Catching Up


I’m such a negligent blogger. I haven’t posted in over two weeks. Instead I’ve been busy figuring out Twitter, growing my social network, and trying to finish up the rough draft of Dead Heat. I left Alex in a real mess and a lot of pain, and I feel kind of bad about that, but he’s going to be in a lot more pain before the book is over, so maybe he’s better off stuck in chapter 15.

I don’t really have any news about my book. I’d like to post my cover and give you a publication date, but I’m not ready to do that. Even though In the Blood is in good shape and passed muster with Raintown, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to have a professional editor look at it. I don’t want to make any commitments until I get feedback from her. I’m also thinking about changing the title. Even though the term “in the blood” will make perfect sense to race fans, any title that contains the word “blood” is bound to make people think of vampires or horror. Trouble is, I can’t think of anything else to call it, so I’m waiting to see if this editor comes up with something better.

The editor thing kind of scares me. I haven’t had the best of luck with the critiques I’ve gotten from conferences, coming away with comments like “you can’t use ‘gonna’ or ‘gotta’ in the narrative” and others that indicated the critiquer just didn’t get the point. The one editor I submitted to directly, someone who’s well-respected and I very much admire, told me I should re-write the whole thing in third person. Those of you who’ve read In the Blood will probably be just as aghast about that suggestion as I was. I feel like these editors had their idea of what a book should be like, and since mine didn’t fit that image, they wanted to change it. Never mind that I’ve seen other books that are doing exactly the same thing mine is, and Raintown (and my beta readers) loved it for the very things these other editors knocked. I know a good editor is supposed to connect with your story so well that she can polish it into the very best it’s supposed to be, instead of remaking it into her own personal vision. If someone is making suggestions that seem totally wrong, she’s probably not the right editor for your book. I also know that no two people are going to edit a book the same way, aside from correcting egregious errors, like a character being in two places at once, or somebody’s eye color changing throughout the story. Because of that, I realize I ultimately get to decide what changes to keep and what changes to nix, but the process still makes me a little uncomfortable.

As for the cover, I’ve had one designed, but if the title changes, the cover will, too, so I’m hesitant to post it until it’s finalized. I guess I could always upload the new picture, but I don’t want incorrect versions floating around in cyberspace. This leaves me with a Facebook author page photo of me at 24, wearing a mullet. Hey, it was totally cool back in 1990. Go check it out and, if you want to be really awesome, click that “like” button so I can catch up with my friend Amy.

By the beginning of April, I should have a better idea of when my first book will hit the ebook distributorships. For now, I’ll just say it’s going to be sometime this summer. Scratch that. It’s gonna be sometime this summer.

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18 Responses to Catching Up

  1. Roxie says:

    You have a hidden supply of extra hours somewhere, don’t you? I think you’re really identical twins or clones or something. How do you get so damn much accomplished? With cats around no less!

    Stick to your manuscript. You have written an awesome series of books and you have worked harder at it than anyone I know. Those cannonballs are polished to a mirror gleam. Don’t change them!!

    Like

    • Lisa Nowak says:

      You know, Roxie, I feel like I can’t get nearly as much done as some of my friends. Amy Rose Davis said she wrote 6,000 words yesterday. I don’t think I’ve written 6,000 words in one day in my life. Unless I was sending out a lot of emails. 🙂

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  2. I had a best selling YA author tell me to switch my tense from past to present. Since I was already heavily revising my novel, I was happy to do that, and I’m glad that I did. I later heard that this author likes to tell everyone to switch the pov from third to first. Since mine was already in first, it made sense for her to go after the tense next. 😉

    Good luck with your revisions, Lisa.

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    • Lisa Nowak says:

      Stina, sometimes those suggestions really work and you wonder why you didn’t think of them yourself. Other times you wonder just what that person was thinking. I’m currently working on a present tense, 1st person book, and I think the voice works well this way. The protagonist has an uneducated, slang-heavy way of speaking, and that comes across much better in present tense than in past tense. Ultimately, though, I think we need the self-confidence to be able to decide what advice to keep and what to reject. That’s something I always struggle with. I guess I expect everyone else to be smarter than me, so I don’t want to write them off w/o careful consideration.

