I saw Shadows in print for the first time today. It was like having my second child (I’m not a mother, but I can imagine what it’s like). I’m in love with the way it looks and I don’t think I’ll ever get over how weird it feels to not only see my book in print but to also read it. It’s surreal, really. I read the first few words of Lost Voice, which I haven’t done for a long time, before picking up Shadows and reading the first few words. I’m amazed at how far I’ve come as a writer since writing Lost Voice, and I’m even more excited than before to share this book with you all. I’ll be spending the night reading through to make sure it flows correctly and there weren’t any overlooked mistakes (which knowing me a few will slip through anyways). June 7th! I can’t believe how close but far away it is!
You’ve all been waiting patiently for the reveal of the cover. Each entry was incredibly well done and I had a blast viewing each and every one of them. You all did a wonderful job, and I wish I could have chosen all of your artwork.
Give yourselves a pat on the back, you deserve it. The time and effort each and every one of you put into your entries was more than I ever expected. I’m so excited to announce the winner is…
Khushal chand Khatri of India!
Khushal did a great job with the cover, and when I asked him to make a few minor tweaks, he was very punctual. Thank you so much Khushal!
Please take a look at the fantastic job he did (Cover, back and spine):
After finally finishing my homework for the day, I decided to start editing Shadows. As exciting as that sounds, it’s just as scary. Editing is a crucial part to the story making process, standing between an author and success. I want Shadows to succeed, so I have to choose wisely when revising it.
My first step of the day was to go through all the notes I’ve made, get them in order, make sure I have my character list handy, and neatly lay out each vital detail where I can easily get to it. The second step? Coffee.I had been up all night working, so after taking a four hour nap and doing my homework, coffee was the essential detail to making sure I was awake enough.
So far, I’ve only written the Prologue,and I’m actually quite excited about it! I’m hoping it leaves you all wondering what will happen as you start reading. I’ve sent it off to my Beta Readers, so stay tuned for another sneak peak of Shadows.
Something I didn’t do when I published Lost Voice was give it a chance to bake a little bit. The excitement caused me to rush into publishing and before I knew it, before it was truly ready to be put out there, Lost Voice was in circulation.
Now, don’t get me wrong: I don’t regret it. Publishing my first novel at such a young age gave me the ability to be something. To do something with my writing. But it wasn’t ready. The book wasn’t ready and I reflect back on it now, three years later, with a heavy heart. Lost Voice took me two years to write, so you can imagine my excitement when I finally finished it. I should have given it time to be edited and really made it good. And before you go telling me “you were published at seventeen, that’s impressive enough” or “It is a good book, I enjoyed it” hear me out.
Here’s the thing. I have been able to look back and really see what I did wrong in terms of a lot of things. I’m proud of my first novel, as every writer should be. I have been able to use it as a platform to see what I should and shouldn’t do this time around.
A week ago I did something that I never thought I’d do before: I sent the file for Shadows to three beta readers. My hands were shaking before I even began typing out the email, and I hesitated before pressing send. I finally did it, and then the nerves ran through my body. What if they don’t like it? What if it’s terrible? What if the plot is aweful? But I let it be, knowing that I would embrace the feedback and use it to my advantage.
I wanted to say thank you to Nate Auron, Chris VanderReyden and P.G Shriver for taking the time to not only read through the skeletal copy of Shadows but for also carefully laying out your feedback with honesty, suggestions, comments and concerns. I truly believe with your feedback I’ll be able to make it even better. I look forward to sharing it with all of you.
As a thankyou, I would like to present each of you with a free autographed copy of Shadows this summer when it’s released. If you could each email me an address that I can send your copy to, I would greatly appreciate it.