Doses of Humility

I just got the proof from the publisher for my first novel Beckman’s Folly: Tales of the Vampire Hadley Price. I now know what it’ll look like. And I have to say, I’m thrilled with what I see. Some corrections need to be done, but overall the look is professional. I’m looking forward to having you see the finished product. Now, in the proof stage, the actually publication is not far off.

Writing a book, editing a book and publishing a book are each energy-intensive, time-consuming activities. None of them are a quick process. In different Hadley Price related projects, I’m currently in various stages of each of those three things. And since each of those projects involve different places in the time line of Hadley’s story, it’s a real mental juggling act.

In my impatience waiting for news from the publisher, I’ve been editing the next book in the series. And I won’t tell you the title of that now. Also, I’ve returned to another Hadley story that I’ve put on the shelve. That too, I won’t tell you the title. Not yet. I’ve consider releasing that as an ebook only and I’ve been communicating with my illustrator to come up with cover art for that.

The ability to adapt to change is a must, as I’m currently finding out. The waiting came to an end with the appearance of that proof. As such, Beckman Folly is now my priority. But other people are involved with the processing of those other projects, so I’m still there. Mental juggling act ‘R’ us.

I say “I” but I really should say “we”. Yes, I write the stuff. But there’s three other people involved in this with me. And that’s before the publisher gets my stuff. All of them are friends of mine and all of them are creative individuals. There might be writers out there who can tell a good story, but don’t have that infrastructure of talented friends to consult and help that along.

I’m not a religious man, and excuse the expression, but I feel blessed that three other people have concented to join me in all of this. They are my inner circle, my advisors. People with talent and experience.

So I now officially salute my cohorts in this Tales of the Vampire Hadley Price journey I’m on-

Christine Piesyk– journalist, writer, editor. If it has to do with the written word, Christine’s done it. In print. Online. Respected literary consultant.

Elizabeth (Grace) DeCourcey– Primary beta reader and creative consultant. I have a couple other beta readers. But Grace is the most pro-active in her feed-back.

Keith Wood -an amazingly talented artist involved with comic book art online and in print. He does all the illustrations for Hadley’s book cover art and promotional materials.

All three of them have Facebook pages.

Any writer who says they don’t need an editor is fooling themselves. It wasn’t my editor, Christine, it was my beta reader, Grace, who brought my attention to a glaring discrepancy in a manuscript. It was something I just didn’t see. This happened only a couple days ago.

Being intimately involved in a writing project is a wonderful thing. I love writing about Hadley and Nathan and Svetlana. They’re my three Vampire friends who show me a fun world of adventure and romance. The actually doing of it, the writing, is a zen experience. The draw back on that, however, is that the writer get too close to it. As much as you think you’re objective about what you’ve written, you’re just not. You need a fresh set of eyes to look it over.

To understand this, you have to understand the syncronicity in the working relationship I have with Christine, Grace and Keith. As I’ve said, they’re good friends of mine. So when I approach them with something I’ve written, as good friends, they’re under no obligation to be nice to me. It’s not like I say, “Hey! Look at this. Tell me I’m a great writer.” No. Hardly. In fact, as my friends I count on them to do the exact oposite. On a personal level, I know they’ll be honest with me. Bluntly honest. On a professional level, their input is informed and backed by years of creative experience of their own.

I get the distinct impression that there is something in the way of a frolicking dance every time Christine or Grace find something I messed-up in the writing. Neither one can keep a straight face when they bring that stuff to may attention. And Keith too, must join that dance when I tell him my ideas for cover art or promotional graphics that he knows will come off looking really stupid. And Hadley’s there too, slapping me upside the head and telling me to get it together. It’s one big in-my-face dose of humility.

So now that Beckman’s Folly is soon to be released, maybe I’ll get a little respect from my cohorts in all of this. Maybe they think I’m a great writer.

I certainly hope not…