on the writing & reading trail

Archive for March, 2013

Novel published today – Past Imperfect

Book one of the Longshadows Series

Book one of the Longshadows Series

Past Imperfect, by Winfreda Donald (my fiction pen-name) the first novel in the Long Shadows Series is available from Smashwords. It will be free for two weeks, so if you want to have a look, now is the time. Google Smashwords.com and enter the title Past Imperfect in the search box on the top right.

I hope many of you will find the story engaging, and would appreciate any reviews. Hopefully the plot and sub-plots it will appeal to many readers but I expect they may be more popular with women and young adults who enjoy unfolding stories of families, romance, coming of age, with background secrets interfering in the lives of  the main characters.

Happy reading.

Editing of the second book starts tomorrow – appropriate for the first of the  month.

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Publication looming

Publication date for the first novel in the Long shadows series is almost here.

Past imperfect is being delayed because I can’t get the new website in my fiction pen-name of Winfreda Donald to work. I’m persevering and hopefully will have good news before the end of March.

As soon as the Past imperfect is available as an e-book, it will be a delight to move on to editing Present tense, the second volume in the series. All being well it should be published in August or September this year.

As always for me, in the final run-up to completing projects, minor and major complications came from nowhere. It used to happen at work every time a substantial document was due – a formatting foul-up, computer system down, copier not working, oversight committee wanted to add a late term of reference or some other unexpected happening.

Just to show that the Long shadows stories are not a figment of my imagination, here are the cover pictures that will soon front the stories. 

Book one of series

Book one of series

present-tense_cover_1400x1867_final

Questions

I’d love to hear from other people.

Did  you have a dream run in the last stages before publication?

What last-minute hassles caused you stress?

Edit diary, writing, critiquing, reading

It’s been a while since I was in this space – life got in the way – more technology glitches – family health issues – time consuming investigations of retirement living options – eventually postponed decisions again. We are just not ready.

So, uncertainties settled for the time being, I’m back to the business of preparing Past imperfect, the first novel in the Long shadows series, for publication. Following my final edit, the manuscript is with readers.

Feedback: Readers are providing helpful feedback and I am thankful that one awkward blooper was discovered – absolutely confirms the need for dispassionate eyes to assess a manuscript. In one of my rewrites, an important intention of the protagonist was erased. Thank you Sara for your time generosity and discerning eye.

Writing: Am still working on front and back matter for the final submission – strangely more challenging than expected, but getting there. Until I press the publish button it is too hard to work on the host of other ideas that are calling my fingers to start new files to develop the short stories and memoir fragments that are clamouring.

Critiquing: Last Friday was Writers Group critiquing day, with a mixture of novel and memoir chapters, a short story and a writing exercise to discuss.  As usual we parted reluctantly from our session of laughter, serious comments and constructive criticisms, words of wisdom and mutual trust, with nourishing food for thought to improve our offerings.

Reading: The impulse to read fiction is curiously dampened when full-blown editing takes the stage but some still happens. My focus has been on social media and marketing ideas. I’ve mentioned it before, but the ProWriter course How to find readers and market your novel, devised by Joanna Penn and C J Lyons, is extremely helpful and I commend it to anyone preparing for e-publication. http://www.thecreativepenn.com/marketyourbook/.

However I did finish The secret life of bees by Sue Monk Kidd which was left behind by a family member who stayed recently – loved it. A Library Thing reviewer had this to say “The Secret Life of Bees is a coming of age story in the deep south in the early 1960’s. You will come to love each of the characters. Reading this book you will both laugh and cry. This book is about hope, empathy, and dignity across racial lines. I’m already to read it again!’

I am also reading The Forgotten garden by Kate Morton (only recently found her, and she’s an Aussie). If I’d discovered it earlier I might have found a way to adapt some of her seamless literary devices for backstory for use in Past imperfect. It is also interesting to find similar themes about compulsions that are driven by identity uncertainty, family secrets and family loyalties in her novel and mine. Find out about Kate at http://www.katemorton.com/

Next on the agenda: e-publication of Past imperfect – hopefully before the end of March.

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