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mary AT mary-holland.com

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Previous Posts
Sunday
Oct052014

Fun in Our Work

Yes, it's been a while since I updated this blog, but give me a choice between blogging and making progress on The Dog of Pel and you guessed it.

I've combed through the existing manuscript, removed, changed, modified, and added all sorts of text, and sent the revised opus off to my beta readers. I'm working on the final chapters and thinking about the END, which is marvelous. Choices have been made. By me. I've made choices, finally, and I must tell you I've never worked on anything with so many possible ways to go. The beta readers (bless them) will tell me if I made the right choices so far, although I was very mean and left them suspended in mid-scene.

For this one, I think I am springing for an editor. A proper editorial critique by someone I respect who gets what I am attempting to do. The manuscript needs it, and several readers have said the others could have used one, so this time around it will get it.

I'm very excited at the prospect. I'm at least three months, maybe more, away from finishing and sending the final product off to an editor, but I'm looking forward to it. Also, I have to chose an editor, get on their schedule, and pay them dollars, but I'm even looking forward to the process.

With indie publishing, if I have to do all the work and wear all the hats, I get to have all the fun. It's only fair.

 

Thursday
Aug142014

Progress on The Dog of Pel

I'm writing steadily on The Dog of Pel. Current word count, as of today, is 75,000. I've accepted this one isn't going to move quickly but it IS moving. My best guess for the final total—and this is a total guess—is between 100,000 and 110,000.

I've outlined to the end of the story at least three times and no sooner do I get my head into the writing than the story takes off in another direction. So the outlines are more like vague guidelines. Another image that reoccurs: I'm crossing a very rapid stream, jumping from stone to stone. I can only see one or at the most two stones ahead at any time.

I can tell the end of the first draft is coming because I'm making a list of all the revisions I have to encorporate in the second draft. But 'first draft' is a little misleading since I've been revising all along and parts of the story have a polished feel.

Anyway, that's what I've been doing. As I said, progress.

Sunday
Jul062014

Why I Self-Publish

Because I'm old.

Okay, I'm not exactly being followed around by some jerk in a long black robe waving a scythe, or not more than any of us are. But I'm not young. I read a woman's obituary in a local paper a few years ago. I can't remember many details but one thing stuck with me: she'd written 13 books, all of them unpublished. I don't want to be that woman.

Everything came together after my layoff. At that time I had completed one book and had another about halfway finished. I had submitting manuscripts to agents and publishers and had collected many rejections. I understood this was the way of the aspiring writer. I accepted that. But another comment on some writer's blog also stuck with me: it takes 20 years to break into print.

I didn't think I had 20 years. I still don't. And posthumous recognition doesn't have anything to recommend it. If I'm doing all this work I want to be around to collect the rewards, dodge the abuse, have the experience. So I self-published my first book, learned a great deal, finished and published the second. I learned more from that experience and, even better, had a really good time doing it. After years of corporate life where consensus had to be mimicked to get anything done it was liberating to do everything myself. I loved it. I still love it.

I've submitted a story to a commercial anthology. I hope it gets accepted. But if it doesn't I can publish it on Amazon or submit it somewhere else. I can put it on this blog and let people download it for free.  I can do exactly the same with The Dog of Pel when it is ready to go. Being an indie author is all about choices.

So would I like being published by a commerical publisher? Of course. It would be interesting, exciting, and validating. It would be a new experience and I hope I have that experience while I'm still competent to enjoy it. But if it never happens at least the work is out there. That's what my obituary will say.