So many of my favorite authors have books coming out I'm over the moon with bibliophile excitement! AND... I have next week off for vacation so I'll actually have time to binge them all without feeling guilty for hiding under my desk with my Kindle when I should be, you know, working. Jennifer Weiner new book is supposed to be Awesome, Claire Marti's latest just released, Penny Reid's new book will be out in days, and today PEGGY JAEGER'S NEW BOOK IS OUT!
I invited Peggy to visit and talk to us about this new series of hers, since it took a few twists and turns in the making. Her story is below and if you missed the first in the series - Dirty Damsels - you should grab a copy of that too. (my review from July is here)
Welcome, Peggy and her book, It's a Trust Thing.
When my first book was published I was one month shy of 55
years old. The very fact I found a publisher willing to take me on at that age
was astounding. 17 books and 4 years later, and I am still astounded, even more
so since other publishers felt the same way and took a chance on me. Recently, though, two of those publishers and
I have parted ways, one while I was in the middle of writing a new series. To say
I was devastated to be dropped isn’t to do the situation enough credit. I had
book 2 written with book 3 plotted. What was my recourse; leave them in a file,
forgotten and gathering cyberdust on my computer? Try to get another publisher
interested in the series?
There’s this old saw that says everything happens for a
reason, and you just have to discover the reason, so instead of wasting another
year with queries, or simply crying with frustration, I decided to do something
I’d vowed never to so: Self publish. I’d
always resisted this path because I felt the learning curve was so vast and I
didn’t have the mental wherewithal to learn how to do it well. (Or at all!)
I love being traditionally published and letting someone
else handle all the “work” of getting a book into print. All I want to do is
write. I am very happy letting cover designers design, copy editors copy, and distributors distribute,
with me being merely a cog in the wheel.
But if I were going to be a self-pubbed author, I would now be
the captain of the ship where I’d once been the yeoman. Or is that yeoperson?
The part of self publishing that has been the most daunting
for me is in the editing process. As a traditionally pubbed author, I had
professional editors guide and instruct me in order to make my books be the
best they could be. Editors employed and paid by the publisher. Well, I am now,
for lack of a better term, the publisher. In addition to being the cover
designer, the copy editor, the content queen. Chief bottle washer and head
Plus, the author.
I used to worry that reviewers and readers wouldn’t like the
story I wrote, or my writing style. Everyone has an opinion and not everyone
can like you or what you’ve written. I recognized that and came to terms with
it early on in my career.
Now, though, I am agonizing over things other than if a
reader likes the book. I worry about the editing and if there are any mistakes
that I didn’t capture and correct before I hit “publish.” Is my tense
consistent throughout the book? Is my spelling mistake-free? Are there any
misplaced modifiers I didn’t catch, or dangling participles left on the page to
confuse and puzzle the reader? Any missing words? Are the scenes flowing or are
they stalling? Do I have a saggy middle or an impractical conflict? Does the
end resolve well, or does the reader have questions?
These were all concerns my editors used to worry about. Now, it is my job.
I had no funds to employ a cover designer or an editor for
this book, something every self-pubbed author should do. I designed the cover
myself and I asked a college English professor who happens to be a friend to
mine, to go through the book and point out anything that needed correction. She
doesn’t read romance novels so I wasn’t worried she’d hate the plot or the
story. I just wanted her to read the book as reader first and then an editor,
which she did, and to point out any mistakes, spelling errors, etc., something
fresh eyes would capture. I wanted to credit her with editing, but she asked me
not to, claiming she didn’t want to do it for anyone else, just me.
I love her for that.
But…ultimately, if there are any mistakes or glaring mis-spellings,
wrong or missing punctuation, or plot holes, it is ultimately my fault. The
buck – and the book – stops with me.
Sleepless nights have become a habit in my life, believe me.
I hope I have done the story- and my readers – justice. I sincerely hope
mistakes aren’t found or if they are, that the reviewers don’t vilify me in the
court of public opinion, reading, and reviews.
And I sincerely hope that whoever reads It’s a Trust Thing, loves
Nell and Charlie as much as I do. They deserved to have their HEA read, and,
despite one blip along the way in the form of a dropped publisher, I hope I’ve
done them proud.