Read Part 6 Here
My Publishing Journey
Doing book signings for my 2nd book was a bit more exciting. People started to show up who had read my first book. Also, my book signing table looked more official when I had two books instead of just one. I was starting to feel more like a real author. And better yet, I was well into writing book 3 and had put together a reasonable writing schedule.
Of course no matter how well you plan, life gets interrupted. One of my greatest challenges became focusing on the writing time I had set aside. Not checking emails, not answering the phone, not getting side-tracked. Writing time varied from early mornings, nap times, and late nights, with snatches in between.
While researching book #3 (Towards the Promised Land), I realized that my series was not going to be a 3-volume series, but would need a 4th book. For those of you who are familiar with my Out of Jerusalem series, book 3 is about the time when Nephi builds the ship in Bountiful then sails to Mesoamerica. When I learned that building the ship took 2-3 years, I didn’t want to skim through it in a couple of chapters. My publisher agreed to the idea.
I continued with my critique group, meeting almost weekly. I also joined the LDS Storymakers writers group during this time. Some of the people I met that year through Storymaker events would soon become important parts of my writing-life, such as Tristi Pinkston, Rachel Nunes, Josi Kilpack, Julie Wright, and James Dashner.
One of the amazing things about meeting other authors, who live in the same type of zany world of imagination, is that friendships become valuable because we authors tend to write in isolation. Who else can I chat with about character motivation? Who else can give me advice on making an opening hook stronger? Who else to commiserate about a bad review?
Writing a book (or should I say, completing a book) is a lot like going back to college. There is a lot to re-learn, because, let’s face it, I wasn’t really paying a lot of attention to synopsis-writing in high school. I never thought at the time I might have to write one for a publisher and that a design team would use it to create the cover and backliner for my book. Not only do we have to learn to transfer the idea in our head and make it into a cohesive story on paper, but we need to learn to promote ourselves. We need to understand the business and how to position ourselves as an author. We need to know what we can write off on our taxes, and how best to invest and divide our time between writing and promotional stuff.
Book 3 done and turned in November 2005. Then the wait began.
Book 1 took 11 months to get accepted.
Book 2 took 3 weeks to get accepted.
I didn’t hear back from my publisher on book 3 for 3 ½ months. I was getting a bit nervous, but apparently, the person who was supposed to call hadn’t. So I found out from my editor a bit after the fact. Not that I wasn’t worried . . . :-)