The Responses Begin to Pour in!

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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.

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Some time after draft three…

I’ve revised my draft over the course of several months (three drafts so far), with the help of some awesome test readers and my ever-willing editor husband (well, willing to an extent. I think I did detect a slight groan the last time I mentioned we should do another edit, just in case we missed anything).

My book is almost formatted for printing, and we are just planning to do one more read-through before we get 8 test-reader paperback copies. It will be exciting to hold a physical copy of my book, but I’m not stopping there—I plan to see it traditionally published! These copies are intended for getting more valuable feedback, especially from kid readers.

Between revising dialogue and adding in some more character descriptions, I’ve also been sketching out ideas for the goblin characters in Beyond the Bramble: 

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Early on, I had contemplated doing my own illustrations but had changed my mind after reading an article about the creation of Yoda (see An interview on the topic of Yoda). There were so many different visionaries, artists, fabricators, and puppeteers that were involved in creating Yoda. This is why he was so dimensional and lifelike—he wasn’t just the figment of one artist’s mind. For my characters, I have already given each of them a voice, a name, and a general description. I wanted a brilliant illustrator to take it from there. Fortunately, I know an incredible illustrator who also appreciates the world of goblins and all things magical. But more on that later!

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