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!
Most people are snuggled in bed under their covers in the comfort of their homes. I’m not one of those people, of course, and I’m sitting at a desk waiting for my patients to wake up. I’m exhausted, of course, and I can’t wait to finish the night, go to class, then finally arrive home for my three hours of sleep before working again.
Did I mention I also just finished Shadows?
It feels surreal, realizing I finished writing my second novel after all this time. Without all of your support, this wouldn’t be possible. I’m excited, of course, but just as nervous. Every writer leaves a piece of themselves in everything they write. This holds true for Shadows, and I feel there’s some personal feelings that may have slipped through. Nonetheless, if I wasn’t nervous, then Shadows wouldn’t be ready.
I’m excited, and I sure hope you all are too! It it weren’t for you, this wouldn’t be possible. You pushed me to write my next novel. You taught me that the first draft isn’t as important as the second or even the third. You told me to push through the writer’s block and get the words on paper, I could fix it later. I listened to your advice, and I’m glad I did.
Shadows is due to come out this summer and it couldn’t come fast enough!
But first, I need a head-shot, so I should get on that.
The editing process is a long one. It’s well worth it, of course, but man my hands are tired! I swear I’m going to get carpel tunnel by the time I’m twenty-three.
I’m only about 20,500 words in, so still got a ways to go, but I can not wait to be done editing!
Whew! I guess I should stop distracting myself and get back to wrok! Literally. I’m at the hospital right now, with four and a half hours left until my shift ends, then half hour to hang around before my meeting. Lucky me, right?
He was breathing heavily. Not because he’d been exercising, but rather because he was nervous. The anxiety crept through him as a cold chill ran across his body. Today was the day.
It started like any other day: go in to work, smiling at the familiar faces, and slip hastily into his office. But today would be different; he knew that. What he didn’t know was whether his plan would work. He’d spent the past year trying to fathom what’d happened. How did he lose his only son?
Surely he wasn’t there when it occurred. He’d left him with a trusted companion; one who’d promised to watch over and protect him. She’d let him down, much like anyone else had. Why hadn’t he been surprised when he returned home to an empty house and a note?
“There was an accident,” it read, “on my way to the hospital with Calvin.”
It must not be too serious, he thought. She’d had enough time to leave a message, but why hadn’t she called him? He would spend the next year creating scenarios in his head, each with a potential solution to what had gone wrong.
They say Calvin had been running out by the pool, unsupervised, and when he slipped, he splashed into the water, striking his head on the concrete. There was no way of knowing what had truly caused his death, there’d been too many factors that came into play.
Calvin’s father knew better. He knew there’d been a reason this had happened and he’d been determined to find the cause. He never did, though, and this caused him even more anguish. He became friends with the shadows, hoping their company would distract him from the pain. But the desire for revenge strengthened in the darkness, and today it overwhelmed him.
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.