For starters I am embarrassed to see how long it has been since I last posted. So as part of my apology I will share with you one of the interesting things I have been up to.
I spent last weekend 'snowed in' at my sister's acreage south east of Medicine Hat. We were perfectly happy there - we had heat and power, a little food and a lot of movies. (No kids, no husbands and no interruptions.) It was wonderful. The intention for the weekend together was to edit one of my books. My sister Kathy read the book, That's Enough!, and agreed to help me get it ready to go on its long journey towards publishing.
On the way to Medicine Hat I made a short stop-over in Chestermere to visit my cousin Jenny. She was excited about the book writing too and asked to read a copy. I gave her my printed copy in my bag and left on my way.
Kathy amazed me with her insight and understanding of my novel. She did some amazing work on my book - giving me the one thing I can't do for myself - a fresh perspective. As an author it is sometimes hard to see a character as fresh as a reader. For instance, in my head I know the beginning and the end of that character often before I even start typing the words to the story. So when I introduce him to the reader I may give too much away or not enough - leaving the reader confused. Thanks Kathy!
She helped me rework the first few chapters to make them better as well. (When you send away a manuscript for someone to look it over with the intentions of publishing, you can only send the first three chapters. So you need to grab them and hook them in that short section. In some cases that is all that person will read of your work if it isn't totally impressive.)
When I finally made the trek home - three days later than originally planned, I stopped in at my cousin Jenny's. She had finished the novel the day I dropped it off and was excited to share her thoughts with me. It was encouraging for me to hear her constructive criticism as well. The neat part was she pointed out items in the plot that my sister hadn't. Now at first you might think that would be disconcerting. But it wasn't. It was encouraging. Every reader takes away different things from books they read - that is why we don't all read the same things or like the same things. I figure the more 'different' perspectives I get, the better my novel will be in the end. Thanks Jenny!
So, anyone else want in on the action?
For now, my mission is to spend some time making the changes and revisions on this manuscript to hopefully send it away by the end of February. Then the finale - the piece de resistance. Kathy helped me with one last loose end - the title. I knew it was a lame title, but I just couldn't think of what else to use. So we brainstormed for an entire evening and came up with a new title for this work and many more of mine - even some that aren't fully written yet.
So, I would like to introduce you to my third novel (previously known as That's Enough!) .... (that's an imaginary drum roll) .... Truth Held Captive by Jodi Janz.
**Just imagine you could read the first chapter here! That would be cool except I have to do the revisions first, so stay tuned. It will be along soon.