periodically examine them and ask "am I stretching myself to grow wiser and more mature in appropriate ways that will allow me to connect/understand the world I'm growing up in?"

Anyhow, I love seeing that there are librarians aware of this issue and seeking to make a difference. A display like they're talking about would have been pretty awesome for me as a teen.