A while back....okay a long time ago, I talked about a book I started as a short story and then let it get out of control. The book is called Legacy of the Dragonwand, at least tentatively. The first post about it is HERE.
What have I been doing since them? Well, I have written two other novels, a few short stories, a play, and edited enough material to fill an isle at the Library of Congress. Is this to say that I set Dragonwand aside and left it to collect dust....hardly.
I decided that this book was good. That might sound odd, but if you know anything about writing you know that as an author you have the lowest opinion of your work. It takes a
lot for me to agree that my work is even worthy of showing to someone, least of all consider it publishable. But, after sitting back and looking at this story I was convinced by a few people that it had merit. It has the quality to actually make it as its own book. So, what did I do with that? I RAN WITH IT!
I have published several books on my own over the past few years, as well as short stories and a few other items. I have learned a thing or two from my mistakes and successes. One thing I learned, if I want to get this out there, polish it like a diamond, not leave it a lump of coal. I edited myself, which is very common. Then I let my mother edit it, which is also my norm. Usually I stop at that and let it go, mom is pretty good and the books come out looking relatively decent. But, I didn't stop there. I wanted more. So, I asked other friends to read it and comment. This would be my first ever attempt at beta-reading. After that I had enough money saved up to pay for a professional editor. This is where I am at now, the editor sent the book back a few weeks ago and since then I have worked, worked, worked to get the corrections made and finish the book.
Am I confident now that the book is as good as it could look? No. As the author of the work I will never feel it is at his best. That is just the nature of being a creative person. But, am I more comfortable now with the work? Yes. I am now willing to believe that the book will stand on its own story and voice when viewed by a publisher and not be just a pile of glaring mistakes.
Next starts a process I am very familiar with, submitting. I will craft the best pitch, cover letter, and synopsis as I can to begin the long, painful process of attempting to garner the interest of an agent or publisher.
P.S. Not only did I work on other things during all this process, I worked on the art for the book. I did the cover and this unique textural picture of the Barren Mountains from the story itself. If they actually get used for the book if/when it gets published is uncertain, but it kept me busy.