Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Alabama Skye is complete!

On Thursday, May 22nd, I finished my second novel, Alabama Skye. Whew! My Word doc is 161 pages long and consists of 86,931 words. I'm not sure yet how long this will be in print format, but soon that mystery will be solved. I wasn't too worried about length. I wrote until the story was told and am very happy with the way it turned out. Book number two! Wow. How cool is that?

This one is different in many ways than The Color of Thunder. I've thought about this a lot over the last couple of months. For one thing, I had more experience under my belt and felt a little more confident in my ability. I've met a lot of readers and other authors in the eighteen months since my first book was released. I've been able to talk with them and share my fellow author's processes with them. I've been part of a review group on Goodreads since last August. Have I mentioned how much I love Goodreads? It's true. I do. I have met the most wonderful people there and learned so much. I used the site long before I was published, and it was fantastic from a reader's perspective. It's even better, in my opinion, from the perspective of an author. If you'd like to visit my Goodreads page, here's the link to follow.
Like I said, this is a terrific website for anyone who enjoys reading. If you send me a friend request, I'll gladly accept it. 

I also have a Facebook author page, which is something I didn't have, (and didn't want) before publishing The Color of Thunder. Now I'm so grateful for the interaction I have between me, my readers and other authors. I've mentioned it before, but I'm going to do so again; authors are an awesome bunch of people. I'm proud to be one and very happy to be able to call so many of them my friends. I have ways of letting people know I have a second book coming out...and a lot of these wonderful people are excited about it. This is amazing to me and I'm so grateful for it. You've probably arrived here at my blog via Facebook. In case you didn't and aren't following me on Facebook, please come visit. Take a second and like my page for me if you do. 

I wrote this second book differently. First of all, I worked on it pretty steadily for about a year and everything was fresh and new. For the most part I wrote it in order from start to finish and, while the characters had a lot of say in the direction of the tale, I had it pretty well mapped out in my head before it began. The Color of Thunder was a project I started way back when I was pregnant with our first child., but she was thirteen when I finally published it. The main idea of the story always remained the same, but so many of the details changed...as did my perspective and writing style. I put together all of the pieces I'd written over the years, reworking many parts of it. When my husband read a section in which my old writing was mixed in with new, he very simply stated; "You have to rewrite this. You aren't the same person now, you aren't the same writer now as you were back then." Some of the character's personalities and objectives changed as did the whole end of the story. It was a lengthy process, not to mention the fact that I wrote it during a very, shall I say, interesting time in my life. I picked it back up in the middle of 2011. We were living in North Carolina and my husband spent six months of that year in Germany while the kids and myself stayed behind in the states. I'm a full time homeschooler and became a single mom during that time, if only physically. It might not have been the best time to tackle such a monumental project. That didn't deter me. What did stretch out the time between making the decision to do it and when it was actually finished was that we, as a family, decided to pack up and move ourselves to Germany at the end of 2011. It took me another year beyond that to finally have my manuscript ready to publish. The road was rocky for The Color of Thunder, but it helped me break in my hiking boots and taught me an enormous amount about both myself and my writing process.

I had no experience behind me when I became a published author. I didn't know how anything worked. I had it in my head that I had to do everything by myself and that's what I did. It wasn't until I became a part of the Goodreads and Amazon communities and started talking to other authors that I found out this isn't necessarily the case. Writing by itself is a very solitary past time. The rest of it, though, doesn't have to be. I have had the opportunity to beta read for a few authors. This is an amazing thing...being able to see a work of fiction before it's presented to the public. It's so much fun to see the way each author works as they strive to perfect their story. What's most enjoyable for me is seeing their novel in both the beta reading stage, then reading the final product. I think it's a pretty special thing, being asked to beta read, and I'm eager to be asked again. I was lucky enough to have three people beta read for me for Alabama Skye. Two of them are authors, and the third was my mom, who surprised me by requesting to read for me. Her input was very valuable as one of the main characters in this novel suffers from Alzheimer's. We lost my grandmother exactly a year ago to the disease and my mom was one of her caregivers. I knew, as hard as some of the reading would be for her, that she would be a wonderful resource for me. I was so grateful for all the feedback I received and will absolutely, without a doubt, ask for beta readers next time I publish as well. 

Circumstances while writing Alabama Skye were not exactly challenge free. Instead of moving from North Carolina to Germany, we found ourselves moving from Germany back home to Colorado. I'm starting to think that this is just the way life goes and if you don't push yourself over these obstacles, nothing will ever be accomplished. It took much less time for me to finish this book...and I am already onto the next.

But before I get ahead of myself...I have yet to receive a release date for Alabama Skye. I am anxiously awaiting to see what my publisher has done with the photograph I sent in my for the cover...and as soon as I learn about these things, I will be announcing them here on my blog and on Facebook. This is a very exciting time for me! Alabama Skye will have a summer time release. I think it's the perfect vacation time read. It will fit nicely into a beach bag.

Until then, I do have a sneak preview for you. If you want to get a taste of this new story, please go to the right and click, "Read the first two chapters of Alabama Skye". These are fully edited, finalized chapters. I'd love to know what you think so please don't be shy. Leave me a comment. :)

If you're interested in The Color of Thunder or finding out about my upcoming novels, come visit me on my web page. You can find me at:

More news coming soon!