The editing never ends! But the book really gets sharper and better with every re-write. Thanks to all of the readers who have already given such great feedback. So far, it feels like everyone who has read the book has given me different sorts of feedback. Some have focused more on characters, while others have focused on grammar, story flow, and the meaning beneath the surface of the story. I feel like I need to add a chapter just to thank everyone for being a part of the process. Annette would like me to mention that she is very much a part of the process too. She nips my toes when I’ve been writing for too long, and she does her best to provide me with plenty of mischievousness to write about.
The feedback I have been getting has been positive and extremely constructive. As people sent me their comments on the book, I bounced them off of my dashing editor (Mr. Bacavis) and we kept revising and improving the book. The result of all this feedback is that my book’s plot is getting stronger and its language more vivid.
What did readers want to see more of? Readers wanted to know more about how the characters looked and what their deeper motivations were. Best of all, the readers wanted to know what would happen next to their newly discovered friends: Lila, Annette, Wilden, and Pim. Having kid readers come back to me with eager questions and genuine concern for the characters let me know that something within the book was working.
Best compliment of all? A girl who isn’t a strong reader and shies away from books thought it was fun to read part of my book aloud with her mom. I could quit here and I’d be happy with that measure of success.
Feast your eyes on this beautiful cover art – I hope it makes you excited for the chance to read the book behind it! Bailey Quillin Cooper (check out Bailey’s Blog) did an incredible job with this advance reader’s cover. She created an eye-catching illustration that really captures the personality of three of the main characters and gives the reader a few hints about what they might encounter within the story.
On Wednesday, a big stack of these advance reader books will be showing up at my front door. I have no intention of self-publishing my book, these printed mock up books are still just rough drafts and the intention is that I can hand my test readers something physical. Already, I’ve sent digital copies to ten different readers from four different countries. Up until this point, it was only myself, the editor (Mr. Bacavis), the illustrator, the beta-reader, and a couple of close friends who had even read the book. The responses were all encouraging and it helped to propel me forward through all the editing and re-writing. A big thank you to all of them!
But let’s be real; it felt safe before, but now my creation – or “baby” – is going to be read by a wide range of different readers. It is actually very terrifying for me. I have to constantly fight the voice inside that says, “Everyone will hate it! It is so trite – and talk about a boring book… yeesh!” (My inner voice is a total jerk and an unfair critic of everything I do).
However, in spite of my complete terror and unease, this is thrilling. I am inching closer to a goal I have been passionate about since putting together my first handmade books as a kid. Creating stories has always been a natural thing for me (my mom has the file folders of childhood writing to prove it). I am a writer. Now, I’m getting the opportunity to prove it to myself and to actual readers. Let the madness begin!