After over eleven years of working on this and countless revisions, my best friend Emery and I were still able to find some silly typos. Spellcheck is worthless when it comes to fudging up “foot rub” with “food rub” (really?!) and typing “that” when you mean “than.” Fortunately, one more pair of fresh eyes took a look at it and really helped me get it polished up!
The contract states that the projected release date for my book is April 13; however, after asking for and receiving a much-needed extension in order to get everything turned in, they may push that release date out a little more. My mom’s birthday (and my sister-in-law’s, actually) is April 26th, so I would love it if the book was released by then, but I ain’t exactly in any position to be choosy. I’ll be thrilled whenever the big Release Date happens!
My other best friend, Jaena – who has a WEDDING on June 5th in CANADA, I might add – graciously accepted my request to paint the cover for the book. We picked a picture she had taken out of an airplane window that we both thought had relevance to the story. The plane had just risen above a storm, and the sun was shining through the clouds, with the storm underneath and behind it. We decided she would paint that, and I’ve been so tickled that she didn’t mind taking on the added pressure.
Painting (or any art) can be cathartic for her, but I know it got frustrating as well, as it had been awhile since she’d had the chance. I knew she could do it though; she’s always been such a talented artist. She did a couple paintings with acrylics, then moved to watercolor when she got frustrated with the clouds. I wound up with too many paintings to decide, so I sent everything to the publisher and let him make the call. He ultimately decided to use the actual photo she had taken for the book’s cover, and we’ll use the various paintings for the e-book chapters, to give it more color. I’ve been incredibly blessed by these lifelong friendships I’ve made over the years.
While working through the notes and edits the editor sent me, I went on the hunt for “blurbs” for the cover. I had four wonderful people read the manuscript (pre-edited), and I received the most ego-boosting blurbs from them!
I’m also blessed that my chemical engineer of a father-in-law took up photography as a personal hobby. With his state-of-the-art camera and fantastic Photoshop skills (there was that one stupid blemish that didn’t want to stay covered up) we took some pictures for a suitable headshot. This, of course, had called for me finally getting my hair done after a year of letting it grow out – something that couldn’t have happened without the aforementioned awesome friends and a spectacularly sweet stylist. I just love alliteration, don’t you? Sure, ya do. I’m always sad to see my long, grown-out redneck hair go, but I really needed my roots touched up and my ends trimmed, to make it fluffier!
I’ll be waiting to hear whether the book will still be released in April, but be on the lookout this spring for a memoir titled Hope Alive: A Coming of Age Tale Brought About by a Back-handed Bitch-slap from Karma. I’m excited beyond explanation, and hope that through this book I’ll be able to help not only other survivors, but a variety of people.
The book in itself has been a lesson on never giving up hope. You must never give up when trying to have something published! It can seem so defeating every time you get rejected by an agent or publisher, but take every rejection as another feather in your cap on the path to being an author.
I have to give thanks to the website authors.me, for helping me to get my manuscript in front of the right people, while still feeling that it was safe. I highly recommend that website if you’re looking to publish anything. They will connect you with agents and publishers looking for your genre, and can even help you find editing services (although the latter at a charge).
The book also wouldn’t be what it is without the sage advice and editing expertise of Christopher Benz and Elliott Niblock. Thanks to them, my work improved immensely!
I’ll leave you to your day, I’m just so ecstatic to announce that everything is FINALLY IN THE HANDS OF THE PUBLISHER!!!