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  3. Elisabeth Miles says:

    The thing is, we know our characters and their situations better than anyone else, and need to have the confidence that we know best how to present them. That doesn’t mean we don’t have blind spots, and shouldn’t consider feedback from peers. But the bottom line is that we know what story we are trying to tell, and have to filter all the feedback in light of that.

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    • Lisa Nowak says:

      That’s so true, Beth, and so hard a concept to have faith in. I’m always torn between whether I’m rejecting an edit because I’m too stubborn to see the truth, or because it really isn’t right for the book.

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  4. I wish you luck in finding a perfect editor. Personally, I see nothing wrong with ‘gonna’ and ‘gotta’ in a narrative. It adds voice, especially in first person. Things like that are so subjective, it’s enough to drive you batty.
    Anyway, can’t wait to see the cover. I’m sure you’ll pick a good title.

    Like

    • Lisa Nowak says:

      Thanks, McKenzie. You are dead-on about voice, but who knows what goes on in the heads of some editors? The subjective thing is true as well. Unless you get multiple people telling you something is an issue with your book, or you really trust the one person who’s pointing out a flaw, it could very well be just a matter of taste.

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  5. Angela says:

    Sis, please don’t change the name. Please, please, please. Okay well maybe if it will sell better. But you said it yourself, a person into racing will get it, and like I have told you before, the Vampire people will at least look at it. The only people you wont get to at least look, is the romance readers, or people who don’t read. (Possibly a few more) So I think the name is perfect how it is. But like most things I always have an opinion. 🙂 And the cover your talking about, is it the one you showed me already? Or is it another one? Just wondering. Good luck with it all, and know that I am sending out positive thoughts about it all, to you. Love ya!

    Like

    • Lisa Nowak says:

      Ang, I know you don’t want me to change the title, but Raintown said they had an issue with it, and the editor who’s working on it now agrees. She says if you have “blood” in the title and it isn’t about vampires or horror, you’re doing your book a disservice. We’ll see if she or my publicist friend Kelly come up with something better. If they don’t, you’ll get your wish. 🙂

      Yes, the cover is the one I showed you, though it’s had some minor tweeks since then. Just basically re-sizing some elements and moving them around slightly.

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  6. It’s always nerve-wracking being edited. But I’ve had two fabulously positive experiences with my books, and I wish the same to you. My editor completely got what I was trying to do with each book. I didn’t take all her suggestions, but I took about 90% and they made the books better. My first copy editor, though, had some difficulty with Tennessee slang!

    But in the end, the book is yours, and so are the final decisions on how you tell the story.

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    • Lisa Nowak says:

      Chris, I felt that I could have worked very well with the Raintown editor, and that’s one of my regrets about not signing with them. She totally got the book and the voice. I think it would have been fun to have her do the editing. I’m crossing my fingers that this editor I’m using now will be the same way. If not, I have a couple of other options. Thanks for letting me know about your experience so I could stop feeling like some prima donna who can’t take criticism. 🙂

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  7. Pat L. says:

    Y’know, this whole book business is so much more complex than it seems like it would be. E-readers and the upending of the NY-publishing paradigm have created wonderful new choices in publishing–further complicating our efforts. We’ll all figure out a path as we go…

    Like

    • Lisa Nowak says:

      Hey, Pat, wishing you luck with your book sales. You’ll get the hang of all the social networking stuff. It just takes awhile.

      Like

  8. I often help students with editing and my preference is to look for proper sentence structure, comma placement, period placements, etc. I think language in a novel can vary dependign on the character, time and setting. I see no problem with using terms like: gonna, gotta, ain’t, oughta, etc. as that language may fit!!
    I enjoy editing! It is fun!

    Like

    • Lisa Nowak says:

      Editing other people’s stuff is not my most favorite thing, Rose, but I try to do a thorough job when I’m critiquing because it’s only fair if I’m asking someone else to give me feedback. It’s a skill that can be developed, just like anything else.

      Like

  9. Laura Marshall says:

    Love the pictures. I think we all had a similar hair style at some point in our youth.
    You’re brave learning twitter. I hope you master it like you’ve mastered other social media.
    Keep on writing. Remember that’s why you’re doing all of this 🙂

    Like

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